Spinal health: 5 Stretches that will help your ROM and tension
Many people end up with lower back pain in their life and this can be due to sitting to much or muscle imbalances. When you sit to much many muscles start to get tight which puts pressure on the lower spine. If you have a desk based job and lead a sedentary lifestyle this will lead to back pain and poor spinal health.
I have suffered from back pain in the passed due to a sporting injury. Stretching alone wont make the pain go away, you will also have to strengthen your core muscles which include your abdominal area and lower back. Some of the exercises I used to strengthen my core will be in my next blog. You might notice some of these stretches are in yoga and that’s because if you do yoga it is great for your spinal health.
Stretch no 1: deep squat with rounder back
-Sit into a deep squat with your feel more that hip width apart.
-Push your knees apart to open up the glutes.
-Tuck your tail bone under to lengthen your lower spine.
-Tuck your head whilst rounding your upper back.
-Hold stretch for 30 seconds
This stretch will stretch your erectors throughout your whole spine. If you arent able to squat this deep try sitting on a lower platform and perform the same stretch whilst sitting.
Stretch no 2: Quad stretch
– Set yourself up close to something hold if this is a new stretch for you.
-Start in a luge position, have your front and back leg at a right angles
-Lift your back foot up towards your glute.
-Reach back towards your hovering foot.
-Once you have hold on your foot, start to pull the heal towards your glute.
-Hold this stretch for 30 seconds each.
This stretch will release your tension in your quadriceps and your Psoas which attaches to your lumber spine. This muscles is usually the one that is tight because of sitting to much. When sitting your hip flexors can become tight because they aren’t being used as often as they would like.
Stretch no3: Pigeon stretch
-Start on all fours, lead on knee through the area between both hands.
-Support your upper body with straight arms whilst lifting the chest.
-Try and get the stretched leg at a 90 degree angle for full benefit.
-Hold the stretch for 30 seconds.
This stretch will stretch your glute muscles which may be a cause of tight hamstrings. This is one of the biggest muscles in your body and it needs to be looked after more than just sitting on it. If you aren’t able to perform this stretch due to other tight muscles. you can you an elevated surface to place your leg on.
Stretch no4: Wide kneed Child’s pose
-Kneel down on the floor with a wide base for your knees.
-Lay your upper body flat on the mats surface whilst reaching your hands as far away fro you as possible.
-Sit your glutes into your heels
-Your knees are wide to make sure that your hips have room to move back into the stretch.
-Hold for 30 seconds.
This stretch stretches the hips, quads and the ankles whilst releasing stress in the lower back. This is a great stretch to do just before you get out of bed. I have incorporated it into my morning routine and now it’s as normal as breathing.
Stretch no5: Cat pose
– Set yourself up o all fours, with your hands shoulder width apart and your knees hip width apart.
– Arch your spine as high as you can whilst tucking your tail bone under.
-Tuck your chin down to get a stretch in the back of your neck.
-Hold the stretch for 30 seconds.
This stretch is widely done in a sun salutation in a yoga class. The reason being that it stretches the whole of your back. It also increases the ROM (range of movement) you have in your back.
I have been personal training in Windsor and with all my client I like to add a number of these stretches either into the warm up or the cool down for spinal health. The client might not the asking for this to be in there session, however I usually find a number of tight back muscles that need to be stretched. You only have one spine for life and it is your responsibility to look after it so keep in healthy.