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GENERAL INFORMATION ON
LOW BACK AND PELVIS STRETCHES

Note: Please consult with your Osteopath prior to commencing these exercises



BASIC


Low Back Decompression
Lie on your back with your knees and hips bent to 90 degrees and your heels resting on a chair. Completely relax your whole body and rest for 5-10 minutes.


Low Back Extension (Gentle)
Lie on your front resting on your forearms. Gently bring your head back and arch through your low back, hold for 3 seconds and then relax. Perform 10 repetitions, three times per day.
 

Low Back (Lumbar) Rotation
Lie on your back with your knees up (feet on the floor) and gently rock your knees side to side. Keep both feet on the floor at all times. Perform this exercise for 2-5 minutes, three times per day.


Standing Low Back Side Bend Stretch
Stand up straight and side bend your body by running 1 hand down the side of your leg, hold for 3 seconds, and then return to the start position. Repeat on the other side. Perform 10 repetitions, three times per day.


Standing Low Back Side Bend Stretch
Stand up straight and side bend your body by running one hand down the side of your leg and lift your opposite arm over your head, hold for 3 seconds, and then return to the start position. Repeat on the other side. Perform 10 repetitions, three times per day.


Standing Torso Rotation Stretch
Stand with your arms crossed. Twist your upper body in one direction and then the other. Try and keep your hips still whilst performing this exercise, hold for 3 seconds, and then return to the start position. Repeat on the other side. Perform 10 repetitions, three times per day.


Floor Back Stretch
Lie down flat on the floor and gently stretch your back by pushing your hands up and away and pointing your toes down and away, hold for 3 seconds, and then return to the start position. Repeat on the other side. Perform 10 repetitions, three times per day.


Low Back Extension (Lumbar Curve)
Lie on your back with your knees up (feet on the floor) with a rolled up towel under your low back and rest. The curve created by the towel will provide a local stretch and assist with creating an arch in your low back. Rest for 3-5 minutes. Perform 3 times per day>


Low Back (Lumbar) One Leg Lumbar Flexion Stretch
Lie flat on your back. Gently pull one leg up and wrap both your hands around your knee. Gently pull your knee towards your chest, hold for 3 seconds and then relax. You should feel a gentle pull in your back. Repeat on the other side. Perform 10 repetitions, three times per day.


Floor Flexion Stretch
Lie on the floor, bring your knees up and hold them with your hands. Gently pull your knees close to your chest (you should feel a stretch through your upper and lower back). You can gently lift your neck to increase the stretch. Perform 10 repetitions, three times per day.



Back Arch Stretch (Cat Stretch)
Start in a normal all fours position on the floor. Gently arch your back up as comfortable as permitted, hold for 3 seconds and then back down again. Perform 10 repetitions, three times per day.


Low Back (Lumbar) Rotation Stretch
Lie flat on your back with one arm out-stretched. Gently bend your knee and cross it over the other leg and gently twist through your low back, hold for 3 seconds and then relax. Perform 10 repetitions, three times per day.



Low Back (Lumbar) Rotation Stretch Both Arms and Legs
Lie flat on your back with both arms straight out together. Gently bend your knees up and twist your low back in one direction and then twist your upper back in the other direction with both hands, hold for 3 seconds and then return to the start position. Perform 10 repetitions, three times per day.


Low Back (Lumbar) Flexion Stretch/Standing Hamstring Stretch
Stand with your legs straight. Gently bend forward and reach for your toes as comfortably as possible, hold for 3 seconds, and then relax. Perform 10 repetitions, three times per day.


Low Back (Lumbar) Flexion Stretch/Floor Hamstring Stretch
Sit with your legs straight. Gently bend forward and reach for your toes as comfortably as possible, hold for 3 seconds, and then relax Perform 10 repetitions, three times per day.


SEATED

Seated Flexion Stretch
Ensure your legs are spread evenly apart and gently lean forward so you feel a stretch to your upper and lower back (Tuck your chin in for a stronger stretch), hold for 3 seconds and then relax. Perform 10 repetitions, three times per day.



Seated Side Bend Stretch
Whilst seated side bend your body by running one hand down the side of your chair and lift your opposite arm over your head, hold for 3 seconds and then relax. Perform 10 repetitions, three times per day.

Seated Twist Stretch Assisted
Whilst seated cross your arms over gently twist your torso as far as comfortable, hold for 3 seconds and then relax. Perform 10 repetitions, three times per day.

Seated Twist & Side-bend
Whilst seated gently twist your torso as far as comfortable, hold for 3 seconds and then twist to the opposite side and hold for 3 seconds. This can be enhanced by gripping a bar which rests over your shoulders. Perform 10 repetitions, three times per day.


Seated Figure 8 Stretch
Whilst seated with your hands behind your neck gently twist your torso and head and neck in the figure 8 motion. Perform 10 repetitions, three times per day.





INTERMEDIATE


Low Back Extension (Intermediate)
Lie on your front resting on your forearms. Gently bring your head back, lift your upper back with your elbows at right angles and arch through your low back, hold for 3 seconds and then return to the start position. Perform 10 repetitions, three times per day.

Low Back (Lumbar) Hip Flexion Floor Stretch
Sit on the floor with your knees bent under you. Gently bend forward and reach in front of you until you feel a stretch in your low back, hold for 3 seconds, and then relax. Perform 10 repetitions, three times per day.

Low Back (Lumbar) Crossed Leg Flexion Stretch
Sit on the floor with your legs crossed. Gently bend forward and reach in front of you until you feel a stretch in your low back, hold for 3 seconds, and then relax. Perform 10 repetitions, three times per day.


Low Back (Lumbar) Crossed Leg Flexion and Rotation Stretch
Sit on the floor with your legs crossed. Gently bend forward and reach forwards to one side in front of you until you feel a stretch in your low back, hold for 3 seconds, and then relax. Repeat to opposite side. Perform 10 repetitions, three times per day.

Low Back (Lumbar) Standing Local Extension Stretch
Stand with your hands supported on a bar at about the level between your shoulders and hips. Step back, keep your feet slightly apart, and bend forwards whilst arching your back and keeping your legs straight, hold for 3 seconds and then relax. Perform 10 repetitions, three times per day.


Hanging Back Extension & Side-Bending
Please perform the hanging exercise gently and ensure the place you are hanging from is stable and able to hold your weight. Always ensure your feet are touching the ground. Find a stable bar (an alternative is to use a doorway) and hang from your hands. Your toes should be pointed backwards or to the side and you should stretch with your hips gently pushing towards the wall, hold for 3 seconds and then relax. Perform 10 repetitions, three times per day. The other pictures display alternative ways to stretch without hanging.


 


ADVANCED


Low Back Extension (Advanced)
Lie on your front resting on your forearms. Gently bring your head back, lift your upper back with your elbows straight and arch through your low back, hold for 3 seconds, and then relax. Perform 10 repetitions, three times per day.

Low Back (Lumbar) Rotation with Legs Up (Flexion)
Lie on your back with your knees and hips bent to 90 degrees and gently rock your knees side to side. You can enhance this stretch by activation your core throughout the stretch. Perform this exercise for 1-3 minutes, three times per day.


FOAM ROLLER


Foam Roller/Rolled Up Towel Lower Back Stretch
(Lumbar Mobilisation)
Place a foam roller/rolled up towel under your low back and rest. Allow the weight of your pelvis and upper back create a gentle stretch through the vertebrae of your low back. Rest in this position for 2-5 minutes.


FIT BALL

Fit Ball Stretch
Gently lie on the ball with both feet firmly planted on the floor and then lean backwards. Rest in this position for 1-3 minutes.


Fit Ball Low Back Rotation Stretch (Straight Legs)
Lie on the floor with your feet resting on the fit ball. Gently rotate your feet side to side creating a rotation through your lumbar spine.
Perform this exercise for 2-5 minutes.

Fit Ball Low Back Rotation Stretch (Straight Legs)
Lie on the floor with your feet resting on the fit ball. Gently rotate your feet side to side creating a rotation through your lumbar spine. Perform this exercise for 2-5 minutes.

Fit Ball Lower and Upper Back Rotation Stretch
Lie on the fit ball with your knees bent feet on the floor and your arms stretched straight in front of you.
Gently rotate your torso by bring your arms to one side, hold for 3 seconds and then twist through to the other side and hold for 3 seconds. Perform 10 repetitions, three times per day.