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5 Stretches Your Low Back Will Thank You For

MVI_0020.Still005- By Raney Okeson

We can all admit how difficult it can be getting out of bed in the morning. You may still feel drowsy or it may literally be hard for you to get out of bed because your back is already in pain. Amazingly, stretching can help! Yes, it seems stretching is my answer to everything but science helps me prove how helpful stretching can be. Stretching before you roll out of bed will not only relieve tension and stiffness but also help increase your circulation and awaken your body.

(All of these stretches can be done while still in bed!)

1. Knees to Chest: Lying on your back, gently pull your knees up towards your chest to feel a stretch in the low back. You can also do one knee at a time to focus more on the right or left side.

2. Figure 4 Stretch: Lying on your back, with your knees bent, cross one leg over the other knee. Gently pull the crossed leg toward you or allow the leg that is still placed on the ground to come up towards your chest pulling the crossed leg toward you. This stretch will be felt more in the hips.

3. Hip Crossovers: Lying on your back, keep your knees bent and together. Gently take the knees off to the side of your body to feel a stretch down the opposite side and in the low back. Slowly alternate from side to side to feel the muscles start to loosen as you continue.

4. Cobra Pose: Lying face down, bring your forearms up so that you are resting on your elbows. Gently raise your head and chest up extending your low back to feel the stretch.

5. Cat/Camel: On your hands and knees, gently tuck your hips under and raise the back into an arched up position to complete the cat pose. Next, press the hips back out and bring the head up to position the low back into an arched down position.

MVI_0020.Still006Now, you might be wondering “if I don’t have motivation to get up, how will I have motivation to stretch?” Keep in mind, this is going to help relieve tension and also awaken the body so you won’t feel as drowsy. So, if you tend to be a “Snooze Button Pusher” press it but don’t go back to sleep! Use those 5 minutes to stretch. Take 1 minute per stretch and when the alarm goes off again you should be ready to get up and start your day.
We also covered these stretches on this week’s FitBit so if you are interested in a demonstration head over and check it out!

– Raney Okeson