13 Stretches for Lower Back Pain

This article was originally published by our friends at PaleoHacks

Is low back pain preventing you from working, exercising, and sleeping well? You’re not alone. In fact, over 31 million Americans experience low back pain at any one time (1).

Low back pain is not only the most common and expensive cause of work-related disability in the United States, it is the third most expensive disorder in terms of health care dollars spent (2). It affects 80% of Americans at some point during their lives, with symptoms ranging from dull aches to debilitating sharp, shooting pains.

While low back pain can be caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, spondylolisthesis, endometriosis and fibromyalgia, most cases are mechanical, meaning the pain stems from an injury or disruption in the joints, discs, soft tissues or muscles surrounding the spine (3). Mechanical low back pain can be caused by:

In fact, for many people, a lower back problem represents a lifestyle problem. Prolonged sitting, incorrect working posture, and performing repetitive tasks (the highlight of a sedentary lifestyle) can cause or exacerbate this pain. These habits can reduce spinal mobility and lead to atrophy in the muscles that are vital for spinal support, such as the core, glutes and hamstrings.

Another key player in the structural integrity of our spine is the fascia. Fascia is the connective tissue that wraps around our muscles, bones and organs and plays a vital role in maintaining postural alignment and ease of movement. Poor lifestyle habits or movement patterns can cause the fascia to become stiff and rigid, restricting movement and causing pain.

Weak muscles, stiff fascia and lack of spinal mobility are the holy trinity of general low back pain. Fortunately, there is also a pretty simple fix that doesn’t require invasive surgeries or popping pain killers: stretching and mobility.

13 Stretches to Ease Lower Back Pain

It’s crucial to know how to correctly stretch to relieve low back pain. Stretching for low back pain should be gentle and address fascial release, mobility AND stability in the upper and lower back. As with any new exercise program, start slowly and pay attention to how your body responds to each of the stretches below.

In addition to regular release work, doing core work to improve lumbo-pelvic stability and strengthen the glutes and legs for spinal support are key to permanently reducing your lower back pain.

1. Myofascial Release Using a Firm Ball

The following two exercises are like a deep tissue massage for your backside! This allows tight muscles and fascia to loosen up so that the stretches are even more effective. Use a firm ball, such as a lacrosse or tennis ball.

The first stretch targets the gluteus maximus muscle, which is the largest of the three glute muscles and one of the most common trigger points causing lower back pain.

The second stretch targets the piriformis muscle, which is located deep within the glutes. It connects to the lower back and, if it becomes overly tight, can lead to sciatic-like pain in the lower back.

Please note that the sensation for the following two exercises should be a dull, happy ache — that “hurts so good” sort of feeling. If you experience sharp, shooting pains, immediately release the stretch.

Gluteus Maximus Release

1-Gluteus-Maximus-Release Begin by lying on your back with both knees bent. Place a firm ball underneath your right glute, directly below the bony point that is located at the bottom of the right side of the spine (aka the PSIS). Allow your body weight to gently melt into the ball. To increase the stretch, try extending your left leg and make small rocking motions across the ball. Hold for 30-120 seconds, depending on your tolerance, and then switch sides.

Piriformis Release

2-Piriformis-Release Begin by lying on your back with both knees bent. Open the right knee to the side and place a firm ball underneath the outer right hip, in the fleshy side-section of your backside. Allow your body weight to gently melt into the ball. To increase the stretch, try extending your right leg (the one on the ball), and make small rocking motions across the ball. Hold for 30-120 seconds, depending on your tolerance, and then switch sides.

2. Stretching the Piriformis and Hip Flexor

Now that you’ve relaxed the muscles and tissues around the backside, it’s time to add gentle stretches.

The first stretch targets the piriformis muscle, which you just massaged with the ball. The second stretches tight hip flexors, which are another contributor to lower back pain. One of the major hip flexor muscles, the psoas, also connects to the five lowest vertebrae of the spine. When the psoas shortens and loses mobility, it pulls on the vertebrae and creates a feeling of tightness in the lower back.

Seated Figure Four Stretch

3-Seated-Figure-Four-Stretch Begin seated with bent knees and the feet flat on the floor. Pick up your right foot and cross the right ankle over the left thigh, allowing the knee to open to the right side. Keep an erect spine and gently lean forward, bringing your spine towards your calf. You can modify the stretch by sitting on a cushion or a chair. Hold for 30-45 seconds and then switch sides.

Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch

4-Kneeling-Hip-Flexor-Stretch Begin in a lunge with your right foot forward and your left knee on the floor. Squeeze your left glute and gently press the pelvis forward to increase the stretch. Hold for 30-45 seconds and then switch sides.

3. Mobilizing the Lower Back

The following three exercises gently mobilize the hips and lower back through flexion and extension exercises. You can kneel on a blanket to pad your knees.

Cat & Cow

5-Cat-and-Cow Begin on hands and knees with a flat back. The shoulders are over the wrists and the hips are over the knees. Round the spine, pressing the back up to the ceiling, and hold for one breath. Arch the spine, reaching the chest and tailbone to the ceiling, and hold for one breath. This counts as one repetition. Continue to alternate between cat and cow for 10 repetitions.

Poodle Tail

6-Poodle-Tail Begin on hands and knees with a flat back. The shoulders are over the wrists, and the hips are over the knees. Sway both hips to the right side and turn your head to look at your right hip. Return to center. Sway both hips to the left side and turn your head to look at your left hip. Continue to alternate sides for 10 repetitions.

Extended Puppy Pose

7-Extended-Puppy-Pose Begin on hands and knees with a flat back. The shoulders are over the wrists, and the hips are over the knees. Keep the hips over the knees as you reach your arms forward and lower the chest towards the floor. Draw your navel to the spine and breathe deeply. Hold for 4-8 breaths before sitting back on the heels and resting in child’s pose.

4. Mobilizing the Upper Back

The following two exercises gently mobilize the upper back spine through rotation. Unlocking tight muscles in the upper back will improve overall spinal health (4).

Thread the Needle

8-Thread-the-Needle Begin on hands and knees with a flat back, fingers pointing in towards each other. Lift the right arm straight out to the side, then bend the left elbow and thread the right arm underneath the left side. Your aim is to rotate the upper trunk while keeping the hips still. To increase the stretch, lower your right shoulder and ear to the floor. Hold for 4 breaths and then switch sides.

Open Book

9-Open-Book Begin by lying on your right side with the knees bent and stacked, and the arms extended from the chest. Keep the hips and knees stable as you rotate the upper back, reaching the left arm to the ceiling. Continue to rotate so that the chest opens and the left arm reaches towards the floor. Hold for 3 breaths before closing the arms to return to the starting position. Repeat for 4 total repetitions before switching sides.

5. Spinal Extensions to Strengthen the Lower Back

The following two exercises strengthen the lower back through extension exercises. They also gently stretch the hip flexors.


10-Cobra Begin by lying on your stomach with the legs squeezing together and the hands on either side of the chest. Keep the feet on the floor as you press into your hands and lift the chest and head. Hold at the top for one full breath, pulling your navel to your spine. Gently lower. Repeat 5-10 times.

Prone Leg Lifts

11-Prone-Leg-Lifts Begin by lying on your stomach with the legs squeezing together and the hands resting under the forehead. Engage your abdominals by drawing your navel to your spine, and squeeze your backside. Exhale to lift both legs 1-2 inches away from the floor, keeping the knees completely straight. Inhale to lower. Repeat 5-10 times.

6. Releasing Pressure

These final two stretches decompress the lumbar spine through supported elevation. Use a foam roller, firm cushions or a yoga block.

Supported Bridge

12-Supported-Bridge Begin by lying on your back with the knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lift your hips and place your prop underneath the hips (it should comfortably press against the flat part of your sacrum). Stay here and take a few deep breaths, completely relaxing your body into the support of the floor and the prop. To increase the stretch, extend one or both legs.

Belly Flops

13-Belly-Flops Roll up a towel or blanket lengthways and place it horizontally across the center of your mat. Lie, front-side down, over the towel, so that your front hip bones are pressing into it. Completely relax your trunk, arms and legs; the head can turn to either side. Stay here and breathe for 30-120 seconds.

A quick note from our founder-

Over the past year, my friend Dave at PaleoHacks has been working on a secret cookbook with world-renowned Le Cordon Bleu chef Peter Servold.

Well, today this new this new incredible Paleo Cookbook is finally available to be shipped right to your door for FREE

That's right -- as a special launch promotion, we're offering our brand new Paleo fat loss cookbook to you for free (Chef Pete lost 60 lbs using these recipes!) -- All you have to do is just cover a small shipping cost (international shipping is a bit more).

Get your FREE copy of Paleo Eats Here. (Grab this today, because we only ordered a small batch of these cookbooks for this freebie promotion, and they will sell out FAST!)

--> Get The Free Cookbook

Help us create more awareness! Please SHARE this article...

#1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat

I bet you can’t guess which muscle in your body is the #1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat.

This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.

If this “hidden” most powerful primal muscle is healthy, we are healthy.

Is it…

a) Abs

b) Chest

c) Glutes

d) Hip Flexors

Take the quiz above and see if you got the correct answer!

--> Which muscle makes you look fat?

P.S. Make sure you check out the next page to get to know the 10 simple moves that will bring vitality back into your life!

The #1 "bodyfat-eating" hormone...

weight loss solvedTo begin, I apologize for the dark nature of today's email.

However I promise what you'll discover today will be completely worth it.

Imagine a rotting corpse draped over your body from head to toe...

...suffocating tissue, restricting blood flow, damaging joints and infecting your healthy cells.

Shockingly, that nightmare is a reality for most:

64% of women and 74% of men carry too much body fat according to the National Institutes of Health.

It's choking their organs, assaulting their metabolism and sucking their energy dry.

But here's the worst part:

For most, this bodyfat has become "calorie-resistant":

It's completely unaffected by even the strictest diets... and most intense exercises.

This zombie fat is essentially... "dead tissue".

That's important for those who have 10, 25 or 50 or more pounds to lose...

AND for those who aren't technically overweight, but have what's called "pocket obesity"...

...unsightly patches of fat that cling to specific places, like:

just above your hips, lower belly, where your butt and legs meet... and even arms, neck and face.

However, there's good news:

Obesity researchers have now discovered a "metabolic jumper cable":

It jolts dead bodyfat back to life.

This allows your metabolism to burn it as calories and re-energize your entire body.

First though, here's the #1 reason why bodyfat becomes calorie-resistant:

It lacks blood flow. This has 3 effects:

  1. Not enough oxygen or nutrients reach fat cells, so they become unresponsive..
  2. Released fat can't be sent to other tissues to be burned, so fat cells suck it back in...
  3. 3) Metabolic hormones carrying the "burn calories" message don't reach the fat cell...

All this means one thing:

Your body can't transform into energy, the 135,000+ of calories the average person stores as fat!

You become a metabolic zombie: NO energy to think. NO energy to move. NO energy to motivate.

Update: calorie-resistant bodyfat can be now removed...

The discovery of this "metabolic jumper cable" can now reverse this process:

  • It wakes up un-responsive bodyfat with a powerful calorie-burning hormonal jolt....
  • It pops open fat cells, sucks out the fat, sending it off before its yanked back in...
  • It shuttles fat to your brain, heart, lungs, kidneys - even your bones - to be burned as energy.

Not only do those layers of "zombie fat" start coming off, but your entire body just works better.

Plus, as your whole body burns more calories, those patches of pocket obesity whittle away.

This "metabolic jumper cable" isn't any exercise, machine or pill.

It's a little-known, calorie-burning hormone we all have... just waiting for the right spark to come alive.

It's not thyroid, leptin, ghrelin, insulin, adiponectin, HGH or any other "fat loss" hormone you may know.

And on this next page, you'll find out precisely how to unleash its calorie-burning power:

==> How to Activate Your #1 "Bodyfat-Eating" Hormone...

How to Activate Your #1 "Bodyfat-Eating" Hormone

PS - Studies show that not only can healthy levels of this powerful calorie-burning hormone devour bodyfat and fortify soft muscle, but it can also reduce your risk of diabetes by 53.7%, a heart attack by 83.3% and stroke by 51.4%. Here's more of the scientific proof...

How to Wipe Out Chronic Inflammation (Free Book)


In April, 2009, researchers stunned the medical community when they reported chronic inflammation as the root cause of several major diseases.

See, every year 610,000 people in the U.S. die of heart disease. Cancer claims another 584,000...stroke 130,000...Alzheimer's disease nearly 85,000 — and the list goes on.

Truth is, we now know... chronic inflammation is responsible for 7 out of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States! Hundreds of studies and scientific reviews prove it.

inflammation book

Fortunately, newer research shows you can prevent-even reverse-most major diseases by "turning off" inflammation. And in our new book, we show you how to do just that.

If you or a loved one is suffering from a debilitating condition-and you"re not sure what the culprit is-now's the time to find out...while you can still do something about it!

Get the Free Inflammation Book

--> Grab your FREE copy of this groundbreaking soft cover book today (while supplies still last.)

I Can't Help Showing This Off...

If you haven't heard of Claude Davis yet do yourself a huge favor and watch this video. He's going to be the talk of 2016.

One of the smartest guys I ever had the pleasure of meeting, Claude set-up a unique system that changed his life forever.

I already tried it myself and let me tell... you I was completely blown away... His surprising tactics could make your life easier and give you the peace of mind you deserve.

lost ways

Don't just take my word for it... watch his short video and decide for yourself.

Watch His Short Video…

The 5 Most Dangerous Lies You’ve Been Told About Bread


Is Bread Really the Staff of Life… or the Stuff of Disease?

For most us, there are few foods more comforting than bread.

Fluffy biscuits, crusty baguettes, flaky croissants… even a simple slice of toast topped with melted butter can taste like heaven.

And that smell… few scents are quite as pleasant as fresh bread baking in the oven.

But there is a lot of confusion as to where bread fits into a healthy diet.

The Bible practically commands followers to eat it: “Give us this day our daily bread…” The government put it at the base of the food pyramid. And for centuries, it has been called “the staff of life.”

Of course, there are some who disagree…

Well-known cardiologist, Dr. William Davis, calls wheat “the perfect chronic poison.”

And for a poison, we sure eat lots of it…

The average American consumes 55 pounds of wheat flour every year, making refined flour the #1 source of calories in the American Diet – a situation that nutrition expert Chris Kresser describes as, “a public health catastrophe.”

So, what is the truth about bread and wheat?

  • Is it the perfect poison… or an essential daily food?
  • Is “gluten-free” bread better for you than regular bread?
  • And can you still eat bread… while maintaining a lean body and optimal health?

The answers to these questions may surprise you!

The 5 dangerous lies about bread…

Be sure to read #5 – the biggest surprise of all!

Do You Know Your Body’s Most Important Weight Loss Secret?


Recently, Doctor of Naturopathy, weight-loss expert and best-selling Amazon author Liz Swann Miller, creator of the Red Smoothie Detox Factor, revealed 2 of the secrets to easy, steady weight loss. Secrets the big food corporations do their best to hide from us.

Secret #1: Enjoy real food. Don’t fall for the lie that you have to deprive yourself to lose weight.

Secret #2: stop eating out. You will automatically eat less without even noticing.

Then start detoxing your body with tasty, nourishing smoothies that are just as easy on your wallet as they are easy to make.

Because a single day of enjoying Liz’ smoothies demonstrated the radical power of her superfood-packed red smoothies to make me feel incredibly good.

Now prepare yourself for one of the biggest weight loss secrets there is. A secret that, when you use it properly, can transform your body and your health.

You probably know most of us eat too much processed food. What you may not know is that it’s full of toxic chemicals and substandard, dirt-cheap ingredients designed to make you eat more…and force you to gain weight.

Here’s how it works.

“That stuff is just a lot of calories your body can’t use,” Liz told me, “Some are poison. And all these foods are stripped of the anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories that help your body detox. The result? Your body expends huge amounts of calories to eliminate some toxins—the rest, it stores in your fat to protect you. This is why most people are hungry all the time. They’re not getting energy they need.”

“So… what’s going on with me? Why am I losing weight but not going hungry?”

Liz paused, then dropped the bombshell.

Your body is designed to burn fat. You just have to let it.

“What? I thought we were designed to store fat?!?” We were Skyping and I was practically shouting. Then I heard Liz say…

What good is a fat reserve if you can’t burn it?

Mind blown.

Liz continued: “You’re drinking smoothies packed with phytonutrients, anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories that pull toxins out of you like a tractor beam. Allowing your body to burn those toxin-filled fat stores… and releasing tremendous amounts of stored energy.”

So that’s why I’m losing weight without going hungry.

Watch Liz’ free presentation. It’s packed with revolutionary weight loss information—information that works. Because it’s based on how nature.

Click the button only if you want to wear smaller clothes, breathe easier, move more freely and just plain feel better.

Because when you click here to watch Liz’ life-changing presentation, you’ll learn

  • Which calories help you lose weight…and which ones help you gain it…
  • The “diet” foods…some of them vegetables…that lead to weight gain and diabetes…
  • The “low-fat” foods that can dramatically increase your risk of cancer.
  • And the superfoods that rescue your body from this assault by detoxing you…

Revitalizing your metabolism so you can Shed pounds as well as toxins, renew your body and reset your internal clock by up to 7 years.

For next the week only, Liz is offering the Red Smoothie Detox Factor at 50% off.

Because until now, the Red Smoothie Detox Factor has been available only to Liz’ private clients. But now that she’s perfected it to work for almost everyone, almost every time, Liz is sharing it with rest of us so we can feel better and look better.

So if you’re sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, do yourself a favor.

Get Red Smoothie Detox Factor before the price goes back up.

Because Liz offers a ridiculously good guarantee. You have 60 days to decide you love the Red Smoothie Detox Factor. If you don’t love it—for any reason, or even no reason at all —Liz will refund your money. 100%. No questions asked.

So go watch her presentation and get the Red Smoothie Detox Factor.

---> Watch her presentation


Sponsored Health Resources

In the years that I've been working on this website project I've come across some amazing resources by some very special people. I'd like to share them with you here.

NOTE: I update these links often so please check back to see what's new!

1) Everyone knows green smoothies are healthy right? Have you heard of a “red” smoothie? If not, check out this story…

--> "Red" Smoothie Helps Alabama Girl Shed 80lbs!

2) Forget what you've read about 10-day lemonade cleanses, 7-day detoxes with green juices and Gwyneth's gruel. All you need to do, and this is perfect for Saturday or or anytime really, is a simple 1-day cleanse.

--> Get the 1 Day Cleanse (better than 7-day detoxes!)

3) This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.

--> #1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat

4) I thought it was virtually impossible for a website to be able to tell me anything even a little bit insightful after only submitting my name and date of birth... I was wrong!

--> Your Birth Date + Name - Free Report

5) Turmeric is amazing. The problem is - It's hard to absorb!

--> The best way to get maximum effects of Turmeric

6) Wonder why your stomach still sticks out even though you're hammering the core exercises every day? It's a common myth that bulging belly is due to weak abdominal muscles.

--> Why Some People LOOK Fat that Aren't

7) Even if you're the most active of athletes, you may still suffer from tight hip flexors due to the amount of time you spend each day planted to a chair.

-->  Unlock Your Hip Flexors

Enjoy! Let me know how these work out for you. And if you run across anything I've missed please let me know.

Rick D.