Lower back pain is one of the main issues many face in their daily lives. This can be caused by a variety of things like, the weight of the upper body, stress, stiffness from prolonged sitting, or injury. Knowing which stretches can help and even prevent lower back pain can make all the difference. Here’s ten of the best hip stretches to help you relieve your pain!
1. Child’s Pose
This yoga pose is not only restorative but it helps release your lower back. It opens up the hips which helps stretch the entire back and glutes. Many yogis refer to this pose during their practice when they need a little break.
If you have a job that requires a lot of sitting, take a few minute break out of your day (if appropriate) and relax into this pose. Hold for at least 30 seconds to 1 minute for your full back to release.
2. Runner’s Lunge
This is one of the best hip stretches to prevent lower back pain. Runner’s lunge helps open and stretch the hip flexors, which then helps to release your back tension. Drop down into this pose, with your back leg flat on the floor or lifted, and hold for up to one minute.
This easy stretch can be done anywhere: in an office, before a flight, in your home. The key is to press into your front leg and lean forward to really stretch your hip flexor. Be intuitive with your body and back off of the pose at any time you feel necessary.
3. Happy Baby
Happy baby is one of my favorite hip stretches! While laying on your back, bend your knees and grab the outside of your feet, gently pulling them down toward the ground. Keep your lower back pressed down on the floor to avoid arching, and keep your elbows on the inside of your knees.
Hold for at least one minute or as long as you like to feel the benefits of this pose. Happy baby is one of the best hip stretches in that it doesn’t require much effort but can generate much relief!
4. Supported Yogi Squat
Use a block with this one if there is too much tension on your back. This is another pose perfect for stretching your hips. It’s similar to Happy Baby, but you are in an upright position instead.
To accomplish this pose, squat down placing your bottom on a yoga block, (or book or pillow if you don’t have a block) and using your elbows to gently push your legs away from you. Hold for 30 seconds to a minute.
5. Wide Legged Forward Fold
Most of the time lower back pain is cause by tightness in the hamstrings, as the muscle runs the length of the leg and up into the lower back. Loosening up the hamstrings can prevent lower back tension and pain tremendously!
This is one of the best hip stretches you can incorporate into your daily stretches because it stretches nearly all of your lower body. It helps release your hips, glutes, lower and upper back, and hamstrings.
6. Seated Twist
As seated twists can be an incredible stretch to prevent back pain, if you’re not careful you can create more issues for your back. Poses that incorporate twists can sometimes put too much pressure on your lower back, so be mindful and only go as far as what’s comfortable for you.
It’s important to remember that even though you may not be as deep into a pose as the person in the picture, you need to respect what your body can do for you now. You will get there with time! This stretch, when done correctly, is great for releasing your deep glute muscles, your hips and lower back.
7. Pigeon Pose
This is the holy grail of hip poses! Pigeon pose is an extremely deep stretch for your hips so be gentle when coming into this pose. This pose is amazing for releasing your hips and lower back. If your hips don’t quite reach the floor, place a block or pillow underneath you to help relieve the tension.
There are many modifications to this pose that you can do if this option is too advanced, whether it’s reclined or seated. Make sure you breathe, it’s easy to hold your breath in this position!
8. Double Pigeon
Like pigeon pose, this intense pose will help loosen your hips and lower back. It may be difficult at first to get into this pose if you have extremely tight hips. Your top knee may pop up toward the ceiling but with constant practice, over time your leg will lower.
This pose is one of the best hip stretches because of its intensity but because you can modify it to fit your body as well. If your hips are uncomfortably tight you can place a block or pillow under your sitz bones to alleviate pressure.
9. Butterfly Pose
Butterfly pose is another soothing pose along the lines of child’s pose. It loosens tension built up in your lower back and releases your hips. Start by sitting with your legs straight in front of you, then bend them placing the soles of your feet together.
This may be enough of a stretch for you but if want to go deeper, pull your feet inwards and slowly fold over your feet. You’ll feel a stretch in your lower back as well as a deep stretch in your hips and outer glutes.
10. Seated Forward Fold
Like wide legged forward fold, this pose is one of the best hip stretches to release tightness in the hamstrings. You will also feel this in your lower back as you deepen into the stretch. Bend your knees if you need to, this will relieve tension in your back.
If it’s available to you, straighten your legs then lengthen your back and fold forward over your legs, grabbing onto the bottom of your feet. Don’t worry about how far you bend but focus on the stretch and only do what feels good for you.