A gentle stretching routine is an an effective way to relieve back pain, provided you’re working within your pain-free range. A new exercise routine can cause pain temporarily as your body adapts to the exercise, but the pain should diminish quickly.

Stretches for Back Health: Essential Exercises for Flexibility

Start on all fours and place your hands in a straight line, shoulder-width apart. Your hips should be pushed forward as you move backward, bending your lower back (cat stretch).

Stretching the muscles of the lower back can relieve back pain and help prevent injuries from recurring. It can also improve your posture, which is important for your overall health, and also to avoid a dowager’s hump.

Lift one leg towards your chest while lying flat on the ground. Repeat until you’re at ease. This stretch targets the piriformis muscle, which can help ease lower back pain or tightness in the buttocks.

If you’re flection sensitive, which means that leaning forward can cause pain, begin the stretch with a small comfortable arc, then increase it as your back gets stronger. Also, ensure that you always practice these stretch on a clean and hard surface. If you experience any discomfort, stop the exercise and seek out an expert or a physical therapist. Ideally, aim for at minimum 60 seconds of stretching per day to see the most benefits.

Targeted Hip Stretches to Alleviate Lower Back Discomfort

Stretching the hips can help loosen the lower back. Adding hip-opening exercises to your stretching routine can improve your posture and increase mobility within the spine, says Jamie Costello M.S.C, the fitness director at Pritikin’s Longevity Center and Spa in Miami.

One of the most common back stretch routines is the cat-cow which helps to increase flexibility and mobility in the spine, while focusing on the muscles and joints in the hips and shoulders. This exercise is safe for most people and can be performed in a sitting position, but be sure that you keep the stretches within the comfort zone.

Relax on your back with your knees bent. Place the lower foot of each leg on the floor to provide support. Slowly move your left leg towards the outside of the right knee while lowering your head.

How the outer thighs are connected to the lower back

If your lower back or hips are tight, you’ll also be looking to stretch your upper thighs. The muscles in the outer thigh, known as abductors, aid in moving your legs to the side while balancing the pelvis. Lying on your back, interlace your fingers behind your knee and lift the leg toward your upper body until you feel a gentle stretch at the back of your leg. For 30-60 seconds, then repeat with the other leg.

This is a gentle exercise that will stretch the front of your upper thigh. You may be uncomfortable at first however, do not push yourself beyond what you feel comfortable with. If you experience a sharp discomfort or tingling, stop the exercise immediately and consult your doctor.

This video will aid you in completing your stretches, even if are short on time. Cassy Ho’s catchy tunes and witty personality make this workout a blast to follow along with.

Holistic Upper Body Fitness: Workouts for Arms, Triceps, and Lower Back Muscles

Stretching your back muscles is just as important as stretching your arms to reach for your wallet or to tie your bra. Experts advise against stretching the same muscle group too frequently. This could damage the delicate muscles. In addition, bouncing during stretches can actually injure these muscles, so it is important to move slowly and with ease according to Litzy.

To stretch your triceps, bend one arm above your head, and then point your fingers towards your shoulder blades. Then, grab the back of your elbow with the other hand. Hold this position until you feel a slight stretch across your shoulders and chest. Repeat the exercise on the opposite side of your body. This stretch can help improve circulation between your wrists and forearms. This stretch can also improve your posture. This stretch can help relax the deltoid, a triangular shoulder muscle. It can also ease lower back pain.