10 gentle yoga stretches to relieve hip and lower back pain (2023)

(This post has been updated to include 15 yoga stretches for hip and lower back pain)

Today I want to share a list of my favorite gentle yoga stretches for hip and lower back pain relief.

Yoga and stretching are beneficial in many ways. Chronic muscle or joint pain can make stretching a challenge.

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Chronic pain in the lower back and hip

Almost 80% of all adults suffer from chronic lower back pain, which makes it one of the most common types of musculoskeletal disorders in adults.

In addition, research has shown that chronic low back pain is more common in people who sit for more than three hours a day or work in closed workplaces. Office environments promote inactivity, making inactive people more susceptible to problems such as lower back pain and other musculoskeletal imbalances.

I used to experience more pain and breakouts after yoga or an aggressive stretching routine.

I remember so many times I couldn't get up from the ground because of the pain.
I know that pushing yourself beyond certain ranges of motion or doing the "wrong" stretch for your body can quickly cause pain.

I often talk aboutwhy stretching can make pain worse.

So how can we apply stretching and reap its physical and psychological benefits without making the pain worse?
Simply choosing gentle lower back stretches that your body responds positively to.

And our bodies will respond differently to stretching and exercise depending on where we are on our healing journey.
So take the information you've learned and adapt it to your current level.

the benefits of stretching

As I mentioned earlier, stretching benefits both the mind and the body. These are the most common benefits:

  • Improves range of motion in the joint.
  • improves flexibility
  • Psychological effects such as lowering stress hormones and reducing tension.

The last point is what interests me. I love the relaxing effects of stretching. The effect of 'slowing down' after a long day.

Can a yoga routine relieve back pain??

Yes, if we choose gentle stretches aimed at realigning proper posture and releasing tension.

improving posture

Yoga can help you improve your posture and body alignment. Certain poses focus on joint alignment, which improves your overall posture and can naturally help reduce muscle tension. The 90 degree wall stretch and the seated wall stretch come to mind!

conscience

Another fantastic benefit of practicing yoga for back and hip pain relief is finding time to tune in and feel what's happening in your body.

With each stretch or pose, you can pause and feel how your body reacts and where it holds the most tension.

Camel pose, for example, is known for its power of emotional release. We often store tension in certain areas, and if we adjust and release it at the same time we feel it, we can become excited, and this is another healthy way to relieve stress.

What is causing my lower back pain?

I want to share my video oncauses of low back pain. I go deeper into assessing what is constantly causing the pain. Don't just stretch and get that short-term relief.

Static postural inconsistencies

During functional activities, the position of the lower back, pelvis and hips (longitudinal tension) determines optimal muscle performance. There is a decrease in the activation of the involved muscles if we cannot keep the spine neutral.

Compression and overload

During movement, lumbar flexion causes increased pressure and stress on the disc, as well as decreased lordosis (rounding of the lumbar region). In addition, lumbar spine movements such as flexion and lateral flexion can increase the stress on the discs. These two movements, when combined, can trigger a herniated disc.

Compression, along with flexion and torsion of the disc, is associated with anterior degeneration of the intervertebral discs.

abnormal muscle activation patterns

People who suffer from low back pain have delayed or altered muscle activation. Patients with low back discomfort and sacroiliac joint pain had less activation of the transversus abdominis, multifidus, and gluteus maximus.

I've rounded up 15 great gentle stretches for back pain relief that you can do at home.

  1. downward facing dog
  2. walk your dog
  3. pyramid yoga pose
  4. Child's Pose (Balasana)
  5. Spinal curvature in sitting/standing position
  6. ponte
  7. Holding the child with wide legs
  8. Hip flexor stretch
  9. low load
  10. wall psoas
  11. Hamstring stretching
  12. Staff Pose (Dandasana)
  13. feet on the wall
  14. savasana
  15. standing stretch

I've also included important notes and instructions below each image to help you perform the stretch without causing pain or aggravating an existing injury.

15 gentle yoga stretches for hips and lower back pain relief

Note for training:Instead of forcing each stretch, allow your body to simply relax. If you go over your limit, you risk injuring your back or straining another part of your body.

Take a deep breath, take time to relax, and respect your body exactly as it is right now. Be good to yourself. Also remember to use gravity to ease yourself down into a more relaxed state.

downward facing dog

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This is a gentle and safe yoga stretch for your back, hamstrings and calves.

It is normal to feel a little tight when performing this stretch for the first time.You can start on your toes and bend your knees.. By repeating this stretch, you will gain more flexibility and be able to stretch your back further.

This simple yoga pose can help stretch your back and release tension in your hamstrings and ankles.

walk your dog

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If you have a lot of tension in your legs and lower back, start in this gentle pose and straighten one leg at a time. This is an easier flow that you can do every day during the day.

Push through your arms to stretch your back as you focus on releasing the hamstrings and calves of each leg.

pyramid yoga pose

Great part of the transition from downward facing dog.

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This stretch targets the calf muscles and hamstrings. The bar also promoted good lumbar spine alignment.

Tight calves can make movement difficult and cause pain in the lower back (after changing posture). Tight calves can contribute to flat feet and knee inversion, which puts stress on the lower back.

Don't ignore those muscles that are connected to the core of your body.

Keep your hands on your hips if you cannot lower them to the floor. It is important to maintain good back posture. Don't worry about putting your hands down.

child's pose (BalasaΓ±a)

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A simple and effective yoga position to release the lower back.

Lengthen your back, relax and let the floor pull you down to open your chest.

After a long stressful day, this pose can help you refocus on your body, adjust your breathing, and allow all the tension in your lower back to melt away.

seated twisting of the spine

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It is useful to engage in rotation of the spine. When you do this, make sure it's gentle, not rough.

The gentle twisting exercise increases blood flow to the spine and promotes spinal health. The most important thing to remember is to focus on the middle of the movement, not how far you can go.

Keep it smooth (no need to go over your limit).

Another great variation is standing rotation:

standing torsion of the spine

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You can move from pyramid pose to standing position as you develop more flexibility. You can improve your body's alignment and flexibility by incorporating stretches like this one that target multiple body parts.

Hip flexor stretch

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Stretching the quadriceps (part of the hip flexors) will help relieve hip and lower back pain. This specific stretch targets the quadriceps and is very easy to perform.

Rest your forehead on one hand and hold your foot with the other. Breathe in, and with each exhalation, relax your body and relax on the mat.

You can also target quads while standing:

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If you tend to get tight in your hips, check out my post on how to properly release the psoas muscle after you finish reading this post. (I'll link it again at the end of this post)

section of the bridge

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OnponteIt is an excellent exercise for strengthening the glutes. It can also be used for incredible hip flexor release.

The trick is to bring your feet closer to the center of your body.

As you do this, you will feel a deep stretch in your hips.

The more you lift your butt, the deeper the stretch will be.

Go slowly. Again, we want these stretches to be gentle and non-aggressive.
The more you lift your butt, the deeper the stretch will be.

low load

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The Cobra pose helps bring the spine back into alignment. Instead of pressing the fists, I prefer the low cobra variation because it is easier on the lower back. Especially if you have problems with the unit. You can even start with your head in your hands and slowly work your way up to low snake.

Sometimes I even like to pick up a book or my Kindle and read a few pages while holding this pose for a while.

wall psoas

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Start with a simple hip flexor stretch facing the wall. Rest your back leg against a wall to deepen the stretch. The closer you are to the wall, the deeper the stretch.

You can also rest your leg on a block or pillow to start.

long legschild's pose

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Similar to child's pose, only here you open your knees.
Breathe deeply into your belly as you lower it. Practice diaphragmatic breathing to decompress your lower back and relieve lower back pain.

team attitude

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This fantastic pose was very helpful for me when I was suffering from chronic lower back and hip pain. It helped me immensely. The wall will restore your shoulder-hip-ankle posture.

Use the wall as a guide. If you can't use a wall, you can also practice this pose while sitting with a strap to help align your hips and keep your back straight.

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Keep your legs straight and your toes pointing up..
You can add a band attached to the feet to increase the stretch. This helps keep your back straight as you lower your torso.

Hamstring stretching

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Take one step forward and one foot back, keeping your feet as straight as possible. Keep your back straight and lean forward.

It's okay to bend the knee slightly if you can't keep both legs straight, but work on keeping your legs straight as you lean forward.

It is important not to force this stretch. In the beginning, you can skip the forward bend and focus only on the stretch.

put your foot on the wall

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Bring your hips closer to the wall. Rest your feet on the floor and relax! Let gravity pull all the tension in your legs and lower you. For greater support, you can use a soft pillow under the lumbar spine.

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A very simple but surprisingly restorative stretch that has many benefits for the mind and body.

It can help you relax your nervous system, improve your sleep, recover your hips and stretch your hamstrings (the closer you are to the wall).

I have found that this stretch also tends to take all the stress off the lower back.

I love doing this whenever I'm stressed...let gravity do its thing!

You can also open your legs with your feet against the wall (in a squat) to stretch your inner thighs and open your hips without aggressively stretching.

savasana

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This smooth yoga stick is extremely powerful.

Teach your body to relax with the power of your breath.

It also encourages you to tune in and use your mind to scan your body and release the tension you still hold.

I found this pose even more relaxing than all the other stretches. If you want to experience a magical feeling, do this pose in nature.

standing stretch

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This may sound simple, but give it a try.

Sitting all day or walking hunched over, our spine is compressed and our muscles tense.

Standing up straight and stretching your arms decompresses your spine and helps your body align.

I like to do this stretch against the wall and try to reach as high as I can.

This simple stretch helped me get instant relief from lower back tension on days I had to sit.

It's simple, but very useful!

I hope you give these lower back yoga stretches a try.

Be sure to start slowly. Choose some clips to keep. And don't forget to record how you feel before and after each stretch.

Below are some of my related posts that I think will also be of use...

Connected Publications:

  • How to effectively release the psoas muscle
  • Bridge exercise.Strengthen and stretch at the same time.
  • Why stretching makes pain worse
  • 5 Yoga positions to avoid (severe pain in the buttocks and hips)

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Coach Sofia

Certified Strength Coach | Specialist and founder of NASM for corrective exercisesementrenadoressofiafitness

Hi, I'm Sofia. Welcome to my blog! I'm here to help you get permanent relief from piriformis, hip, and lower back pain without spending years suffering from information overload or temporary solutions. I myself have gone through the path of chronic pain. I know how lonely and hard it can be...Click hereread about my story and how I healed myself after 7 years of chronic pain, against all odds.

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