In bridges, a person contracts their gluteus maximus, the largest muscle in their buttocks. This muscle is primarily used when people bend into a squat.
Keeping the gluteus maximus strong helps you maintain a healthy lower back.
A bridge is performed as follows:
- Lie down on your back with your knees bent, feet hip-width apart.
- Keep your arms at your sides and press your feet into the floor.
- As you raise your buttocks, make your body form a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.
- Squeeze the buttocks while keeping your shoulders on the floor.
- Lower your buttocks to the ground and rest a few seconds.
- Do this 15 times and then rest a minute.
- Repeat three times.
Performing a knee-to-chest stretch can help elongate the lower back, relieving tension and pain.
In order to perform the knee-to-chest stretch, follow these steps:
- Lay flat on your back on the floor.
- Bend your knees while keeping both feet flat on the ground.
- Pull one knee toward your chest with both hands.
- Keep the abdominal muscles tight and press the spine into the floor while holding the knee against the chest for 5 seconds.
- Then return to the starting position.
- Repeat with the other leg.
- Do this twice a day on each leg.
Lower Back Rotational Stretch
Lower back rotational stretching can alleviate pressure and tension in the lower back and trunk. It can also help improve stability by gently working the core muscles.
The lower back rotational stretch is performed as follows:
- Lie on your back with bent knees and flat feet.
- Roll both bent knees to one side while keeping the shoulders firmly on the floor.
- Continue holding the position for 5–10 seconds.
- Come back to the starting position.
- Roll your bent knees over to the other side, hold, and then return to your starting position.
- Perform 2–3 repetitions on each side, twice daily.