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Stretches to Relieve Lower Back Pain and Open Tight Hips

Ease Tension in Your Hips and Back in Just 4 Minutes

If you have the ever-popular office job that involves sitting at a desk for eight hours a day, it can wreak havoc on your body, creating tight hips and lower back pain. Many stretches for your hips also stretch out your lower back, so these poses are like two for the price of one. It will only take about four minutes, but that's all you'll need to ease tension.


  • Sit on the floor, bend both knees, and bring your feet together. Using your hands, open your feet up like a book, pressing your knees toward the floor with your elbows. If you want more of a stretch, extend your arms out in front of you.
  • Stay here for five breaths (about 30 seconds).

Half Happy Baby

  • Lie flat on your back. Bend the left knee and hold onto the outside edge of your flexed foot with your left hand. Keep your left arm on the outside of your leg.
  • Gently use your upper body strength to press the left knee to the floor below your armpit. Try not to tense your shoulder or chest, but keep everything relaxed.
  • Stay like this for five deep breaths, and then switch legs.
  • Then do both legs together for another five breaths.


  • Sit with your right knee bent and your left leg extended straight behind you. If your hips are flexible, inch your right foot away from you. Make sure your left hip is always pointing down toward the mat. If it begins to open up toward the ceiling, draw your right foot back in toward your body.
  • Rest your hands on your hips or walk your hands out in front of you, allowing your torso to rest over your right knee.
  • Hold here for five breaths, and then repeat Pigeon on the left side.

Double Pigeon

  • Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Bend your right knee and place your knee, shin, and foot on the floor so they're parallel with your pelvis. Bend your left knee and place it on top so your knees, shins, and ankles are stacked. You'll know you're doing it right when you gaze down and see that your legs make a little triangle.
  • To make this pose more intense, place your hands in front of your shins and walk them out as far as you can, folding your chest toward your legs.
  • Stay here for five breaths, slowly release, and then switch legs so your right knee is on top.
semihealthnut semihealthnut 3 years

Great tips! I love that one is called a half-happy baby!

coolynch78 coolynch78 3 years
Wow! Thanks for this great post. I tried each of these stretches and I feel great. Again, thank you so much.
Kim-André15149840 Kim-André15149840 3 years
Wonderful! Clear guidance to simple actions done in a short amount of time that feels really well. Ugh.., I really needed this! Thank you sister :) Namaste
sophiaaa sophiaaa 5 years
The pigeon and the butterfly are two of my favourite poses. I do them whenever I can, where ever I can.
longhorn_sugar longhorn_sugar 9 years
i tried the pigeon and it was amazing! the tension from a terrible pilates video is all gone - thanks fit!
veronicaraye veronicaraye 9 years
I need to do this more often!
ilovecandyfloss ilovecandyfloss 10 years
I luuuurve pigeon pose! It feels so good! I do it all the time, although I should probably try to focus more on my tight hamstrings - they just don't match, cos in Butterfly I can put easily my chin on the floor... I guess we just do things that are easier for us though, huh?? New resolution - must stretch hamstrings everyday...
Saturn9 Saturn9 10 years
I'm going to try this sequence today at the gym. Cool!
bizzybee bizzybee 10 years
Butterfly done with a slo-mo ball positioned under your lower back is amazing.
SeptemberGurl SeptemberGurl 10 years
i love the pigeon pose - that feels so good on the hip flexors...though i'm not flexible enough to lay flat on my face (not anymore)...thanks for these! :) (i DO sit at a desk most of my day!)
cravinsugar cravinsugar 10 years
I will start with jsut the butterfly...something is wrong with my hips and lower back, and I can barely get in this pose becaue of how tight and hurting my hips are, although i feel better once i am done....
muchacha muchacha 10 years
I love them all, the butterfly and head-to-knee poses are my staple, however I have recently come to appreciate the awesomeness that is Pigeon pose..
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