This easy fitness routine is designed to loosen up your muscles and joints and strengthen smaller muscles commonly neglected to release tension and relieve pain. Back pain is something you probably have dealt with in the past or possibly experiencing in the present. However, try this simple routine and it might improve your situation.
Lower Back Symptoms
Lower back pain can be a symptom of a number of reasons. For example, some more severe like a recent injury, a long-tenured injury which developed over time like herniated discs, sciatica, or damaged muscles.
However, some of the common culprits to lower back pain are tight muscles, muscular imbalances, or strains from improper lifting or exercise. In this case, you can reduce your lower back pain by relieving tension in your tight muscles or strengthening areas of your body to balance your muscular system.
One of the most common reasons for a tight lower back resulting in discomfort or pain is tight hamstrings. Your body is a connected system and when your hamstrings are tight, they tend to pull on their neighboring muscle group, your lower back. Therefore, one step to combat your lower back pain is to stretch your hamstrings. When your hamstrings are lengthened, they release tension from your lower back.
Picture your lower hamstrings. When they are tight, they pull on your lower back. Your lower back has no choice but to compensate by being pulled out of its normal position increasing tension on your muscles and spine. Tension begins to pull on your skeletal structure making your muscles tight and your skeletal structure can become misaligned. The result, pain and discomfort in your lower back.
Moving on from your hamstrings we come to our hips. Once again, when one area of your body is tight the rest of your body can be pulled out of alignment to compensate. This misalignment can be a major factor in your discomfort. Therefore, loosening your hips and surrounding muscles can relieve tension in your lower back.
With time stretching and loosening your muscles helps them to release tension and become more flexible. This can be the fix to your pain. However, this can only be a temporary fix if the reason for the tension and pain is caused by a muscular imbalance.
For me, I know my gluteus medius (side of butt) can be the culprit for discomfort and pain in my lower back. Our smaller muscles sometimes are forgotten during our routines or are not adequately exercised in our daily lives. Therefore, when I experience lower back tension and discomfort, I aim to strengthen my gluteus medius. In correlation, my back pain is improved and my likely hood of it returning is reduced. Underdeveloped glutes are a common reality for many of us and routinely strengthening them can result in reduced or eliminated lower back pain.
Simple Routine to Release Tension and Relieve Lower Back Pain
Start slow and listen to your body as you progress with intensity. The sequence is designed to warm up and prepare your muscles to build on as the sequence progresses. The longer you maintain a stretch the more effective it will be at releasing tension. Therefore, for this routine, you will be holding each stretch for 30 seconds. Breathing is very important throughout this sequence.
Breathing helps to keep us calm and send oxygen to our muscles allowing them to recover and respond to your efforts. Aim for inhaling for a slow consistent 3 seconds and then exhaling for a slow consistent 4 seconds. If this becomes easy try to increase the ratio I.E. 4-5, 5-6, and so on.
In this embryo pose, you are focusing on relaxing your body and specifically your lower lumbar. You can imagine the tighter a muscle is the more reluctant it will be to release the tension it holds. Place your shins flat on the ground and sit back on your heels. Place your arms on the ground and slowly lower your forehead to touch the ground. When you have reached your forehead to the ground relax and place your arms by your side.
Let gravity do the work for you by slightly rounding your lower back. Begin to loosen and let go of tension preparing you for the next stretch in the sequence. Remember to breathe during this simple routine to release tension and relieve lower back pain.
Cat / Cow Pose
Position yourself in the tabletop position by kneeling on both legs. Walk your hands out until they are directly under your shoulders. Place your weight equally on your knees and two hands in front of your body. As you inhale, lift your head up and arch your lower back for a cow pose. When you exhale, draw your belly up and round your back as you bring your chin near your chest for a cat pose. Focus on slow intentional movements with deep breathing during this simple routine to release tension and relieve lower back pain.
Seated Hamstring Stretch
Now that you are slightly more relaxed, your hamstrings will be more willing to let go and loosen up. Have a seat on the ground with one leg straight in front of you and the other foot tucked against your opposite inner thigh. The reason you tuck your opposite leg is to ensure your opposite leg is relatively relaxed and not compromising your stretch by your opposite limb being tense.
Place your ISO-BOW over the ball of your outstretched foot and hold the other handle. Keep your back as straight as possible and hinge toward your foot. Ensure you repeat for your opposite side. Focus on slow intentional movements with deep breathing during this simple routine to release tension and relieve lower back pain.
Lying Down Hamstring
Place your ISO-BOW over the ball of your foot, keep your targeted leg extended as you lie down. Once again relax your opposite leg by bending your knee and placing your foot on the ground in a comfortable position. Keep your targeted leg extended and pull your foot towards your head until you feel your desired stretch. Hold this for 30 seconds with deep concentrated breaths. Focus on slow intentional movements with deep breathing during this simple routine to release tension and relieve lower back pain.
Hamstring and Gluteus Medius
Keep your leg in the air, extend your opposite leg, and lift your head and upper body towards your targeted leg’s knee. You should feel more of a stretch in the side of your butt and lower back. Focus on slow intentional movements with deep breathing during this simple routine to release tension and relieve lower back pain.
Inner Thigh and Groin
Slowly lower your targeted leg to the side while keeping your leg straight with your knee slightly bent. Once you lower your leg pull your leg towards your head until you feel your desired stretch. Breathe deeply and try to relax your stretched leg as much as possible during this simple routine to release tension and relieve lower back pain.
Outer Thigh, IT Bands, and Hip/Glutes
Slowly bring your leg back to the sky and switch hands holding your ISO-BOW. Slow and controlled, lower your leg across your body. Once again pull your leg towards your head until you feel your desired stretch. Focus on slow intentional movements with deep breathing during this simple routine to release tension and relieve lower back pain.
Repeat sequence for your opposite side.
Side Leg Raises
The side leg raises are intended to strengthen common weaknesses to reduce the risk of your tension and pain coming back. This exercise focuses on your gluteus medius or side of your butt. Lie on your side. Position your top leg slightly behind your bottom leg and point your toes down actively engaging your foot. This will help to ensure you are activating the gluteus medius muscles and limiting the amount your quads and other muscles are helping.
Raise your top leg as high as you can with intentional flexation. Ensure you perform this exercise for both sides. Focus on slow intentional movements with deep breathing during this simple routine to release tension and relieve lower back pain.
With enough repetition you should be able to lengthen, stretch, and release tension in your body to relieve lower back pain and improve your daily performance. Start this simple routine or mix it in with your current routines.
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*Always consult your physician before engaging in physical activity.