How to help loosen your lower and upper back using one combined stretch

February 15, 2021

How to help loosen your lower and upper back using one combined stretch: (Great for after the fun activity of shoveling yourself out of a snowstorm!)

Lauren Fournier, PT, DPT

  1. Start by laying on a yoga mat on the floor, on a carpet, or on your bed if it is not accessible for you to get up and down on the floor.
  2. Lay on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the ground about hip width apart.
  3. Lean your left knee on the front of the right shin and slide it down towards the right ankle allowing your body too slowly sink into the stretch. Make sure you don’t force anything, and if there is pain then don’t go as deep.
  4. To return to neutral, slide the left knee up the front of the right shin, and then repeat on the opposite side sliding the right knee down the front of the left shin.
  5. Repeat these steps two to three times on each side.
  6. Now add the upper body in my clasping each elbow with the opposite hand and raise your elbows above your shoulders creating a box.
  7. Now repeat the first steps by sliding the left knee on the right shin down to the right ankle, but this time allowing your elbows to shift over to the left (the opposite direction of the knees).
  8. Bring your elbows back to neutral as well as your legs so they meet in the middle, then switch to the opposite side so that your knees fall to the left and your elbows fall over to the right.
  9. You can take this a step further by allowing your head to follow in the direction of your knees while your elbows continue to go in the opposite direction. (Think about wringing out a towel).
  10. Once you completed an even amount on both sides, roll completely over to one side gently pushing up with your elbow and your hand to come to an upright position.


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