Your Low Back and Hips Will Love You!

Especially if you sit in a chair or stand all day, you are prone to tightness in your lower back and the outsides of your hips. Here are two moves that will ease your tired muscles that you can safely and gently repeat a few times a day, every day!

  1. Knee stirs to release your lower back: Lie on your back on the floor. Pick your feet up off of the floor, bringing both knees in toward your chest. Your lower back should come into contact with the floor as you do this. Place your right hand on your right knee, and your left hand on your left knee. Letting your arms do the work, make small circles with your hands and knees one direction, about softball-sized. Your back, waist, and hips should just be going along for the ride and not doing any work at all. Once you have circled about 6 times slowly in one direction, circle the other direction about 6 times. Because your back muscles are relaxing into the floor and not doing any work, the gentle movement allows them to release. This is my favorite way to relax the lower back.
  2. Figure 4 stretch for outer hips: Lie on your back with knees bent toward the ceiling and feet on the floor about hip distance apart. Place your right ankle on your left knee, allowing your right knee to gently drop out toward the side. If you have not been regularly stretching, you may already feel a stretch in the outside of your right hip. To intensify the stretch in the outside of your right hip (and maybe also in your right hamstring), bring both legs in toward your chest and either hold on top of your left knee or behind your left knee (for more intensity). Hold this position for 45 to 60 seconds, allowing your head and shoulders to relax into the floor. Then, gently release your legs toward the floor and repeat the stretch on the other side.

These two moves feel particularly nice at the end of a long day in an office chair, or after a long drive.

Have a happy fourth next week, and happy beginning of summer to everyone!

 — Brooke :)