The summer weather has everyone flocking outside for fun in the sun. Unfortunately, all that running around can sometimes have people waking up with a sore back. Elisa Jacobo, Certified Personal Trainer and General Manager of Trophy Fitness Club Addison, and Owner and Operator of PWP Training, has provided a few stretches to help alleviate the pain.
“We ask a lot of our bodies daily,” explains Jacobo. “Whether were seated behind a desk for hours at time, in our yard pulling weeds and planting flowers or lifting our munchkins in and out of bathtubs and car seats. Our muscles are going out of movements every day that they’re not prepared to do. Our lower back then almost always takes the brunt of surrounding tight muscles.”
1. Single/Double Knee to Chest Stretch
Before you jump out of bed in the morning, lay on your back, take a deep breath and with your hand behind one knee pull your leg to your chest and exhale slowly. Keep your opposite leg straight and do not allow the toes to rotate outward. Repeat on each side ten times. If you can, pull both legs to chest and hug for five slow deep, breaths. Jacobo says this stretch allows the lower back to relax and decompress for a moment before starting our day.
2. Piriformis Stretch
Sit up straight in your chair with one foot planted firmly on the ground. Bring that opposite foot to rest on top of the planted knee. Push your chest out and hips back at the same time, slowly leaning your torso forward. Keep one hand on each knee to help support the movement. Hold for twenty to thirty seconds then switch legs.
Jacobo recommends doing this stretch daily, as these muscles are pulled a lot throughout the day while we sit and move.
3. Lat (Latisimus Dorsi) Stretch
This stretch looks a lot like the Child’s pose in yoga, but can also be modified to a standing position. Kneel with your forearms in front of you on the floor, lengthen your arms alongside your ears, reach your hands as far forward as possible until you feel a stretch along the sides of your chest. In the standing modification, face the wall and reach the hands as far forward as possible while slowly backing away from the wall until you feel a stretch along the sides of your chest and to the outside of your upper back. Remember to breathe and try to not shrug. Hold for twenty to thirty seconds.’
“All stretches should be completed slowly and modified to meet everyone’s individual flexibility needs,” Jacobo says. “Tight muscles are weak muscles. Stretching is just one way to contribute toward a stronger lower back. Strengthening these muscles and surrounding tight muscles comes with corrective movements patterns in proper form. Posture is everything, and the main thing our training staff focuses on here at Trophy Fitness Club.”
Don’t let back pain keep you from enjoying your summer–stretch and get back outside