Back Stretching Exercises for Beginners


Back Stretching Exercises for Beginners

Transcript

Hello, everyone. Maximo Pascual here, and before we get started, I just really wanted to thank Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey for their amazing commitment in promoting health education, and also for allowing me this opportunity to help share these valuable fitness tips with you.

Now, today, I wanted to go over some simple back stretches that you can do from the comfort of your own home.

These back stretches are going to help keep your back a lot less stiff, and might also help prevent future outbreaks of back pain.

All right, guys - let’s get started with the first stretch. So for our first exercise we’re going to stand about shoulder width apart, nice and tall, chest out, shoulders back, put our hands on our hip.

And we’re simply going to stick the hip in and kind of extend our back a little bit going backwards.

Now, I don’t want you guys to exaggerate this and hyper-extend your back. It’s simply sticking your hip, it should feel comfortable, and you come back to a starting position.

It’s a very short movement. Up again, straight back.

Okay. For our next exercise, we’re simply going to lift up our knee, and we’re going to try to touch our forehead with it. If you can’t touch your forehead that’s completely fine - just raise up your knee as high as you can.

Now the other side, since your leg is done, you’re feeling a little strain in your lower back, you could always lift up the other leg and just have it bent in that position. So you want to hold each side for at least 15 seconds.

Okay, for our next exercise, we’re going to put our feet on the floor, lifting up our knee, and we’re simply going to rock our lower body from side to side.

We’re not going to do anything fast - just trying to touch the floor with your knee, if you can. If you can’t, just go as low as you can.

Let’s do about 10 repetitions on each side. Want to have you make sure your legs are together, all the way down to the floor if you can.

For your upper body, you want to make sure that you’re completely straight on the floor.

Everything’s going to be nice, slow and controlled. This is really going to help loosen up the back, the lower back here.

Okay, for our next exercise, I’m going to lift up my left knee, and with my right hand I’m going cup the side of my left knee, and I’m going to twist my lower body to the right.

And my upper body’s going to face the left. So it’s like I’m twisting my upper and lower body in opposite direction.

You should definitely feel the stretch in your lower back, in your glutes and in your hip area, if you’re doing it correctly.

So you want to try to bring your knee as close to the floor as possible.

Now, depending on your fitness level, maybe you will be stuck right here, which is fine for you for right now.

Eventually you’ll get lower and lower. If you can make it all the way down, then try to make it all the way down.

Now, let me show you guys from the front view, completely straight on the floor. I’m going to lift up my left knee.

I’m going to take my right hand. I’m going to cup it over my left knee, and now my lower body is going towards the right, and my upper body is going toward the left.

Now, we want to hold this stretch for about 15 seconds or so.

Same thing with the other side - I raise up my right knee, cup it with my left hand, turn now my right knee to the left, and my upper body towards the right, and we’re going to hold this for about 15 seconds.

For our next exercise we’re going to do glute bridges, so we want to put the bottom of our feet on the floor, so make sure you put pressure with the whole foot especially with the heel, and you’re going to put your arms flat down by your side.

And now you’re simply going to lift up your hip as high as you possibly can and hold this position, and then gently come back down to the floor.

Back up as high as you can, pushing off the heels and off your hands, and coming all the way back down.

This is a very short movement - you want to make sure you get full extension, and come back down. Let’s do at least 10 repetitions for these.

For our next stretch, we’re going to sit up tall, legs in front of us. We’re going to take one leg - let’s take the right leg - and we’re going to cross it over.

Now, with this leg, I want to make sure that the bottom of my foot is touching the floor if possible.

Now, I’m in this crossed position, so my right leg is going to go and stand over my left leg. I’m touching the floor with my whole foot.

Now I’m going to take my left elbow, and I’m going to try to put it on the side of my knee.

I’m going to lose balance - I’m going to take my right hand and put it behind me, so let’s go over it again.

I’m going to take my right leg, I’m going to stand up, put the bottom of the foot on the floor.

I’m going to take my right hand, brace myself, and now I’m going to try to push this leg over with my left elbow.

You should feel a stretch on the left side of your back. Again, you want to hold this for about 15 seconds.

You can do the other side. Now, my left leg is going to go over my right leg. I want to make sure that my foot is on the floor.

I’m going to take my left arm, brace myself here for balance, and I’ll take my right elbow and push my left leg away.

Now I’m feeling it on the right side of my back. Again, we’re going to hold for at least 15 seconds.

Okay, for our next exercise we’re going to do a butterfly stretch. So in order to do that, we’re going to put our feet together.

We’re going to bring the heels in towards our groin. We’re going to hold our feet, and now I’m going to push my legs down using both arms, and I’m going to also bring my forehead down.

So there’s three steps: heels in, push the legs down with the elbows, and lower your forehead down. Now, we’re going to hold this position for at least 15 seconds. You should feel it in your lower back, and you might also get a good stretch in your inner thigh as well.

For our next exercise, I like to call this the cat stretch. We’re going to get on all fours, and we’re going to be on our knees and on our hands.

Make sure your shoulder is right above your wrist, and your hands are separated about shoulder width apart.

Now, if you guys have seen a cat before, when he gets scared, what happens is he kind of curves his back up, hunches it up.

And that’s what we’re going for. We’re going to stick in the back, and then we’re going to kind of like hunch it out. In, then hunch out.

We’ll do this about 10 times. Let’s go for 10 repetitions.

For our next exercise, we’re going to start off on our knees, and we’re going to put one leg in front of us, with our foot completely flat on the floor.

And now with the other side, we’re simply going to clinch our glutes in. You’re going to feel a stretch here in your hip, in the front of your hip here.

You want to hold this about 15 seconds. Let me show you guys from the front. Use the other leg, and one leg in front of you.

You’re completely tall and straight. And now with this leg that’s behind you, you’re going to clinch that glute in.

Again, you’re going to feel it more here in the hip. Not so much the lower back, but sometimes the glute, the hips and the lower back, they kind of work together.

So it’s good to loosen up the glute and the hips as well to release tension from the lower back, so this is a very good stretch here.

Now it’s not so much lunging forward, not so much lunging forward. Again, it’s just clinching that glute in. And right away you’re going to feel that stretch in the front of your hip.

For our next exercise, we’re going to be on our knees, now I’m going to sit my glutes down on my heels.

Now, notice how my feet are flat on the floor like this. Now I’m going to sit down. This might already give you a stretch in your ankles.

Now I’m going to put my hands here. I’m going to grab my ankles, and I’m going to lower my head towards the floor, almost like if I want to touch the floor with my forehead.

But at the same time I’m also trying to sit down on my heels. So I’m sitting down on my heels; I’m going all the way down; I’m trying to put my head on the floor.

As you can see, I cannot touch the floor with my head. But if I’m sitting down and still trying to touch the floor, you should feel a stretch in your lower back area here.

Show you from the front view, I’m on my knees. I’m going to sit down on my heels. I’m going to grab my legs, and at the same time that I’m sitting down on my heels, I’m trying to bring my forehead down to the floor.

Even if you cannot touch the floor, if you continue to sit down towards your heels, you should feel it in your lower back area.

We just went over each and every exercise of this routine, and I’m pretty sure you’re feeling a lot more confident about doing this routine alone at home.

Now, one big tip I can give you is, remember, you are a beginner, so you might not be able to master each and every exercise on Day 1.

But I promise you, if you’re consistent enough, eventually you will get stronger, more mobile, more agile, more flexible, and you will be able to master each one of these exercises.

All right, guys. Till next time.