DISCLAIMER:

 

If you are experiencing specific or chronic pain, it is important to consult your doctor before adding any of these stretches or strengthening exercises to your daily routine.

Hamstring Stretch

 

--With feet hip-width apart, bend at the hips and drop your fingers to your toes

 

--Lift your tailbone to the sky.  Hold for 15-20 seconds, deepening the stretch with every exhale

 

--Do this stretch 3x resting for a moment in between

 

--Do sets of 3, 2-3 times a day

 

Why this stretch is helpful:  Stretching the hamstrings is helpful with back pain caused by a posterior pelvic tilt, which causes hamstrings to become shortened.  It is also helpful for tight hamstrings which can cause pain or discomfort.  This stretch elongates muscles and helps correct the pelvic imbalance.

Alternate Hamstring Stretch

 

--As an alternative stretch for the hamstrings, lie on your back on the floor, and place a strap, a belt, or even a rolled up towel around the arch of your foot  

 

--Keeping the bottom leg as flat as possible, pull your foot toward your chest.  Do not bend your knee.  Go as far as you can without discomfort, hold for 15-20 seconds, and see if you can pull your leg even closer

 

--If keeping your bottom leg flat is too difficult, go ahead and bend your knee, placing the sole of your foot on the ground.  Work toward extending that leg until it’s flat

 

--Hold for 15-20 seconds. Release and take a couple deep breaths, and then do again. Do sets of 3 up to 3 times daily

Knees to chest stretch

 

--To stretch out your lower back, curl your knees in to your chest

 

--Hold for 15-20 seconds. If you’re comfortable, you can rock back and forth, or from side to side to massage the muscles in the low back.  Do only what feels comfortable to you! (watch the video below for reference)

 

Why this stretch is helpful:  This stretches out the connective tissue around the lumbar sacrum area which can get tightened and glued down from sitting for long periods of time.  The rocking motion also helps massage the low back ad loosen ligaments and joints around the low back and hips.

Knee crossover stretch

 

--Lie on your back with your arms outstretched.  Bend your leg so your thigh is at a right angle to your body.  Then, twist so that your knee is facing one direction turning your head away

 

--Hold for 15 -20 seconds, and then switch sides

 

--You can do this 3-5 times on each side 1-3 times daily.

 

Why this stretch is helpful:  This stretches the low back and back of the hip.  The twisting of this posture also stretches the oblique muscles and the side of the neck and shoulder. This stretch is helpful for low back and hip pain and to do periodically throughout the day to interrupt repetitive posture imbalance from sitting or standing too long.

Using Tennis Balls

 

You can use one tennis ball, or two.  To use two, tie them in a sock.  Two are perfect for accessing the muscles on either side of the spine or the neck.

Hip work with tennis ball

 

You can also use a single tennis ball to relieve tension and tightness in your hips.  Simply place the ball where you feel it is needed.  Then, using your legs to support you, lower your hips until you feel the pressure you desire.

 

Why this technique is helpful:  This therapy helps break up adhesions in muscle fiber and connective tissue deep in the posterior hip.  Doing this regularly can help balance out pelvic distortions and help with low back and hip pain.

Psoas Stretch

 

--Step into a deep lunge making sure to keep your front knee at no more than a 90 degree angle.  You never want your knee to go over your toes

 

--Make sure your back knee is facing forward, and keep tension in your hips by tucking them under. Feel the stretch through the front of your abdomen and your upper thigh

 

--Hold for 15 – 20 seconds, then repeat on the other side

 

--Do this 3-5 times 1-3 times daily

 

Why this stretch is helpful:  When standing or sitting for long periods of time, this hipflexor gets shortened and tight and can cause pelvis dysfunction and imbalance. Releasing and stretching this muscle helps improve low back and hip pain and helps balance out the core.

Alternate Psoas Stretch

 

--Place one knee on a rolling stool or chair

 

--Keeping your hips tucked under, roll the chair back until you can feel the stretch through the front of your abdomen

 

--Hold for 15-20 second, then repeat on the other side 

Quad Stretch

 

--Using a wall or a chair for support if you need it, grasp your foot in one hand and pull it toward your sacrum.  Keep your hips stable and your abs tight

 

--Hold for 15-20 seconds

 

--Do this 3-5 times 1-3 times daily

 

Why this stretch is helpful:  Tight quads can contribute to musculoskeletal imbalance in the pelvis.  Loosening them, as well as iliopsoas and the low back, can help restore balance in the pelvis and improve low back and hip pain.

Quadratus Lumborum (QL) Stretch

 

Step one:  Kneel down and drop your hips to your feet, sinking as low as you can.  If you need to you can roll up a towel or use a yoga block to provide stability.  Reach away from your head with your arms, feeling a stretch along your spine.

 

Step two:  Keeping your arms outstretched, walk your hands first to one side and hold across the other wrist.  Lean your butt back into your heels for more of a stretch.  Hold 15-20 seconds and then repeat stretch on other side.

 

--When extending your arms out, you may also feel a stretch in your shoulders.

 

--For more advanced stretching/strengthening, make the rotation from side, center, side one fluid movement.

 

--Do this 3-5 times 1-3 times daily.

 

Why this stretch is helpful:  Stretching the low back helps stabilize the pelvis and helps improve low back and hip pain.  This muscle is the primary mover muscle of the low back, and it gets tight when sitting or standing for too long or can spasm when lifting or twisting.

QL Stretch (step 1)
QL Stretch (step 2)
QL Stretch (step 3)

Glute Lift

 

--Lay on your side

 

--Support your head with one arm bent and rest other arm along your side

 

--Bend your knees toward your chest comfortably

 

--Lift your top leg to allow about 18 inches of space between your knees and then lower back to knees touching

 

--Do 3 sets of 10 resting for a few moments in between

 

--You can do this 1-2 times a day for the best results

 

--Watch the YouTube video above for reference

 

Why this exercise is helpful:  The gluteus muscles are part of the core. Strengthening your glutes help stabilize the pelvis to improve posture by keeping the core strong and the body upright.

Leg Lift (Glute Strengthening)

 

--Lay on your side

 

--Support your head with one arm bent, and  rest other arm along your side

 

--Keep your legs straight 

 

--Lift your top leg to allow about 18 in of space between your knees and then lower back to knees touching

 

--Do 3 sets of 10 resting for a few moments in between

 

--You can do this 1-2 times a day for the best results

 

--Watch the YouTube video above for reference

 

Why this strengthening is helpful:  The gluteus muscles are part of the core.  Strengthening your glutes help stabilize the pelvis to improve posture by keeping the core strong and body upright. 

Clam/Reverse Clam (Glute Strengthening)

 

--Lay on your side

 

--Support your head with one arm bent and rest other arm along your side

 

--Bend your knees toward your chest comfortably

 

--Lift your top leg to allow about 12 inches of space between your knees

 

--Alternate lifting your ankle toward the ceiling and then your knee toward the ceiling slowly and in a controlled motion

 

--Do 3 sets of 10 resting for a few moments in between

 

--You can do this 1-2 times a day for the best results

 

--Watch the YouTube video above for reference

 

Why this exercise is helpful:  The gluteus muscles are part of the core. Strengthening your glutes help stabilize the pelvis to improve posture by keeping the core strong and body upright.

Pelvic Lifts

 

--Lay comfortably on back with knees bent, feet flat on floor and shoulder width apart

 

--Arms can rest comfortably along sides

 

--Slowly lift pelvis toward ceiling, then rest back to floor

 

--Do 1-3 sets of 10 daily

 

--Watch the YouTube video above for reference

 

Why this exercise is helpful:  This exercise helps strengthen core muscles and stabilize the pelvis.  Doing this regularly helps keep posture upright and helps with low back and hip pain and discomfort.

Pelvic Tilts

 

--Lay comfortably with knees bent, feet flat on floor and shoulder width apart

 

--Put arms behind head or comfortably along sides

 

--Slowly roll your pelvis to flatten back against floor and then release

 

--Do this in sets of 10 1-3 sets a day

 

--Watch the YouTube video above for reference

 

Why this exercise is helpful:  This exercise helps strengthen core muscles and stabilize the pelvis.  Doing this regularly helps keep posture upright and helps with low back and hip pain and discomfort. 

Reverse Crunch

 

--Lay on your back with your toes tucked under the edge of the couch or someone holding them down

 

--Slowly lift yourself by grabbing the back of your knees and pulling up

 

--Then slowly lower your torso back to floor

 

--Watch the YouTube video above for reference

 

*This crunch does not use hip flexors and isolates abs only

 

Why this exercise is helpful:  This exercise strengthens the ab muscles making the core stronger which helps stabilize the pelvis.  Doing this regularly can help get rid of low back and hip pain.

Movement Therapy

 

NOTE:  This technique is not a stretch or strengthening, but rather a movement therapy to gently mobilize a stiff back and hip joints.

 

--Lay on your back comfortably

 

--Bend knees to rest feet flat on floor, close together

 

--Stretch arms straight out on either side

 

--Simultaneously roll neck to look towards open palm while rolling knees in opposite direction (hand you are not looking at should be palm down)

 

--This should be a slow, steady and controlled movement

 

--You can do this for 5-15 minutes, 1-3 times daily

 

--Watch the YouTube video above for reference

 

Why this technique is helpful: Rounded posture, weak core, pelvic tilts, poor sleeping and more can cause low back and hip imbalance causing muscles to tighten and joints and ligaments to stiffen. This slow and controlled movement will help loosen ligaments and joints and improve movement, flexibility and blood flow to the lumbar sacrum area.

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