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How do I stretch my low back?

Lay on your back on the ground, a carpet or a mat is optimal as a tiled pool deck, hard wood or concrete floor can be uncomfortable. Bend your knees 90 degrees and lift your legs off of the floor so there is a 90 degree bend in your hips and your knees. Keep your low back pressed to the ground so there is no space between the ground and the small of your back, this requires engaging the lower abdominal muscles. Using your arms interlock your hands behind your knees and pull your legs towards your chest. You should feel a stretch in your low back. You can rock slightly to give yourself a mini massage on the ground, but avoid rocking all the way up to a seated position. You can also isolate each side of your back by dropping your right leg extended to the ground, keeping hold of the left leg with the right arm and looking over the opposite shoulder. You will feel this stretch in the outside of your right hip. Come back to center and repeat on the other side. This will stretch the entire side of the body. Hold each stretch for ten seconds and repeat two times each side and three times in the middle prior to swimming.

   

Prone Back Extension

  1. Lie on your stomach.
  2. Prop yourself up on your elbows extending your back.
  3. Start straightening your elbows, further extending your back.
  4. Continue straightening your elbows until a gentle stretch is felt.
  5. Hold for 20-30 seconds.
  6. Return to the starting position.
  7. Repeat 9 more times.

Cat Stretch

  1. Get down on the floor on your hands and knees.
  2. Push your back up towards the ceiling (like a cat arching its back).
  3. Continue arching until you feel a gentle stretch in your back.
  4. Hold for 20-30 seconds.
  5. Return to the starting position.
  6. Repeat 9 more times.

Pelvic Tilt

  1. Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  2. Exhale and press the small of your back against the floor.
  3. Hold for 20-30 seconds.
  4. Return to the starting position.
  5. Repeat 9 more times.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.