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11 Easy Yoga Back Stretches To Lower Back Pain and Stiffness

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Yoga Back Stretches will help you reduce back pain. Back Stiff from doing too much? Here are some yoga stretches that will loosen your back and help you feel better.

Yoga Back Stretches Routines to Relieve Discomfort

These 11 stretches are presented by Dr. Nicholas Nguyen with Activ Chiropractic.

We’ve separated them out so that you can locate the ones that are best for you at a glance.

  • Opening Stretch
  • Stretch for Lumbar Spine
  • Spinal Rocks
  • Stretch for Piriformis
  • Two Stretches for Glutes
  • A Recovery Stretch
  • Stretch for Spinal Curve
  • The Quadratus Lumborum Stretch
  • Stretch for the Psoas
  • Stretch for Hamstring
  • Closing Stretches

There were some sections that were hard to transcribe from the video and we’ve put those in brackets so that you know.

If you can make out those sections, please tell us in the comments so that we can update them. Enjoy.

Opening Stretch

Opening Stretch

00:00-01:11 – Welcome back to the ACTIV CHIROPRACTIC guys, going to show you some stretches to improve poor posture and relieve you from lower back pain.

So a lot of times these muscles do tighten up if you do a lot of lifting or do have poor posture. So these stretches are definitely for you. The first one shows

This is one of the safest yoga back stretches you can do. Now, I highly recommend you do this one first as this stretch relies heavily on just breathing and gravity.

First of all, I’d like you to have a towel rolled up so you can just support your back with it. It makes things a lot more comfortable.

Place the towel behind you, and sit closer to the wall as possible, having a side touching the wall.

Now you can lie down onto the towel, with the towel supporting your lower back, and pull up the wall with your legs so that your legs are up the wall.

Try to have your legs nice and straight and close to the wall as possible. The towel should be supporting your lower back and not on your tailbone.

Now take deep and long breaths. So it opens up the pressure in the lower back.

I recommend doing 8 long breaths and doing that four to 5 times.

Now, if you find the position of having the legs up there was too much, just take your legs down like this and hold this position there instead, and do 8 long breaths 4 to 5 times.

And if you feel like you’re ready, you can go back into that advanced position again and have your legs straight up the wall.

Yoga Back Stretches for Lumbar Spine

Yoga Back Stretches for Lumbar Spine

What is The Lumbar Spine? The lumbar spine is the lower portion of your back.

01:12-01:40 – Another great stretch, for your lower back and to decompress the lumbar spine is to pull both knees towards the chest and hold this position for about 20 to 40 seconds and do it 4 to five times.

Now, if you’re pregnant or you can’t physically bring your knees towards your chest, open up your legs and pull your legs up towards yourself.

In this position, gravity will help you in your stretch and pull your legs down and stretch out your inner thighs as well. Hold this position for about 20 to 40 seconds.

Do it 4 to 5 times.

Spinal Rocks Stretches

Spinal Rocks Stretches

01:41-02:10 – If you feel confident enough, I highly recommend you try doing spinal rocks.

This is a great way to have dynamic stretching of your lower back. And I highly recommend everyone to do this.

I do it myself as a warmup exercise to prevent lower back injury.

All you need to do is pull your knees up towards your chest and rock up and down, doing this spinal rocks, decompresses the lumbar spine, and encourages a fluid exchange into the discs in between the vertebrae in the lumbar spine.

Do about 20 to 30 rocks, three to four sets.

Stretch for The Piriformis

Stretch for The Piriformis

The piriformis is a muscle above the side of your hip that’s used to move your leg. It can get press on your spine and the sciatic nerve and create pain.

02:11-02:48 – The piriformis is one of the most problematic muscles in the body. The same nerve runs through here.

So if the muscle is tight, it can squeeze on this nerve and cause a lot of pain.

Sometimes they can even mimic sciatic symptoms and run down the thigh or leg.

Now to do the stretch, just pull the leg that you intend to stretch and put it on the supporting knee.

Now with two hands grab the supporting thigh underneath and pull it towards yourself.

This is stretching the lower back and also the glutes as well.

Hold this stretch for about 20 seconds to 40 seconds and do it 4 or 5 times and repeat on both sides.

This will be decompressing a lot of pressure in the low back and alleviating a lot of pressure in the lumbar spine where the nerves are.

Two Stretches for Glutes

Two Stretches for Glutes

Glutes are the muscles that are in your buttocks. These can also have an effect on your back.

02:49-04:11 – Please try the other stretches first before you’re doing this stretch. This is one of the most popular stretches and commonly used in yoga.

It stretches a lot of the glutes, piriformis, and a little bit on the lower back as well.

Place the leg that you are stretching in front of you and slightly in front of a supporting leg.

Now collapse down on the stretching leg, having the knee that you’re stretching, pointing away from your body.

Try to bring your opposite shoulder towards the stretching knee, hold this for 20 to 40 seconds, and do it four – 5 times. And remember to do it on both sides.

The glute stretch, this is the knee to chest stretch. This is one of the most simple stretches that you can do.

It will stretch your glutes and decompress your lower back as well. This is one of the first stretches I recommend to do as it’s one of the safest.

Lie on the floor and pull your knees towards your chest, hold this position for 20 to 40 seconds and do it 4 to 5 times.

If you like to stretch your glutes, or piriformis a little bit more, just pull that stretching leg to the opposite, shorter, and hold that position, and repeat the process.

It’s really good to start stretching on your back first as this is your natural resting position and gravity will do most of the stretching for you as long as you just breathe through it.

If you were to do most of these stretches standing up, a lot of times there is muscles that are firing and squeezing and spasming because you are not really resting in this position.

As standing still takes a lot of energy and concentration to be upright and not fall over.

A Recovery Stretch

A Recovery Stretch

04:12-04:44 – This is one of the most effective and safest lower back stretches that you can do. It is often used in yoga as a recovery relaxed stretch.

Go onto your knees and reach as far as you can, and then lean back.

This will stretch your lower back and even your shoulder muscles as well, which will even help improve your posture. And most importantly, decompress your lower back.

You can use deep breathing techniques to hold this stretch.

All you need to do is about eight long breaths and do it 4 to five times.

Or you can hold the stretch for 20 to 40 seconds and do it 4 to five times.

Yoga Back Stretches for Spinal Curve

Yoga Back Stretches for Spinal Curve

04:45-05:38 – Your pose, when you lie on the floor and push up, but you have your hips on the floor, this will extend your back, creating a curve in your lower back.

This curve in the lower back is very important to support the lower back and your body weight.

If you lose this curve in your lower back, which is called the lumbar lordosis, you’ll be at risk of injury and you will be having a lot of pain in the lower back as well.

So it’s important to slowly gain this curve back by doing this exercise.

I highly recommend you do this exercise when you’re out of pain and you’re on your road to recovery.

Remember when you hold this position, make sure your shoulders are back and your chest is up.

This will promote good posture, which is very important. You’re meant to hold this position for 20 to 40 seconds. Do it four to five times.

If you find this stretch is too painful for you, what you can do is lean on your elbows instead of your hands.

This will decrease the pressure on your lower back and decrease the curve in your lower back. And gradually when you’re ready, you can go up on your hands again.

The Quadratus Lumborum Stretch

The Quadratus Lumborum Stretch

“The Quadratus Lumborum Muscle, informally called the QL, is a paired muscle of the left and right posterior abdominal wall. It is the deepest abdominal muscle and commonly referred to as a back muscle. Each is irregular and quadrilateral in shape.” – Source: Wikipedia.com

05:39-06:30 – The quadratus lumborum stretch. The quadratus lumborum, also known as the QL muscle, is a common muscle base used for lifting and twisting.

And it can cause a lot of pain if you’ve strained it or injured it.

So it’s very important that you know how to stretch this lower back muscle and reduce the pain that can be, referring to your back or into your leg.

Now to stretch this muscle, it’s important to have the same side shoulder that you’re trying to stretch on the ground or close to the ground as possible.

And now with your free arm grab the stretching leg and hold it, pulling it over to your body.

This will stretch the glutes and the lower back and maybe a little bit of the piriformis as well.

Now, if you want to increase the stretch, just pull the leg towards the chest and extend the leg out.

To create more weight into the muscle and stretch out the QL muscles, hold this stretch for 20 to 40 seconds and do it four to five times.

Yoga Back Stretches for the Psoas

Yoga Back Stretches for the Psoas

The psoas is two muscles that are along the sides of the lower spine and continue on the insides of your pelvis and onto your upper legs.

06:31-07:12 – Now stretching the psoas is one of the most important muscles that is overlooked and it can cause a lot of low back pain.

This muscle is directly related to having the distant cross syndrome, which is a syndrome that causes low back pain and poor posture.

To stretch this muscle, go into a lunge position and squeeze your bum muscle on the side that you’re trying to stretch.

This will push your hips forward. It’s very important that you feel the stretch in the front of the hip, not your lower back.

If you do feel pain in your lower back, that means you’re leaning back too much and you’re not squeezing your glutes and pushing your hips forward instead.

Hold this stretch for about 20 to 40 seconds and do it four to five times on both sides.

When you’re doing this stretch, make sure you have good posture, pull your shoulders back and your chest up nice and high.

Hamstring Stretch

Hamstring Stretch

Your hamstrings are three muscles along the length of your back leg between the buttocks and the knees.

07:13-08:10 – The hamstring is one of the biggest contributors of distant cross syndrome, a syndrome that causes low back pain.

When the hamstring is tight, it causes the hip bones to rotate back, changing the curve in the lower back, which is very important to support the lower back and reduce pressure on the lower back.

To do this stretch, sit on the floor and have one of your legs straight out and the other leg bent and bend forward as far as you can.

If your knees bend as you lean forward, just back off a little bit and then hold it at the point of stretch.

If you’re having trouble with stretching on the floor, what you can do is put your leg on a bench or a chair, or like me, on a box.

Try to keep your knee nice and straight and lean forward and hold this position for about 20 to 40 seconds and do it 4 to 5 times and remember to do it both sides.



08:11-08:12 – Okay guys. Thanks for watching it. Now, if you do like this video and you found this video helpful, check out my [Saturday nerve flossing] video or my sidecar stretches video, those videos would definitely help you.

Remember, to support my channel, hit subscribe, hit like, comment below if you have any questions and I’ll see you guys in the next one.

You can find more of their videos at the ACTIV CHIROPRACTIC Yoga Youtube Channel

Tips for Using Yoga to Stretch Your Back

So here’s the yoga for stretching your back poses. Give these a try to see if they help relieve your back pain.

Make sure that you check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program, but if you get the okay, this could be a beneficial addition to your day.

Some of the Tips for using yoga to stretch your back are as follows:

  • It can strengthen the muscles in the back and in the abdomen, both areas help with holding your spine upright.
  • Yoga back stretches can help relax the muscles. Since they’re used all day to keep you standing straight and when you are working or lifting, they can get tight. Relaxing them helps alleviate any tension that can cause the muscles to press on the spine or nerves.
  • Hamstring muscles will be stretched giving the pelvis more range of movement.
  • It gets your blood pumping which brings allows the blood to deliver the nutrients your cells need to function and work properly.
  • Yoga includes rhythmic breathing that helps you relax which in turn, relaxes the spine.
  • The poses help to equalize both sides of the body and that helps the body to line up properly, improving posture.
  • Yoga back stretches help to preserve the normal curvature of the spine.
  • It also helps get you in tune with your body so that you know better what you can and can’t do. And you’ll be more aware of movements that you do and take them slower and more mindfully, reducing the chance that you’ll rush or ignore a twinge telling you that a movement isn’t being properly done.

We Hope You Like This Post About Yoga Back Stretches

We Hope You Like This Post About Yoga Back Stretches


One last thing. Some poses aren’t good for your back if you’ve already had damage.

Sometimes, people go into a pose too quickly or without leading up to it slowly and actually cause damage while doing the yoga back stretches.

That would defeat the purpose, right? So, always make sure you’re doing them correctly, and, as always, check with your doctor before you begin any program.

One more consideration is the possibility of attending a yoga class specifically for back problems.

That way you have a teacher who is familiar with various back ailments and an expert in yoga who can be there to help you do the poses correctly and ease you into the right sequence for you. Namaste!

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