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Mobility exercises and stretches for your lower back

With lots of us now working from home (maybe at makeshift desks) you may find your back muscles feeling a little tight and achy. Sitting for extended periods especially with poor posture can often trigger tension in the back. Here are some exercises you can try to stretch and mobilise your back to help relieve some of that built up tension demonstrated by a personal trainer.

Exercises to stretch your back

T-Spine Rotation with Reach

  1. Lay down with your back against the mat and feet extended.
  2. Lift one leg off the ground and bend your knees in towards your body and allow the knee to crossover the other side of your body.
  3. Extend your arms out horizontally to the sides of the mat
  4. Keep the arm on the side that your leg is extended still and bring in the other arm up and over to reach the still hand. 
  5. Return the hand back to horizontal position - you should feel a nice stretch in the chest and shoulders as you do this.
  6. Repeat as  many controlled motions of this for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.

Quadruped T-Spine Rotation

  1. Stand on all 4s on the mat with your hand positioned in line with your shoulders and knees in line with your hips. 
  2. Push your hands into the mat to engage your shoulders and bring one arm in to touch your temples and lift the bent elbow up towards the sky, to a range that feels comfortable to you, whilst trying to keep your hips nice and square to the ground. You should feel a nice stretch in your shoulders as you perform this.
  3. Once you've reach the top range, slower lower your elbow towards the floor, and if you have space in your body, tap your elbow to the opposite forearm. And open that arm out with your elbows reaching the sky and close again.
  4. Continue doing this for 30 seconds and repeat on the opposite side.

Trunk Stability Rotations

  1. Lie down with your back against the mat and feet extended and arms extended out to the sides of the body.
  2. Stick knees and feet together and bring your knees in towards your chest and stop when your  knees reach a 90 degree angle.
  3. Slowly windmill your legs to one side and then windmill your legs to the other side for that spinal twist. 

Prone Extension

  1. Lie on your stomach with elbows tucked beside your chest, forearms touching the floor and make a fist with your hands.
  2. Squeeze your lower back muscles to help lift your chest off the the ground, keeping shoulders back and down.
  3. Move in a range that feels comfortable for you and slowly lower back down to starting position.

Quadruped Sidebend

  1. Starting in childs pose with your arms extended out above your head.
  2. Walk your hands to one side of the mat to feel stretch on the side of your body.
  3. Walk the hands back to center and repeat on the opposite side.

Quadruped Torso Rotation

  1. Starting on knees, bring one foot in front in a lunge position. Check your hips are square.
  2. Bring your arms out in front of you, in parallel with your shoulders. Keeping one arm in front, bring the other arm out to the side and behind you, whilst keeping your eyes fixed on that moving hand. You should feel a stretch in your shoulders and and chest and rotation in the hips and spine.
  3. Move at a range that feels comfortable for you and return the hand to center and repeat on the opposite side.

Mobility training is important in looking after the way we move and feel, which can really impact our wellbeing. Research suggests that mobility can help with posture, reduce the risk of injury, improve flexibility, and quality of life.⠀⠀⠀⠀

Optimal mobility also positively translates in the gym to help improve your form and range of movement, which can help with overall strength and power. With this in mind, it's important o consider including mobility work into your weekly workout regime to reap the benefits in and out the gym.

For more stretching exercises like this, check out our articles on stretches for lower back pain or this guide to the best yoga poses for easing back pain. If you are experiencing back pain, please consult a Doctor or qualified professional before trying out these exercises.

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