19 Stretches to Help Relieve Lower Back Pain

For many reasons, a lot of people tend to suffer from some kind of lower back pain. Whether it be because they aren’t lifting with the right technique, sitting on their butt all day without moving, or just not stretching at all causing all of your muscles to get stiff.

If this all sounds familiar to you then you know what I’m talking about. You more than likely have a nagging back pain that you aren’t sure exactly how to get rid of.

Here’s a simple solution that not many people realize can be a quick solution to their problems, that’s stretching. It doesn’t sound like the most fun and can even be really boring at times. Why do you think most people tend to neglect stretching even when they know they should?

It’s a necessary evil. Stretching needs to be done for a reason. If you want to relieve that pain you have and keep it away, do at least some of these stretches every single day.

1. Supine Hamstring Stretch

Many people don’t realize the relationship between the hamstrings and lower back. Tight hamstrings lead to a tight back.

It’s more than important to improve flexibility in your hamstrings if you want to reduce lower back pain.

Solely stretching your hamstrings will significantly decrease the pain you have in your lower back. Be cautious because the hamstrings do tighten up rather quickly which can make stretching them feel even harder.

Once you do get them loose to a point, you’ll be surprised at the amount of freedom you have with your legs and back.

2. Two Knee Twist

This is similar to the windshield wiper exercise. The difference in between the two is that with the knee twist, you are holding your knees to a side while keeping your back flat on the ground.

This stretch is focused on your back. It’s a good idea to ease into this stretch. It could be slightly painful if you move around too quickly. You could cause more damage to your back and the pain will be a serious issue.

3. Pigeon Pose

This pose really opens up your hips. You will feel extremely limber after just a few seconds of doing this.

Yes, this doesn’t really stretch your back, but increasing flexibility in your hip flexors will help with your overall posture, which in turn will help with your back pain.

The pigeon pose helps align your hips along with opening them up. Back pain can be attributed to a misalignment of your hips so when you are doing what you can to align them properly, the pain eases away.

4. Sphinx Pose

If you really aren’t comfortable with your flexibility and need a pose that won’t put much strain anywhere on your body, do the Sphinx pose.

Not only does it help open up your chest, but it stretches your hips and keeps your lower back flexible. Your spine also gets some work during this as well.

Stronger spine leads to less pain.

If you are wanting to work on your butt at the same time, this pose also works your butt. You’ll understand what I’m talking about if you hold the pose long enough.

5. Thread the Needle

This stretch prepares you for the pigeon pose. It helps open up your hips along with stretching the glutes and hamstrings.

It’s important to remember that you should do what you can to keep your upper body relaxed. When you tense up your muscles, you won’t get a proper stretch. You could possibly make things worse for yourself. Relaxed muscles give you the best stretch and possibility to relieve pain.

6. Legs Up the Wall

This one may not seem like much of a stretch, but it works wonders. This may be the simplest stretch to do out of everything on this list.

This is more of a relaxing stretch that is also very useful immediately after a leg day workout. You are getting all of the lactic acid that is built up in your legs flushed out and you are stretching your hamstrings.

The closer your butt is to the wall, the more stretch you’ll get. Remember, flexible hamstrings help relieve the pain that is in your lower back.

7. Knees to Chest

The great thing about this exercise is that it can be done standing up or lying down. When you are lying down, you’ll be able to pull both knees at the same time.

This is truly stretching your lower back and glutes. Remember that when you relax through this exercise, you’ll be able to get an even deeper stretch, one that is almost solely focused on your lower back.

8. Yoga Cat

If you’ve ever seen what a cat does when it gets angry and starts to hiss at you, this is what you’re going to look like when you do this, hence the name.

This stretch helps make your spine much more flexible. Your entire spine, not just a small portion of it.

This also helps tone your core muscles. It won’t be as beneficial to your core as it is your back, but it does help a little bit.

By moving your back up and down throughout this movement, you will be increasing its strength and flexibility.

9. Piriformis Seated Stretch

This one doesn’t really have a fancy name since the piriformis is the name of the muscle. Being seated will allow you to get deep into the stretch without having to strain too much.

There is a limited range for this stretch because of the position you’ll be in. When you utilize both sides of this stretch, you are also helping to realign your back and hips.

Doing this stretch will also help your muscles function better. Having better functioning muscles makes your body at less of a risk for injury and little tiny pains that could possibly pop up every once in a while.

10. Hip Flexors Stretch

This stretch won’t be doing much stretching for your back, but it is helping stretch an area of your body that plays a big role when it comes to your back pain.

Stretching the hip flexors allows you to open your hips up more and make them much more flexible. If you can have your hips opened up significantly, you will be realigning your hips, putting them where they should be in your body, and relieving some of that back pain.

11. Quads Lying Down Stretch

You can do this stretch standing up but you will get more out of it from lying down. When you are lying down, you don’t have to worry about trying to balance yourself with one leg.

Lying down allows you to have a greater range of motion with the stretch. You’ll be able to get more out of it. Now, it’s not going to stretch your back, but it will open up your hips and give your quads a great stretch as well.

The more flexible your legs are, the less pain you’ll have in your back.

12. Downward Facing Dog

Back to a stretch that will include the hamstrings. When done properly, this stretch gets your hamstrings and glutes. It doesn’t necessarily stretch your back but it does help elongate it.

This also helps strengthen your shoulders and arms. Imagine this being a V-shaped plank that doesn’t put any focus on your abs. If you are experiencing any stiffness in your legs and back, this will help relieve that as well.

13. Triangle Pose

This is great for stretching your legs and to help strengthen them as well. It strengthens major areas around your leg that can be vulnerable to serious injury (knees and ankles).

You are also stretching you back with this one. You’re causing your spine to work in ways it probably normally wouldn’t. It is getting moved around in a good way. A way that will help your back feel much looser immediately.

14. Upward Forward Bend

This is a stretch that everybody has seen at one point or another in their lifetime. That’s a guarantee.

All you have to do is bend over, keep your legs as straight as possible and try to touch your toes. This is a good stretch because all you have to do is let gravity do the work.

You are elongating your spine and your hamstrings. Both are getting a really good stretch. You can almost feel the pain going away during this stretch.

15. Lizard Lunge

Not only will you be strengthening your inner thighs with this, you’ll be stretching your hamstrings and pushing them to their limits. This might be the deepest stretch you get with your hamstrings.

You will feel your muscles pulling and getting longer.

This prepares your body for the stretch you will be getting with the pigeon pose.

Not only will you be getting the hamstring stretch of your life, you will be putting your glutes through a lot as well. This elongates every muscle from your toes to your hip flexors.

16. Bound Ankle Pose

This pose works more of your groin region. You are really opening up your hips with this pose as well.

Your hamstrings and back are getting a rest with this one, but there is always a method to the madness that is done when it comes to stretching.

Opening up your hips and groin help with the alignment of your hips. Proper alignment of your hips helps with your posture. Better posture leads to less pain all over.

17. Supine Hip Flexor Stretch

This stretch will more than likely allow you to get the greatest range of motion in your hip flexors. Again, with this stretch, you can let gravity do all the work. If you completely relax your leg, you will feel a deep stretch. The more relaxed you are, the deeper the stretch will be.

You should have a greater range of motion with your hip flexors not long after holding this stretch. You will get loosened up about as quick as you sat down.

18. Cobra Stretch

I would consider this stretch a more advanced version of the sphinx. You are forcing your hips to the ground and getting a much deeper stretch in your hips and back.

Like the sphinx, this is going to help your glutes as well.

Don’t hold this stretch for too long or else you will probably make the back pain worse. Your lower back is typically a weaker area on your body anyway and this stretch puts pressure on your lower back so holding it will only allow for potentially more problems.

19. Child’s Pose

This is a classic yoga move that will always be around. It stretches your legs (ankles and shin) and your back. Much of the focus will be on your lower back.

With this stretch, you will instantly feel a release of tension in your back. It could get so comfortable that you don’t want to move, but of course, with any stretch, you’re going to have some discomfort if you hold it for too long.

Feel The Pain Go Away

Yes, you still may not be fully convinced about doing anything that is on this list, but you’re reading this far for a reason. You’re definitely at least considering it which is a big step.

Stop being lazy and just do something about your pain. It’s no fun having it so you should do what you can to get rid of it. Doing these things really isn’t that hard. You don’t even need to spend 5 minutes stretching. A couple minutes a day will go a long way.

I’m just as guilty as you are when it comes to not stretching. I attribute it to me being lazy and just not wanting to do it.

Just because I’m like this now doesn’t mean you should be like this too. I’m still young and can get away with some of the things I do. Unfortunately, this will come back to bite me in the ass eventually.

Don’t wait until it’s too late to do anything about your pain. Be proactive and stop the pain before it even starts.

If you are dealing with sciatica pain then here are 8 yoga poses to help relieve sciatica.