How much time should you spend stretching? This is up to you. To do all the repetitions of all exercises in the following would take at least 30 minutes. It is encouraged to try all the stretches and then decide what works best for you. You may choose to do only a few exercises that seem most helpful for your back condition. Or you may decide to do fewer repetitions of each exercise. Or you may do everything. You are the best person to decide what works for you. The exercises do not all have to be done at once. You can do a little here and there over the course of your day. Here are some of the tips that you can consider to adopt.
1. Trunk Rotation
Lie on your back with your arms out to your sides. Bend your knees and either place your feet flat on the floor or pull your knees up toward your chest. Roll your legs to one side and then the other. Experiment with leg positions to find the one that is most comfortable for you. Move from side to side 20 times. Hold the last stretch to each side for 20 seconds while you relax and breathe easily.
2. Knees To Chest
While lying on your back, pull one leg at a time up to your chest. Then raise your knees and pull both toward your chest at the same time. Do 20 repetitions of each motion, holding the last repetition for 20 seconds.
3. Hamstring Stretch
Lie flat on your back in the neutral position. Keeping your left leg straight, bend your right leg, at a 90-degree angle so that the lower right leg is parallel to the ground. Clasp your hands behind your right knee, and begin to straighten your right leg. Do a gradual stretch three to five times, holding it for 20 to 30 seconds. Repeat the stretch with the opposite leg.
4. Hip Flexor Stretch
Kneel down on your right knee. Make sure that your upper body is straight and that your left leg is bent a 90-degree angle. Keeping your hips square and your upper body perpendicular to the ground, drive your hips forward. As you move forward, you should feel the stretch in your right hip. Hold the stretch for 20 to 30 seconds and repeat three to five times. Repeat with the other leg.
5. Quadriceps Stretch
While standing, reach back and grab your right foot or ankle with your right hand. Pull your foot up toward your buttock to stretch the muscles on the front of your thigh. Keep your knee pointing down and next to the other knee. Be sure to stand up straight and avoid twisting. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds and repeat three to five times. Repeat with the opposite leg.
6. Calf Stretch
Stand with one foot in front of the other or with your feet together. Keep your toes pointing forward and your heels on the floor. Lean forward to feel a stretch at the back of your ankle and calf. Hold it for 20 to 30 seconds. Relax and repeat three to five times.
7. Gluteal Stretch
Lie on your back with both legs flat on the floor. Grab your knee and ankle with your hands and pull it toward the opposite shoulder. Hold it for 20 to 30 seconds and repeat three to five times. Repeat with the other leg.
Courtesy of Raymond Lee