The lower back can be a problematic area for many people. It is a common area for tension, tightness, discomfort and even chronic pain. Those who sit for long periods of time at a desk or in a car can be especially prone to lower back problems.
A fact that many people don’t know, is that the hamstrings (muscles of the back thigh) are so closely connected to the lower back, that often tight hamstrings are the actual cause of back problems.
The best bet to preventing or alleviating low back discomfort is to both strengthen and stretch the muscles of the low back and hamstrings. When you strengthen muscles, you maintain increased range of motion and capacity for load bearing. Then, when you stretch muscles, you physically lengthen the muscles, fending off chronic tension and tightness.
Here are 4 exercises to strengthen these muscles, and then 4 to stretch them, see video below for exercise demonstrations:
1. Single leg deadlift
2. Single leg bridge
4. Bird Dog
1. Forward fold
2. Child’s pose
3. Seated hamstring stretch
4. Lying down “figure 4” stretch