My Lower Back Stretching Routine

Stretching, hmmm, what can I say???

Well, it’s one of those most neglected activities I find myself avoiding these days especially since having kids.

It takes up too much time, it’s boring and it can be a damn right struggle if I’ve not stretched key muscle groups for a few days especially after a couple of gym workouts.

Over the years I’ve learnt a lot of about stretching and I now put stretching exercises into the following 3 groups:

1 - Stretches I performed during injury/rehabilitation
  • Child Pose Stretch
  • Knee Rotation
  • The Bridge
2 - Stretches I perform following a gym workout
  • Knees To Chest
  • Knee Rotation
  • Gentle Cobra Stretch
3 - Gentle Stretches I Perform Daily For General Flexibility
  • Child Pose Stretch
  • Knee Rotation
  • Knees To Chest

How Long To Hold The Stretch

Stretches you should perform during rehab are slightly different to those you would perform after a gym workout. Performing the incorrect stretches during a recovery period following a back injury could set you back and prolong your recovery.

If you have been given stretches to perform during rehab then please take care and only stretch lightly…

Types Of Stretches

Lets go through each of the stretches I perform and explain how these are done…

Child Pose Stretch


The child pose is a common yoga pose which gently stretches out the muscles surrounding your lower back. This is a particularly effective when your lower back is feeling tight as they are most likely contracted from either an injury or lack of stretching / pro longed sitting daily.

To do the child pose, start with your hands and knees resting on the floor, with your hands under your shoulders and your knees bent under your hips.

Slowly reach out directly in front of you by extending your arms while keeping your palms flat on the floor. Try resting your hips on top of your heels while performing this motion. Keep your head and chest down while extending out and relax.

Don’t over stretch, the aim is NOT to be able to rest your head on the floor. Stretch out until you feel comfortable and hold for !0-30 seconds and repeat a few times.

Knee Sways

See below for a great video explaining this:

Bridge Exercise

The bridge exercise is a great way stretch the muscle around your butt and lower back. These are commonly prescribed during recovery phase following an injury to get these key muscles working again:


Knees to Chest

This a common one I perform after a gym workout or day to day after sitting down all day.  Its a great way to stretch the lower back, hamstrings and glutes all in one motion and provides much needed flexibility in the lower back region due to tight hamstrings.

The exercise is also given during rehab phase, though I would perform very gently depending on how tight your hamstrings have become following an injury.

To perform the knee to chest exercise, first lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Bring one knee towards your chest and gently hold this pose. If your hamstrings are tight don’t over push this or force the stretch as you could cause yourself some pain or injury. Hold for around 10-20 seconds and return.

Do the same with there opposite leg.

Gentle Cobra Stretch

The Cobra Stretch, also known as the back bend can be a  great stretch if suffering from disc problems. When I was recovering from my herniated disc, my PT subscribed me with the cobra stretch which brought relief when performed gently.

What do I mean by gently? Check out the below video where I can explain it better:

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