The Best Stretches For WFH Lower Back Pain

In the cult classic movie Cats, there's a feline played by Rebel Wilson named JennyAnyDots. The kitten's main storyline is that she's lazy and all she does all day is sit. As I self-quarantined during the coronavirus pandemic, I started identifying with JAD more than ever before.

While working from home, I've been sitting a lot. When I write. When I watch Netflix. When I snack on dried cranberries and spoonfuls of peanut butter. All this extra sitting was getting to me — or rather, it was getting to my back, which recently started cramping in a new and slightly horrifying way.

"Sitting at a desk for eight to 10 hours a day amplifies the toll gravity takes on our spinal health," says Toni Melaas, a dancer and stretching expert at the hip New York City stretching studio Outer Reach. "This can lead to strains and spasms, pulls and tightness." The solution is to stretch more. Like, every day.

Melaas suggested a few key postures that do triple duty. They lengthen the spine, make space in the low back, and target areas that support the back, such as the abs, the outer hips, and the leg muscles. These had me feeling less like a lazy kitten and more like a human again in no time.

Pelvic Stability Side Stretch

Kneel on a pillow or cushy mat, sitting upright with your toes tucked.

Shift your weight to your left side, then unbend your right knee, stretching the leg diagonally in front of your hip. (Imagine the space between your legs as a piece of pie.) Flex your right foot.

Place your left hand behind your head and pull your left elbow up to point at the ceiling, creating a slight bend in your right side, while keeping your abs engaged and your spine long.

In this pose, take five to ten long breaths and think about lengthening your spine. Switch legs to repeat on the other side.

Figure Four Stretch At The Wall

Stand about two feet away from a wall, and gently place your left hand on it. Bend both knees, while dropping your butt back, as if you're about to sit in a chair. (Don't come down into a full squat though.)

Cross your right outer ankle onto your left thigh, above your bent knee. Then move your right hand on the wall and drop your bum a bit farther down and back. If you desire more stretch for your outer hip, walk your hands down the wall, keeping your pelvis back.

After a few breaths, walk your hands up the wall, place your right foot back on the floor, and straighten your legs. Repeat on the left side.

High Lunge At Wall

Stand upright with your back against a wall. Then step the right foot forward and bend your knee, aligning the right knee with the second toe of your right foot.

Lift your left heel and press it straight back into the wall behind you. Take care not to lock your back knee. Keep your front right knee bent forward and placed just behind the right ankle.

Engage your abs by drawing them in and up, and raise your hands as you extend your spine up and out of your hips. Drop your heel and breathe in to step your left foot forward before repeating on the second side

Dying Warrior

Start on all fours (in a tabletop position). Then sit down onto left hip, with your legs together and your knees bent. Lengthen your left leg out so it’s perpendicular to your body and the knee is unbent, pressing your baby toe into the floor. Extend your right leg straight back behind you, then rotate the leg so your right big toe presses into the floor. Your body should look like a capital T, with your left leg acting as the base.

Twist your torso to get into a sphynx position, facing forward with your elbows under your shoulders on the floor or on yoga blocks. Flex your left foot to stretch your hamstrings. Draw your belly in and up to extend your spine forward as if you are trying to lunge forward, carving your abs away from the bottom leg. Hug your shoulder blades in and down as you broaden your chest. Keep lengthening for 30 to 60 seconds, then switch sides.

Ankle to Knee Hip Opener

Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet parallel on the floor. Cross your right flexed foot over your left thigh, resting it just above the knee. Keep your low back in its neutral curve slightly away from the floor. Engage your core by hugging your belly to your spine, but don't press your
spine to the floor.

Keeping your right ankle on your left thigh, drop your left knee out to the left side, perhaps onto a pillow or, if it feels comfortable, the floor. Keep both feet flexed. Place your left hand under your right knee and press the right thigh more deeply into the right hip socket.

Keep your chest wide with your abs hugging into the spine. Hold this for 30 to 60 seconds. Breathe in as you move back to the starting position, then repeat on the other side.

Feel-Good Stretches To Loosen Your Hips

The Best Stretches For WFH Lower Back Pain The Best Stretches For WFH Lower Back Pain Reviewed by streakoggi on May 19, 2020 Rating: 5
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