Leg and back stretches to relieve pain and improve flexibility –

Back pain is a problem that affects millions of people around the world, especially those who engage in physically demanding activities such as weight training and bodybuilding. These conditions can range from mild to severe and often affect daily function and overall quality of life.


The causes of back pain vary, including muscle strain, lack of stretching, poor posture, and high demands on the body during exercise and other workouts.


There are many ways to combat back pain and improve mobility, but back stretches are one of the most preventative and effective. Research shows that stretching exercises, such as individually tailored yoga sessions, can relieve back and neck pain, thereby improving your quality of life. These stretches can relax tight muscles, improve flexibility, and provide better posture.

Let’s explore the different causes of pain so that you can learn more about their causes. Then, we’ll provide you with a series of leg and back stretches that you can incorporate into your workouts to prevent and relieve back pain and improve your mobility.



Back pain occurs when structures in the back, such as the muscles, ligaments, discs, or spine, become stressed, injured, or degenerate. The pain can range from a constant dull ache to a sudden, stabbing pain that affects mobility and daily activities. In addition to poor posture or sitting in the same position for long periods of time, there are six other common causes of back pain:



1. Degenerative Disc Disease


As we age, the discs in the spine naturally wear out and lose their cushioning ability. This degeneration can cause pain, instability, and decreased flexibility in the spine. Arthritis is the most common degenerative spine disease.


2. Pregnancy


During pregnancy, the growing fetus and enlarging uterus increase pressure on the spine and shift the body’s center of gravity, causing mechanical stress in the lower back that can cause pain.


3. Improper Lifting Technique


Lifting heavy objects with incorrect posture can put undue stress on the back muscles and spine. Many people lift weights with incorrect form, which can lead to back pain. This is especially common with deadlifts, squats , and overhead presses.



4. Overtraining


Exercising too much without adequate rest can lead to muscle fatigue and overuse injuries. The back muscles and spinal structures need time to recover between intense training sessions.


5. Muscle Imbalance


Overfocusing on certain muscle groups while neglecting others can lead to imbalances. For example, strong chest and abdominal muscles without equally strong back muscles can lead to poor form and tightness.


6. Poor Recovery Practices


Inadequate warm-up and cool-down routines, poor stretching, and neglecting flexibility exercises can lead to stiffness and injury. Proper recovery exercises help keep your muscles flexible and your joints healthy.






is important for maintaining flexibility, reducing muscle tightness, and relieving leg and back pain. Here are eight effective leg and back stretches that can relieve pain and improve mobility:

1. Cat-Cow Stretch


The Cat-Cow Stretch is a gentle yoga move that improves spinal flexibility and mobility while stretching the back, chest, and abdomen. It’s called “Cat-Cow” because it involves alternating between two poses that mimic the movements of these animals. How to Do It:


Start on your hands and knees with your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.


Keep your head in a neutral position and look at the floor.


Inhale and slowly draw your belly button toward your spine, tucking your tailbone in and pulling your chin toward your chest, with your head forward. This is the cat position.


Hold this pose for a few seconds, feeling the stretch in your back and chest.


Exhale and arch your back, allowing your abdomen to drop to the floor.


Gently bend your spine by lowering your head toward the floor and your tailbone toward the ceiling.


Switch smoothly between cat and cow poses, synchronizing the movements with your breath. Typically, spend about 3 to 5 seconds in each pose.


Repeat for 8 to 10 breaths.



2. Baby’s Pose


Baby’s Pose is a

yoga stretch that targets the lower back, hips, thighs, and ankles. It is a relaxing pose often used to relieve tension, gently stretch the lower back muscles when they are tight, and relax hip muscles that can cause pain if not stretched.  


 ( *)The stretch begins in Child’s Pose, lying on your hands and knees on a comfortable surface, such as a yoga mat. Your wrists should be directly under your shoulders. And your knees should be under your hips.

  1. Gently sit back onto your heels and reach your arms forward to touch the floor.
  1. Lower your chest toward the floor and rest your forehead on the floor. If your hips cannot reach your heels comfortably, you can place a pillow or folded blanket between your thighs and calves for support.


  1. Hold the position for 20-30 seconds, focusing on deep breathing.



3. Knee-Chest Stretch


The knee-chest stretch is a simple and effective exercise that targets the lower back, gluteal muscles, and hamstrings. It stretches tight back muscles, relieving tension and discomfort that, if not stretched, can cause pain and impair mobility. The exercise also improves flexibility and promotes relaxation.


How to do the knee-chest stretch:


  1. Lie on your back on a comfortable surface, such as a yoga mat or carpet.


  1. Straighten your legs and place your feet flat on the floor.


  1. Bend one knee, clasp your hands behind your thigh or underneath your knee, and pull them toward your chest.


  1. Press your bent knee together to move it closer to your chest. The other leg should remain stretched on the floor. You should feel a gentle stretch in your lower back, buttocks, and the back of the thigh (hamstring) of your bent leg.


  1. Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds, breathing deeply, then relax into the stretch.


  1. Release the bent leg and return it to the starting position.


     7. Bend the other knee and pull it toward your chest, repeating the stretch on the other side. ( *) (* ) You can do the knee-to-chest stretch several times per leg, depending on your comfort level and how long you can hold the stretch.

Although we are pulling the knees closer together, you should not press them too close to your chest, especially if you experience discomfort or pain. If you have a pre-existing knee injury or condition, use the stretcher gently and adjust as needed.



4. Pelvic Tilt Stretch


The pelvic tilt stretch is an effective

lower back exercise

that works the lower back, hip, and abdominal muscles. It improves flexibility, relieves tension in the lower back, and promotes proper pelvic alignment, which can prevent muscle pain. Here’s how:   Lie on your back on a comfortable surface, bend your knees, and place your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Let your arms hang relaxed at your sides with your palms facing down.


  1. Find a neutral spine position by leaving a small space between your lower back and the floor, creating a slight, natural curve in your lower back. Avoid over-arching your back or flattening it against the floor.


  1. Take a deep breath and as you exhale, draw your navel toward your spine and gently tighten your core muscles. This movement helps stabilize your pelvis and lower back throughout the exercise.


  1. Tilt your pelvis toward your navel and keep your lower back flat on the floor. You should feel a gentle stretch in your lower back and hip flexors.


  1. Hold the pelvic tilt position for 5-10 seconds while slightly contracting your abdominal muscles.


  1. Slowly release the pelvic tilt, allowing your lower back to return to a neutral position.


  1. Repeat the pelvic tilt stretch 8-10 times, focusing on smooth, controlled movements.



5. Seated Forward Bend


Seated forward bend, also known as Paschimottanasana in yoga, is a relaxing stretch that targets the back muscles,


and calves. It is a great way to relieve pain and improve flexibility while promoting relaxation and calm.  How to do it:


Sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you. Keep your spine straight and your legs together. If you have tight hamstrings or lower back problems, you can sit on a folded blanket or pillow and elevate your hips slightly.


  1. Bend at the waist and stretch your arms forward until you reach your toes. Depending on your flexibility, you can grab your calves, ankles or feet. Keep your back straight and avoid bending your spine.


  1. When you find your limit and feel a slight stretch in the back of your legs and spine, stop and breathe deeply. Stretch your spine further with each inhale.


  1. Hold the pose for 20-30 seconds.


  1. 6. Supine Twist Stretch


The Supine Twist, also called the supine twist or supine twist, is a yoga pose that stretches the lower back and hips. It can also improve metabolism, eliminate toxins, and relieve lower back pain. Here’s how to do it:


Lie on a comfortable surface with your legs fully extended to the floor.


  1. Extend your arms out to your sides in a T-shape with your shoulders creating a straight line.


  1. Bend your knees and pull them toward your chest.


  1. Keep your shoulders and palms flat on the floor while slowly lowering both knees to one side of your body. You should feel a slight stretch in your spine, outer hip, and hip on the side where your knees are hanging.


  1. Hold the pose for 20-30 seconds and slowly lower your knees back to center, returning to the starting position.


  1. Repeat on the other side.



7.  Bridge


Bridge is a yoga pose that strengthens the back, hip and thigh muscles while stretching the chest, neck and spine. It improves spinal flexibility, relieves back pain and energizes the body. How to do Bridge:


Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart.


  1. Bring your heels close to your hips so that your fingertips can lightly touch them.


  1. Press your lower back into the mat and tighten your core muscles.


  1. Push hard with your feet and lift your hips toward the ceiling. Tighten your glutes and hamstrings to assist with the lift. Your body should form a straight line from shoulders to knees.


  1. Hold this pose for 20-30 seconds.


  1. Gently lower your hips back to the mat.
  1. 8. Seated Hamstring Stretch


The Seated Hamstring Stretch exercise improves flexibility in the hamstrings (muscles in the back of the thigh). This stretch helps relieve tension and discomfort in the legs and lower back, which can have a positive effect on overall mobility and pain relief.  


How to properly perform the Seated Hamstring Stretch:


Sit on the floor with one leg straight out in front of you.


  1. Bend your other leg and place the sole of your foot on the inside of your outstretched leg. Your spine should be straight and your shoulders relaxed.


  1. Bend over and lean toward your outstretched leg to touch your toes, ankle, or shin, depending on your flexibility. It’s okay if you don’t get very far at first; the goal is to feel a gentle stretch in your hamstrings.


  1. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds.


  1. Slowly stand back up to the starting position and switch legs.




Incorporating leg and back stretches into your daily routine will effectively relieve pain and increase mobility. By regularly practicing


, such as cat-cow stretches, child’s pose, hamstring and spinal twists, you can improve your posture, reduce your risk of injury, and ease the discomfort of strenuous exercise. Perform these stretches regularly, focusing on proper form and breathing.    

If you have an existing injury or condition, consult your doctor before beginning a new stretching program.


Source link

Leave a Comment