If you have issues with a tight back, or pain in your lower back due to an injury or because you sit all day, give this stretch a try. It's similar to the Upper-Back Release and feels just as good, but it targets the lower part of your spine above the pelvis. If you don't have a block, use a foam roller, a rolled up yoga mat, or place a towel or blanket over a small stack of books (measuring four inches wide, six inches high, and nine inches long). Not only will you feel a release in your lower back, but you'll also gently stretch the front of your hips and abs, too.
To find out how to do this stretch,
- Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Place the six-inch-high block directly behind you, so it's pressed against your bum. Unlike with the Upper-Back Release, it should be perpendicular to your spine.
- Lean back and place your hands on the block so it doesn't slide away, centering the middle of your spine on the top of the block.
- Then arch all the way back, releasing your head down to the ground. Rest your hands on either side of your body.
- The block should feel comfortable so if any part is digging into you, make adjustments until it feels right. Then stay here for a minute or longer, allowing gravity to pull your shoulders towards the floor, deepening the stretch even more.
- Once you've had enough, press your hands into the ground and sit up.