Easy Back Stretches

A study at the University of Alberta Hospital in Canada tested the spinal strain of 22 healthy adults in three sitting positions: leaning forward, upright and leaning back. The study found that sitting in a reclined position puts the least amount of stress on the back. Regular stretching keeps your back flexible and healthy and is especially important if you spend long hours sitting upright at a desk.

Seated Spinal Twist

The seated spinal twist, taken from the practice of yoga, stretches the lower back. Sit on the floor with your right leg bent and your knee and right foot resting underneath your left glute. Cross your left leg over your left thigh with your knee pointed toward the ceiling. Hug your left knee with your right arm, while supporting your body with your left palm on the floor. Twist to the left as far as you can and hold for several seconds.

Seated Back Roll

Seated back rolls stretch your lower back and your neck at the same time. Sit in a chair and lower your head, pulling your chin toward your chest. Pull in your abdomen and push your pelvis toward the back of the chair, rounding your back. Raise your head and look toward the ceiling while pushing your pelvis out and squeezing your shoulders together. Repeat several times.

Knee Hug

When your hamstring muscles along the backs of your legs tighten, you may experience lower back pain, says the Stretching Institute. The knee hug stretches your back and hamstrings to alleviate current back pain and loosen the hamstrings to prevent further discomfort. Lie on the floor with your knees bent and drawn toward your chest. Wrap your arms around your shins and pull your knees in. Pull your chin toward your knees to round your back. Hold for 30 seconds.

Lower Back Bridge

The lower back bridge stretches your quads while stretching and strengthening your lower back muscles. Lie on your back with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle and your feet flat on the floor. Lift your hips off the floor until your upper legs and back form a straight line. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat several times.

Child’s Pose

Another stretch borrowed from yoga, the child’s pose stretches out your lower back. Kneel on the floor and walk your hands out in front of you. Sit on your heels and lower your chin toward your chest. Relax your arms and shoulders while you stretch your spine. To increase the stretch, bring your arms back to rest next to your feet and relax.

About this Author

Lydia Stephens began writing professionally in 2009. She has written online for Nile Guides, SheKnows.com and various other websites and has been published in “Stringing Magazine” and “Xiamen Wave.” Stephens played competitive soccer for 19 years, has been weight lifting since 2007 and enjoys running, biking and sailing. She has a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from the University of Texas.