5 Top Exercises to Increase Lower Back Flexibility

Ready to Increase Your Lower Back Flexibility with these 5 Top Moves?

Many of us (including me at times!) can have a tight and sometimes sore lower back.

When I first started Pilates more than 15 yrs ago I began because I was suffering from on-going lower back and adductor (inner thigh) pain from all my dancing.

Today, if I experience any aches or niggles I know it’s time to move, fit in another workout and do some stretches.

When looking to increase your lower back flexibility we must also look at your core strength and the strength and flexibility of your hamstrings and glutes (your butt!), if these muscles are tight and weak then you will most probably be suffering from a stiff and tight (and possible sore) lower back.

Read on for some great exercises to help build up your core and leg strength, increase your lower back flexibility.

  1. The Bridge

The Bridge helps to build the strength of your core, glutes and hamstrings which = LESS BACK PAIN!

Add it in to your workouts and try the single leg variation to really challenge your individual leg strength and stability.

Aim for 15-20 and increase the difficulty by repeating on a single leg.

  1. Four point kneel to Downward Dog

Stretching the back line of the body from the head to the feet helps to release tightness along the back fascia line (think of fascia like a sausage skin over your muscles).

This helps to reduce muscle tightness and create freer movement.

Start by kneeling on the floor with your shoulders under your hands and your knees under your hips.

Press back in to your feet, stretching your legs (picture above). Hold for 5- 10 seconds before returning to your knees.

Aim for 10.

3. Squat

Squatting helps to keep your glutes firing, your hips moving and your lower back flexible.

Add them in to your daily routine by adding in some extra sit to stands at your desk or doing a few in the kitchen on your tea break!

Aim to keep your weight even and your spine long (no tucking) as you bend. Draw in your core and push down through your heels as you stand.

Aim for 15.

Glute Stretch
  1. Glute Stretch

This another one of my faves and great for releasing tension in the lower back.

This can be done either lying down on you back (as shown above) or sitting in a chair.

It’s known as the Figure 4 Stretch as you are making a figure 4 with your legs.

Aim to hold the stretch on each side for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Childs Pose
  1. Child’s Pose

Restorative for both the mind and body, the child’s pose is a great way to release the whole spine and hips.

Start on your knees with your bottom on your heels. Gently lower your chest to the floor and creep your finger tips forward.

Relax your chest and breath as you hold for 1 minute.

Want to get a bit of a lat stretch too? 

Simple creep your 2 hands to one side and gently pull away.

Hold for 1 minute on each side.

Add these exercises and stretches in your daily routine and watch your lower back flexibility increase and pain decrease.

Always start small and if you have any pain consult your local health practitioner.

Kate Boyle is the owner and director of Mind and Movement Pilates in Melbourne, Australia.  She  has over 15yrs of expert experience in the health and movement field. Learn more about her here and connect with her on InstagramFacebook and LinkedIn.