Your poor lower back; it takes so much abuse yet rarely receives any love and pampering. If your lower back is tight, you’re not alone. Sitting for long hours in front of a computer, lifting your kids or heavy grocery bags, and working out can all contribute to stiffness in the lower back. The lower back serves numerous functions, including bending over and working with the abdominals to keep your body stable. Dynamic stretches, those with repetitive movements, can help to loosen your back.
Rolling Like a Ball
Lie on your back on an exercise mat. Bend both knees and bring them in toward your chest as far as possible. Avoid forcing the knees to go farther than is comfortable for your lower back. Clasp your hands behind each knee.
Lift your torso and bring your nose toward your knee, so your body is in a ball.
Retain the ball position as you roll back to the upper part of your spine. Immediately roll forward until your feet tap the floor, and then reverse the position to roll back again. Complete 10 to 15 full rolls to stretch your lower back and warm up your entire back area.
Forward Fold With Lift
Stand with your feet together and pointing forward. Separate your feet to hip-width if your lower back is particularly tight. Place your hands on your hips. Pull your abdominals in and push your shoulders down and away from your ears.
Bend at your hips and fold forward, bringing your torso as close as possible to your thighs. Place your hands on the floor in front of or next to your feet. Bend your knees slightly if you feel tension in your lower back. Place yoga blocks under your hands if you are unable to reach the floor.
Lift your head and torso up toward the ceiling until your back is straight and parallel to the floor. Rest your hands on your thighs.
Lower your torso back toward your knees and your hands to the floor. Repeat the movement, slowly, for five to 10 repetitions.
Moving Bridge Pose
Lie on your back on a yoga mat. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor about 1 foot in front of your buttocks, or as close as you are able. Rest your arms by your sides. Engage your abdominal muscles.
Push through your feet to raise your pelvis toward the ceiling, as high as you are able to lift. Keep your upper torso and head on the floor. Your feet and thighs should remain parallel to each other. Hold for a count of three.
Lower your pelvis back down to the starting position. Hold for a count of two and then again lift your pelvis toward the ceiling. Repeat for 10 repetitions.
- Consult with a physician if the tightness in your lower back persists or if you experience any pain.
Beth Rifkin has been writing health- and fitness-related articles since 2005. Her bylines include "Tennis Life," "Ms. Fitness," "Triathlon Magazine," "Inside Tennis" and others. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Temple University.