Looking for a new stretch that targets your lower back? Here’s one that uses a partner to lengthen all the muscles — from your shoulders down through your spine. This exercise is not recommended if you have serious back problems.
- Stand approximately two feet from your partner, facing each other.
- Firmly grasp your partner’s hands or wrists.
- Place your feet shoulder width apart, toes turned slightly out, knees slightly bent.
- Lean back a little, keeping your shoulders relaxed and dropped, and allow your head and neck to fall gently toward your chest.
- Pull back and continue to sink lower by bending at the knees while your partner provides counterbalance.
- At the same time, round your upper back, with your head between your arms. Your knees should be directly above your ankles and your shoulders relaxed, so you feel as though you are hanging.
- Continue to lower yourself as far as you comfortably can without going all the way down. Hold for 20 seconds.
- Keeping your arms straight and head down, push up slowly with your legs to the upright position without locking your knees. Repeat three times.
- If a partner is not available, you can use a doorframe for support.
Additional Points to Remember
- Perform this exercise in a slow, controlled manner.
- Maintain normal breathing and stop if the exercise causes pain.
- Always perform the movement when your muscles are warm, such as after a cardiovascular/aerobic routine or warm shower.
- As with all exercises, this movement may not be appropriate for people with certain physical limitations. If you are not sure, check with your physician first.