Smarter Stretch Studio

Relieve A Stiff Lower Back With 3 Unusual Stretches

Having a stiff lower back is annoying to say the least. It has a nasty habit of making you feel old!!!

And no one wants to feel old… Even if you are 🙂

So in this article I am going to teach you how to do 3 unusual stretches to relieve a stiff lower back.

You might not have seen them before, but if you do them regularly, I guarantee you’ll love the results.

When you are stretching to reduce lower back stiffness, it’s really important to keep in mind why your back is tight in the first place.

Lower back stiffness is your brain’s way of trying to protect you. The stiffness is there for a reason. So when you stretch, make sure that you don’t overdo things or it will result in more stiffness further down the road.

You’ve probably already experienced this, if you have done direct lower back stretches before.

They feel good at the time, more often that not,  you wake up the next day feeling as stiff, if not more stiff than the day before.

If this happens, it means is you pushed it too far and went against your brain’s wishes.

Remember, the stiffness is there for a reason. It’s your brain’s way of telling you something is wrong.

So instead of trying to force a stretch into your lower back, you should focus on reducing mechanical tension by making sure the areas above and below the lower back are moving properly.

If your upper back & neck are moving well and your hips are moving well, then your lower back doesn’t have to deal with as much strain.

This means your brain is less likely to feel the need to create stiffness.

And the end result, is a back that feels better all the time.

Ok one last thing before we get to the stretches. It is absolutely vital that you do not experience pain during your stretches.

I’ll say that again…

Do not push through pain when you are stretching. If a stretch hurts, what you are actually doing is grooving a pain pathway, and this is something you don’t want to do.

So with that being said, here are the stretches.

Unusual Stretch 1

The first stretch is going to focus on your neck. Most people have a forward head posture and a head that is tilted back. So you want to stretch the neck out and make sure all the vertebrae are moving properly.

Watch this video….

Notice how Richard wasn’t holding the stretch for very long, just a second or so. Because the secondary aim here is actually to stimulate movement receptors in the joints of the neck.

When you stimulate the movement receptors it sends good information back to your brain, which makes your brain feel safe, so it can start to relax your lower back.

Unusual Stretch 2

The second stretch you should do is actually for the internal rotators of your hips.

When your hips can’t internally rotate, it puts a tremendous about on mechanical stress on your lower back.

Here it is…

When you do this stretch, try to keep your spine as still as possible. And once again, just get a gentle stretch for a second or so, then move out of it.

For most people, holding stretches for too long is a big mistake, so keep it short and gentle and ideally in time with your breathing. You are trying to educate your nervous system so it feels happy and safe.

Ok, so now lets move on to the final stretch in the sequence.

Unusual Stretch 3

This is my favourite stretch to relieve a stiff lower back. It works by reducing the mechanical stress, but there is also a neurological reason it works so well.

Most people spend too much time sitting, which leads to problems with posture and the upper spine doesn’t move well. Having a thoracic spine that moves well is also important for optimal breathing.

So lightly stretching it out and getting the joints moving is really important.

You can do these stretches on their own, but the best way to do them is in sequence.

It’s also a great idea to do them several times per day.

Lets face it, if there is one thing that is better than being able to relieve your stiff back, it’s stopping it from becoming stiff in the first place!!

Give yourself a challenge. For the next week do these 3 unusual stretches 3-5 times per day and see how your back feels.

You will probably like what happens!



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