Stretching Exercises for the Lower Back and Base of the Spine


It’s not uncommon for people to suffer from lower back and spine tightness because of the long hours they spend sitting. When your muscles are too tight, they can pull on your spine and adversely affect your posture, which in turn leads to back pain. When you’re doing stretches that target muscles around your spine, move slowly to reduce the risk of injury. Get into a position where you feel a mild stretch and then hold that position for 30 seconds.

Things You'll Need

  • Exercise mat
  • Chair
  • Perform the cat stretch. Get on your hands and knees on an exercise mat. Position your hands directly underneath your shoulders and line up your knees
    directly underneath your hips. Push your stomach up to arch your back while simultaneously dropping your head and pelvis. Return to the starting position and then push your stomach toward the floor while simultaneously lifting your head and pelvis toward the ceiling.

  • Do the knee to chest stretch. Lie on your back on the exercise mat. Bend your knees and set your feet flat on the floor. Bring one knee towards your torso and grip your knee with both hands, pulling it into your chest. Hold the stretch and then switch legs. Next, do both legs together, bringing them both up off the floor and pulling them into your chest.

  • Do the lying hip rotation stretch. Lie on your back on an exercise mat with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Spread your arms out to your sides. From this position, slowly rotate your hips to the left so that you drop your knees to the floor to the left of you. Hold this stretch and then return your legs to center. Switch sides and rotate to the right.

  • Perform the seated hip rotation stretch. Sit in a chair with your knees bent to 90 degrees and your feet flat on the floor. Cross your left leg over your right leg. Twist your hips to the left and place your right elbow against the side of your left knee. Push your elbow against the knee to the right as you simultaneously twist your hips to the left. Hold this position and then switch sides.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do these stretches at least once per day, but for more significant results, do them several times daily.
  • If you have previously injured your lower back or spine, visit a medical professional before beginning a flexibility or exercise program.

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