Office worker? Driver? Construction worker? The chances are no matter what your occupation you will have experienced some form of back pain in your life. On average 80% of adults have suffered from lower back pain at some point in their life, a pretty staggering statistic! Back pain also contributes to more missed days at work than any other illness/injury. Americans spend approximately $50 BILLION dollars a year alone on just back pain!! So today I’m going to touch on a couple of exercises targeting the Hips, Glutes and Lower back. Which anyone can do at home to try and hopefully bring you some relief from that pain.
TIP- Make sure you warm the muscles up prior to stretching
Child’s pose is a classic yoga rest pose that stretches your upper, middle and lower back, as well as your glutes, which are all part of your hip complex.
- Kneel on the floor with both big toes touching and your knees separated about hip-width apart.
- Place the glutes onto your heels and lean forward, resting your chest on top of your thighs.
- Place your forehead on the floor. Relax your arms alongside your body. Slowly walk the hands forward until they are straight, trying to avoid the shoulders from touching your ears! Hold the stretch for around 30 seconds, repeat as many times as you see fit!
Hip flexor stretch
A lot of back problems are down to the shortening of the hip flexors from sitting down for long periods of time and so on.This is a great stretch to try and get some release through that area.
- Starting in a kneeling position, place one leg up and in front of the other one. Keep the foot flat on the floor, on the leg you have just lifted up
- Try your best to keep the knee at a 90 degrees angle. Also ensure you keep the back knee in contact with the ground.
- Once in this position lean forward slightly until you feel the stretch through your hips, hold this for about 10-12 seconds and repeat.
The piriformis muscle is located deep in the area of the glutes. Stretching the piriformis often can lead to instant pain relief if performed correctly!
- Start by lying on your back with both feet flat on the floor and knees bent, this can also be performed with legs straightened out.
- Pull the right knee up towards the chest
- Grab the right knee with your left hand and pull towards the left shoulder until you feel the stretch.
- Hold the stretch and then perform on the opposite side
Cow cat back stretch
A great stretch to help improve flexibility, posture and stimulating those abs!
- Start on all fours, placing the hands directly under the shoulders and the knees directly under the hips, Point the fingertips to the top of the mat.
- Have the spine, neck and head in a neutral positon (flat)
- Move into the cow pose, inhale as you drop your stomach towards the mat. Lift the chin and chest up and look towards the ceiling. Draw the shoulders away from the ears
- As you exhale move slowly up into the cat pose, pull your belly towards your spine so you are engaging your core and round the back towards the ceiling so it resembles a cat stretching
- Repeat 10-20 times
So INHALE for cow pose and EXHALE for cat pose.
Other things to consider to prevent back pain-
- Try and limit the amount of time sat down
- MUMS: Don’t always carry your children on one side
- Bending down and picking stuff up properly, bending the knees to lift!
- Work on your posture (Sitting and standing)
- Get a standing desk
- Take breaks if you drive for long distances
- Correct form when lifting weights
- Strengthening your core
- Activation of the Glutes/nerves
- Massage therapist
I have really tried to simplify and pick out some exercises which anyone can do at home no matter what your age or ability. This is really the tip of the iceberg when it comes to back pain, you could go on forever and in so much depth!
Once again thank you for reading! let me know if this was of any help to you. Any comments and feedback are greatly appreciated.