Strong back muscles support your spine and provide a foundation for movement of your arms and legs. The quadratus lumborum muscle runs from each side of the back of your pelvis to the spinal bones in your lower back. This muscle allows you to bend from side to side. Heavy lifting or prolonged positioning can cause tightening of the quadratus lumborum muscle. Stretch this muscle to reduce tightness, improve motion in your lower back and reduce risk of injury.
Knee to Chest
Stretch your quadratus lumborum muscle with the knee to chest stretch. Lie on your back on a firm surface. Bend your right knee up toward your chest. Grab underneath your knee with both hands and gently pull your knee closer to your chest until you feel a stretch -- but no pain -- in your lower back. Hold for 30 seconds, then release. Switch sides and stretch three times on each side.
Standing Quadratus Lumborum Stretch
Perform standing quadratus lumborum stretches to improve mobility in your lower back. Stand on a firm surface with your feet shoulder-width apart with your arms resting at your sides. Slide your right hand down the side of your right leg. Bring your left hand out to the side and over your head. Continue sliding your right hand down until you feel a stretch in the left side of your lower back. Hold this position for 30 seconds and repeat three times on each side.
Child's Pose Stretch
Perform the "child's pose" stretch to increase flexibility of your quadratus lumborum muscle. Kneel on a firm surface and sit back, resting your buttocks on your heels, toes turned under. Reach forward and rest your chest on your thighs, stretching your arms out in front of you. Walk your hands to the left until you feel a stretch in the right side of your lower back. Hold this position for 30 seconds, then walk your hands to the right side and repeat. Perform three stretches on each side.
Seated Low Back Stretch
Perform quadratus lumborum stretches in a chair to improve lower-back flexibility. Sit in a chair with your feet spread apart, firmly on the floor. Bend forward and bring your arms down between your legs, reaching your hands toward the floor. Stop when you feel a stretch in your lower back. Hold 30 seconds, and repeat three times.
Aubrey Bailey has been writing health-related articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in ADVANCE for Physical Therapy & Rehab Medicine. She holds a Bachelor of Science in physical therapy and Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University at Buffalo, as well as a post-professional Doctor of Physical Therapy from Utica College. Dr. Bailey is also a certified hand therapist.