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5 Stretches To Help Your Back

Stretching is one of the easiest and most important ways to help your body on a daily basis. Think of it as a necessity - a glass of water - for your muscles. You will gain energy, improve blood flow, and strengthen your body. Not to mention the pain relief you can receive by doing so!

Beginning and ending your day with stretching is what we recommend at Hands On Wellness.

Here are 5 stretches to do at any point in the day:

1. Child's Pose: This relaxing & restorative active stretch will help elongate the back and is a great de-stresser. Start on all fours with your arms stretched out straight in front of you, then sit back so your glutes (butt muscles) come to rest just above — but not touching — your heels. Hold the position for 5 to 10 breaths, and repeat as many times as needed for a good, soothing stretch.

2. Modified Cobra:

This stretch will help strengthen the spine along with open the chest, shoulders, and abdomen - it will also aid in digestion! Lie face down with your body fully extended. Bend your elbows and put your hands flat on the ground even with your chest. Gently press down on the floor to raise your head and upper body, keeping your pelvis flat on the floor. With your arms fully extended, hold this position for approximately 10 seconds. Repeat 4 or 5 times slowly.

3. Lumbar Rotation with Flexed Knees: If you have lower back pain, this stretch is for you! You will feel much more limber after doing this one.

Lay flat on back with both knees together and legs bent at a 90-degree angle (feet flat on the floor). Slowly rotate both knees in the same direction towards to ground without lifting your back or feet off the ground. Once you’ve reached a point of tension, hold the stretch for 10-20 seconds. Slowly return to the middle starting position and repeat on the opposite side.

4. Thread The Needle: Target your back and glutes with this stretch. You will be able to better touch your toes after! Lying on your back, bend both knees with the feet flat on the ground. Bend the right knee like a figure four, with the outer left ankle to the right thigh. Lift the left foot into the air, bringing the left calf parallel to the ground. Thread your right hand between the opening of the legs and interlace your hands behind your left thigh. Hold 2-3 minutes and then repeat on the other side.

5. Cat-Cow Stretch: This simple, yet effective stretch will help get your blood flowing and will increase flexibility of the spine. If you have sciatia, this is a great stretch for you! Begin with your hands and knees on the floor. Breathe in. On the exhale, round your spine up towards the ceiling, and imagine you're pulling your belly button up towards your spine while engaging your abs. On your inhale, arch your back, let your belly relax, and go loose. With regular adjustments and daily stretching, you will feel brand new!

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