19 Of The Best Lower Back Stretches For Runners

stretches for runners 21

Let’s be real, lower back pain is a nagging problem you don’t want to have.

Even shin splints aren’t as bad as having to deal with lower back pain.

It’s the sort of minor (or severe) injury that can bring all physical activity to a screeching halt. And, we’re not just talking about running or exercising. Heck, simple things like putting on your shoes become difficult tasks. The pain is damn near unbearable!

Fortunately, we’ve put together this huge list of the best lower back stretches for you.

It’s a straightforward guide that shows you how to stretch your lower back and relieve back pain.

 

A Few Things To Note

Before you jump to the stretches, you need to understand a few things first.

There are tons of reasons why you might experience back pain. Similar to foot pain issues, the reason might be tied to your posture. Everything from how you walk to the way you sit in a chair at work can affect your lower back. Even lifting weights or overexerting yourself can also tweak your back. These are all things to think about when you’re trying to find the root cause of your back-related injuries.

Secondly, if you have a severe back injury then you probably don’t want to do anything else without seeing your doctor. The last thing we want is for you to injure yourself and end up on an operating table in a hospital somewhere. Not only will that suck but we’ll also miss having you read our boring articles.

Be smart, listen to your body and stay away from operating room tables!

 

How To Stretch Your Lower Back With These Exercises

All of these stretches are pretty basic and so easy even a caveman can do it.

Your goal is not to do every one of these lower back stretches. Just pick a few and start relieving your back pain.

If you have poor mobility or stiff joints, just skip the ones that aren’t working for you. These stretches are supposed to cause relief, not discomfort. Just take your time and focus on the stretch itself.

Remember, stretching is a good way to increase your overall muscle length.

It also helps to reduce the risk of injuries like pulled, strained or torn muscles. The more often you stretch, the better your chances are of increasing your body’s efficiency and performance.

*Note: You should do a quick warm up before stretching your body. The fastest way to do this is with a low intensity such as walking, jumping or throwing a tantrum like a kid. Yep, throwing tantrums can actually loosen you up #mindblown.

 

The Best Lower Back Stretches For Pain Relief

All of these stretches should be static stretches. That means you should NOT be bouncing while you’re stretching.

Also, if at any point you start to feel pain, just stop what you’re doing and just lay there.

Confucius say if you stretch body too far, it break like condom and ruin life.

Perform each stretch slowly and hold for 20 to 30 seconds. Repeat the stretch 3 to 5 times before moving to the next one.

1. Inner Thigh Stretch

stretches for runners 2

Sit on the floor and bring the soles of your feet together by bending your knees. Now use your forearms to slowly press against your inner thighs, pushing them towards the ground. Don’t worry if your thighs can’t touch the ground, you’re just doing a gentle stretch here. Hold the position for 20 to 30 seconds then repeat the stretch on the other leg.

 

2. Hamstring Stretch (Standing)

stretches for runners 18

Place one leg on a table or something stable at a comfortable height. Keep your knee straight. Keep your other leg firmly on the ground with the knees also straight and toes pointing forward. Keep your hands at your side or held behind you. Now slowly lean forward using your hips while keeping your back straight. You should feel this stretch behind the knee of your leg that’s on the table. Hold the position for 20 to 30 seconds then repeat the stretch on the other leg.

 

3. Hamstring Stretch (Sitting)

stretches for runners 16

Begin by sitting on a bench or use a table and chair of matching height. Extend one leg out in front of you on the bench or table with your toes pointed up. Keep your opposite leg off the table with your foot resting on the floor. Now slowly lean forward from your hips while keeping your back straight. You should feel the stretch behind the knee of your extended leg. Hold the position for 20 to 30 seconds then repeat the stretch on the other leg.

 

4. Hamstring Stretch in 90/90 Position

stretches for runners 14

Lie on your back and lift one leg up until your thigh and hip are at about a 90-degree angle. Keep the other leg relaxed and extended on the floor. Now slowly straighten your raised leg until you feel the stretch behind your thigh. If you want, you can use a towel or exercise band to assist you as shown in the image. Hold the position for 20 to 30 seconds then repeat the stretch on the other leg.

 

5. Hamstring Stretch (Sitting)

stretches for runners 19

While seated on the floor, extend one leg out in front of you with your toes pointed up. Bend your other leg and place the sole of your foot against the knee of your extended leg. Now slowly lean forward using your hips while keeping your back straight and head up. Hold each position for 20 to 30 seconds then repeat the stretch on the other leg. Most runners find this to be one of the best lower back stretches because it really stretches those tight hammys.

 

6. Hip Adductor Stretchstretches for runners 12

Position yourself in a wide stance so your feet are far apart and your toes are facing forward. Lean to the side by bending one of your knees and keep the other leg straight. As your weight shifts onto the bending knee, you should begin to feel the stretch on the inner thigh of your other leg. Hold the position for 20 to 30 seconds then repeat the stretch on the other leg.

 

7. Hip Flexor Stretch (Lying)

stretches for runners 11

Lie on your back either on the floor or a bench. Bring both of your knees toward your chest and hold the back of your thighs. Lower one of your knees while holding the other with both hands. Try not to arch your back during the stretch. You should feel the stretch on the top of your thigh in the lowered leg. Alternate your legs and remember to hold the position for 20 to 30 seconds for each leg.then repeat the stretch on the other leg.

 

8. Quadriceps Stretch (Standing)

stretches for runners 10

Stand on one foot with one hand against a wall or on a chair for support. Use the other hand to hold your raised foot around the ankle and close to your thigh (check the image). Now slowly pull your heel towards your butt so that you feel the stretch in your front thigh. Keep your back straight and chest up. Hold the position for 20 to 30 seconds then repeat the stretch on the other leg.

 

9. Quadriceps Stretch (Prone)

stretches for runners 9

While lying on your stomach, bend one of your legs at the knee and hold it with your hand. Keep your other leg outstretched on the floor. Now slowly pull the heel of your raised leg towards your butt until you start to feel the stretch in your thigh. Hold the position for 20 to 30 seconds then repeat the stretch on the other leg.

 

10. Hamstring Stretch (Doorway)

stretches for runners 15

This is probably one of the best lower back stretches for really stiff backs. You can start by Lying on your back between a doorway. Next, raise your leg that’s closest to the door and place your heel against it (just like the image shows). Keep your other leg extended on the ground. Now slowly slide yourself closer to the wall to stretch until you feel the stretch in your raised leg. Hold the position for 20 to 30 seconds then repeat the stretch on the other leg.

 

11. Low Back/Buttock Stretch

stretches for runners 8

Lie on the floor with both legs outstretched. Raise one knee and bring it towards your chest while holding it with both hands. Keep your other leg outstretched with your toes pointing up. Pull your raised knee towards your chest until you feel the stretch in your butt and lower back. If you want even more of a stretch, try to pull your knee in the direction of your opposite shoulder to stretch your lateral buttock. Hold the position for 20 to 30 seconds then repeat the stretch on the other leg.

 

12. IT Band Stretch (Standing)

stretches for runners 7

Ah, the good old Iliotibial Band. Stand sideways with one hand resting against a wall or chair for support. Position your leg that’s closest to the wall behind your other leg. Now slowly push your hip towards the wall until you fell the stretch all along the outside of your hip. Hold the position for 20 to 30 seconds then repeat the stretch on the other leg.

 

13. IT Band Stretch (Sitting)

stretches for runners 6

Sit on the floor with both legs extended in front of you. Raise one knee towards your chest and cross it over the other. Twist your torso in the direction of your raised knee and use your hand to pull your knee towards your opposite shoulder (just like the image shows). You should feel this stretch in your butt and on the outside of your hip. Hold the position for 20 to 30 seconds then repeat the stretch on the other leg.

 

14. IT Band Stretch (Inside Lying)

stretches for runners 5

Lie sideways on the edge of a table with your lower leg pulled towards your chest. Keep the other leg outstretched. Now lower the outstretched leg off the table while keeping your hip and upper body perpendicular to the table. You should feel this stretch in your hip, lower back and along the outside of your outstretched leg. Hold the position for 20 to 30 seconds then repeat the stretch on the other leg.

 

15. Hip Flexor Stretch (Lunge Position)

stretches for runners 13

While standing, step forward into a lunge position with one leg in front and one outstretched behind you. You might hate lunges but this is one of the best lower back stretches for runners. For this stretch, the heel of your outstretched leg doesn’t need to be on the floor. Place your hands on your hips or on the thigh of your front leg with your foot flat on the floor.

Try to keep your chest up and back straight. Now slowly push your hips downward until you feel the stretch in the thigh of your front leg. If you can’t go too low or just hate lunges, you can use a chair instead. Hold the position for 20 to 30 seconds then repeat the stretch on the other leg.

 

16. Piriformis Stretch (Lying)

stretches for runners 4

While lying on your back, raise your knees (like you’re about to do sit-ups). Cross one of your legs over the thigh of the other. Put your hands behind the thigh of your leg that’s on the floor and pull it toward your chest as shown in the diagram. Hold the position for 20 to 30 seconds then repeat the stretch on the other leg.

 

17. Piriformis Stretch (Standing)

stretches for runners 3

Another alternative to this stretch is to use a table. Find a table that’s waist high and place your leg on it with your knee bent. Keep your other leg straight. Now slowly lean forward across the table using your hips while keeping your back straight. Hold the position for 20 to 30 seconds then repeat the stretch on the other leg.

 

18. Gastroc-Soleus Stretch

stretches for runners 17

Stand with you hands placed against a wall or on a counter for support. Extend one leg behind you and keep your toes pointed straight ahead. Bend your opposite leg and keep it on the ground in front of you. Make sure that the heel of your extended leg is touching the ground (pull your leg closer if you can’t keep your heel down). Now move your hips forward, keeping your back straight and you should start to feel the stretch in the back of your calf. Hold the position for 20 to 30 seconds then repeat the stretch on the other leg.

 

19. Hip Internal Rotator Stretch

stretches for runners 1

Lie on your back with both legs outstretched in front of you. Raise one of your legs so that it’s at a 45-degree angle from your body (like the diagram). Be sure to keep the other leg relaxed and outstretched. Also, try not to arch your back. Now slowly push the knee of your raised leg outward as if you’re trying to make it touch the ground. You should feel this stretch along your inner thigh. Hold the position for 20 to 30 seconds then repeat the stretch on the other leg.

 

Conclusion

This list is not the holy grail of stretches but it features some of the best lower back stretches for pain relief that we could find. If you can think of others, let us know and we’ll add it for the benefit of the community.

Of course you know we have to drop the obligatory disclaimer here. Not because we think 99.91% of you are dumb. It’s because 0.09% of people just find ways to amaze us by being dumb.

So please note that this list of lower back stretches is only provided for informational purposes. There is no way in hell that it will treat, diagnose or replace the sound advice of a medical professional. If you have lower back problems, get help from a doctor or physical therapist. In fact, get help for any kind of medical related issue.

 

Want More Articles Like This?
Enter your email address below and join us for updates.
No spam ever!