Lower Back

Targeted Muscles: Lower back
Talk to Your Doctor: If you've had hip or back surgery, talk with your doctor before trying this stretch.
This exercise stretches the muscles of your lower back. If you've had hip or back surgery, talk with your doctor before trying this stretch.
  1. Lie on your back with your legs together, knees bent, and feet flat on the floor. Try to keep both arms and shoulders flat on the floor throughout the stretch.
  2. Keeping knees bent and together, slowly lower both legs to one side as far as you comfortably can.
  3. Hold position for 10-30 seconds.
  4. Bring legs back up slowly and repeat toward other side.
  5. Continue alternating sides for at least 3-5 times on each side.

Safety

  • Avoid “locking” your joints. Straighten your arms and legs when you stretch them, but don’t hold them tightly in a straight position. Always keep them slightly bent while stretching.

  • Always stretch with a smooth, steady movement. Don’t jerk or bounce into the stretch; it may cause injury.

  • A mild pulling feeling while you are stretching is normal. If you feel sharp or stabbing pain or joint pain, you’re stretching too far. Reduce the stretch so it doesn’t hurt.

  • Always remember to breathe normally while holding a stretch.

  • Always warm up before stretching exercises. Stretching your muscles before they are warmed up can result in injury. If you are doing only stretching exercises, warm up with a few minutes of easy walking first. If you are doing endurance or strength exercises, stretch after, not before.

  • If you’ve had hip or back surgery, talk with your doctor before doing lower-back flexibility exercises.