The Best Stretch For A Tight Lower Back
Every now and then, even I forget about the little things until they start to make themselves known.
About two months ago, I spent around 4 days in a row sitting at the computer for much longer than normal since I was creating apparel designs & updating websites.
My training schedule & intensity didn't change during this time either.
So around day 3, I went into the gym for a leg day. I warmed up and started my first heavy working set.
I believe I did 8 reps this night...
The first 7 felt perfectly fine.
On rep 8, I felt my right lower back twinge as I drove out of the hole. I re-racked the weight and collected myself for a moment.
Then I leaned over to grab my water bottle, and felt my lower back tighten up in pain, radiating down into my right hip.
I train smart and don't push through bad types of pain when it's unnecessary, so I tried a few bodyweight squats. It felt the same way each rep.
Squats were now over.
I swapped to machines for the rest of the workout so I could get SOME work in, and then cut the session short. I wasn't sure why it was an "off night."
And then the next day it hit me.
No wonder my back locked up.
I was sitting for much longer than normal, and had done zero corrective stretches over the past few days. My hip flexors were causing tension in my lower back, from being in a flexed position in a chair all day. And when I added too much load, everything locked up trying to protect itself.
I immediately went to work with a particular stretch, and solved my back & hip pain within 2 days or so. And then my lifting went back to normal.
That stretch... is called the "couch stretch."
This video gives a good demonstration, as well as some modifications.
This stretch is fantastic for hitting the hip flexors, which are notorious for placing tension in the lower back. It's also great to stretch out your knees.
I perform this stretch any time I start to feel additional tension in my hip flexors or lower back.
And I highly recommend you add it to your routine as well, especially if you experience pain in these areas. If so, perform it a few times daily until you see results.
Let me know if it helps.
Hope you're having a wonderful holiday weekend,
Spartan Training & Coaching
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