A pelvic tilt exercise strengthens your support muscles of the spine and the abdominal muscles. This is one of the first stretches you can use to help with low back pain.
- It is done by lying on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the ground. You will notice a natural curve in the small of your back.
- Tighten your stomach muscles and press the small of your back into the ground by slight rocking your hips up and towards your head. Imagine that you are pressing your belly button into the ground. Hold for 5-10 seconds.
- Then reverse the movement and create the arch in the small of your back and hold for 5-10 seconds. Do 5-10 to sets.
A bridge exercise isolates and strengthens your gluteus (butt) muscles — the gluteus maximus, medius and minimus — and hamstrings, which are the main muscles that make up the posterior chain. This is a great "next step" when the pelvic tilt because natural and easy for you.
- Lying on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the ground. You will notice a natural curve in the small of your back.
- Tighten your stomach muscles and press the small of your back into the ground by slight rocking your hips up and towards your head. Imagine that you are pressing your belly button into the ground.
- Now slowly raise your hips to create a straight line from your knees to shoulders. Make sure to keep your core and glutes tight. Hold for 20-30 seconds.
- Relax and return to your starting position. Repeat 5-10 times
Piriformis stretch is a hip stretch that can help loosen up the piriformis which many times can lead to sciatic pain (pain in the back of the glute and into the leg).
- Lying on your back, bend your right knee and place your right foot flat on the ground.
- Place your left ankle on your right knee creating a figure 4 like pattern of your left leg.
- Gently place your left hand on your left knee and press down. Slowly stretching the hip.
- For a full stretch in the piriformis, reach behind the right knee and slowly pull the knees towards your chest. Hold for 20-30 seconds.
hip flexor stretch
Hip flexor stretch is a hip stretch and stability pose. It stretches the hip flexors and groin. It is a great stretch after you have been sitting all day.
- Kneel on your left knee and place your right foot in front of you and place your hands on your right knee for stability.
- Lean forwards to shift more weight onto the front leg. This will stretch your left hip. Hold for 20-30 seconds.
- Try to keep your chest up so you can get a good stretch.
- Sometimes it is helpful to put your left hand on your left hip to keep your hips from opening up.
- You can take this into a deeper psoas stretch by dropping down into the ground.
- Switch legs and repeat the stretch on the opposite side.