This four-way stretch for hip and low back relief can alleviate the tension created by extended flights, days at the office, or even sitting through a three-hour movie in less-than-perfect theater seats. Any time you feel tension in your hips and low back that just won’t quit, give this stretching sequence a try.
The entire sequence only takes about six minutes to complete on both sides. Take a little time to care for yourself, and follow along with the video. Your lower back and hips will thank you.
How to Do the 4-way Hip and Low-back Stretch
- Lay down on your back, bend your knees to ninety degrees, and place your feet flat on the floor.
- Extend your arms out to your sides, hands resting on the floor palms up.
- Straighten your left knee, then raise your leg up to 45 degrees from the floor using the muscles of your hip. Your thighs should now be parallel.
- Flex your left foot and contract the muscles of your left thigh to straighten your knee completely.
- Relax your upper body. Arch your lower back slightly if you can.
- Continue to flex your left foot and contract your thigh muscles. Hold this position for 1 minute.
- Now raise your left leg up to as close to ninety degrees (perpendicular to the floor) as you can. Hold for 1 minute.
- Straighten your right knee and lay your right leg flat on the floor. Keep your left leg perpendicular to the floor.
- Rotate your left leg toward the right, across your body, while turning your head to your left. This will stretch your IT band.
- Flex both feet. Keep your left shoulder down on the mat or floor. Hold this stretch for 1 minute.
- Continuing to flex your feet and squeeze your thighs, rotate your left leg to the left, now stretching your inner thigh. This will be probably be the most challenging position so far, so be sure to take it easy, especially at first.
- Keep both hips on the floor as you stretch your left leg outward. Hold for 1 minute.
- Return to the starting position, then repeat the entire sequence with your right leg.