Low Back Exercises

Exercises to Improve Flexibility and Posture

The following exercises can be done periodically during short break periods. Remember that stretching should feel good and should not be painful. The most important factor in stretching is the duration that the stretch is held, not how hard or intense the stretch is. Studies have shown that the optimal time to hold a stretch is 20-30 seconds to affect a permanent change in tissue length. You will benefit more from a moderate stretch held for twenty seconds than you will from an intense stretch held for only 10 seconds. In addition, avoid any rapid, bouncing movements when stretching. Quick, violent movements greatly increase the chance of an injury occurring during the stretching process. The whole idea of stretching is injury prevention. Remember above all, move into a stretch slowly.

No. 1 Standing Extension

1. Place your hands on your hips

2. Slowly bend backwards while gently tilting your head back.

No. 2  Flexion Stretch from Chair

1. Place both feet flat on the floor

2. Sit at the end of your chair.

3. Slowly reach with both hands toward the floor.

4. Hold for 15-20 seconds.

5. Do 2 repetitions, twice a day.

No. 3 Rectus Femoris Stretch

1. Grab onto a chair or table, to help balance.

2. With the opposite hand, pull your heel towards your buttocks.

3. Hold stretch for 15-20 seconds.

4. Do 3 repetitions each leg, 2 times a day.

No. 4 Sitting Hamstring Stretch

1. Sitting on the ground, pull one foot in toward you. 

2. Extend the other leg away from your body. 

3. Gently reach toward your extended foot until you feel a gentle stretch.

4. Hold for 15-20 seconds.

5. Do 3 repetitions each leg, twice a day.

No. 5 Lying Quadriceps Stretch

1. Lay on one side.

2. Grab the ankle of your top leg.

3. Pull your ankle gently towards your buttocks.

4. When a stretch is felt, gently let your top knee come behind the bottom leg, if needed.

5. Do 3 repetitions, each leg, 2 times a day.

No. 6 Standing Lateral Flexion

1. Stand up straight, with your hands at your side.

2. Slide your palm down the outside of your leg until a stretch is felt.

3. Hold for 15-20 seconds.

4. Return to the starting position.

5. Do 5 repetitions, each side, 2 times a day.