One of the first solutions people struggling with back pain seek are lower back stretches to relieve their pain. But the truth is, many of these stretches for back pain are just short term fixes that actually end up doing more harm than good, and are the opposite of what people should be doing. A stretch meant to relieve lower back pain, like toe touches (and other similar stretches), trigger what’s called a stretch reflex, which gives you about 15-20 minutes of pain relief. But the problem is that this creates a vicious cycle of thinking that these stretches are doing good and are the only solution for relief, yet in reality are just contributing to the pain in the lower back. The key is to break this cycle. And that’s what I’ll do in this video. Here, I’ll show you how to relieve lower back pain once and for all with 4 moves.
Based on the findings of renowned back pain researcher Dr. Stuart McGill and his lab, the cat camel exercise has been found to be the least stressful way to incorporate some movement into the spine without aggravating it. For these, get on all fours and slowly move back and forth from a downward spinal curve with the head looking up like a cat and then move into a rounded spine while the head looks down like a camel. Each cycle should take about three to four seconds. 7-8 cycles are all that is needed. We’re now ready to move onto some mobilization drills for other problematic areas within the body that may be contributing to the pain in the lower back.
The first drill will target one of our major hip flexor muscles, the psoas. There’s a unique stretch meant to relieve lower back pain we can do that helps to specifically stretch this muscle. To execute it, get into a lunge position with one leg in front and raise your opposite arm overhead as you descend into the lunge. Then, bend your torso slightly to the side away from your back leg and drop your shoulder back to further target and stretch the psoas. You should feel a deep stretch in the psoas located in front of the hip of your back leg. Hold this position for a couple seconds and then take a step forward to switch your front leg and the raised arm and repeating the sequence. The goal is to perform six strides at a time.
Next, we want to move onto a drill that will help us further mobilize and open up the hips while strengthening some of our important hip muscles. This is critical when it comes to learning how to relieve lower back pain. To improve this, we’ll use a mobilization drill called hip airplanes. For these, assume a single leg stance, brace your core, and grip the floor with your planted foot. Then, place your hands on your hips and rotate your torso forward over your planted leg while kicking your back leg behind you. Keep the back leg completely straight and your planted leg knee in a slightly bent position. Next, rotate your hips in towards your planted leg (hip internal rotation) and then transition to rotating it away from your planted leg (hip external rotation). Aim for a total of 3 sets of 3 reps with this movement.
The last of the back stretches is going to help with the daily upkeep of your back. To perform it, simply stand with your arms overhead and count to 10. Then, reach higher and farther back for another count of 10. In this position, deeply inhale and work your way into an upright and stress free standing posture. By breaking up every 20-30 minutes of prolonged sitting with this drill, you’ll be able to prevent an excessive buildup of stress on your lower back.
So, as a summary, here are the stretches for back pain you should do:
Cat Camel: 7-8 cycles
Psoas Stretch: 6 strides
Hip Airplanes: 3 sets of 3 reps each side
Spine Hygiene Stretch: Perform after prolonged periods of sitting
Ideally you want to do these daily or even multiple times a day. At the same time though just keep in mind that back pain is specific to you and your situation, and there isn’t a general fix for everyone.
For those looking for a complete step-by-step program that uses science to show you how to properly train AND eat week after week to transform your body in the most efficient way possible, then simply take the analysis quiz to discover which science-based program would be best for you and where your body is currently at below:
CHECK OUT DR. STUART MCGILL’S BOOKS:
Subscribe to my channel here:
Filmed by: Bruno Martin Del Campo
00:00 – Stretches to avoid
1:35 – "Good stretch" #1
3:20 – "Good stretch" #2
5:58 – "Good stretch" #3
7:39 – "Good stretch" #4
9:24 – Action plan
32 thoughts on “The WORST Stretches For Low Back Pain (And What To Do Instead) Ft. Dr. Stuart McGill”
Where do i find the category guy that early 🙁
_NGL I LOVE THIS CHANNEL WORK OUT IM NOT MUSCULAR YET BUT I FEEL MORE CONFIDENT AND MOTIVATED WHEN I WORK OUT_
just remember, no more then 10 sets per body part, about 3 minute per exercise, 8-20 rep range, go within 2 reps of failure or even to failure. Wish I had this advice when I started
What to do is my shoulders are not aline or straight
And when i do lateral raise my shoulder hurts
Also In shoulder day
The psoas stretch has been crucial to preventing sciatic nerve pinching in my glutes (piriformis syndrome). The “shoulder back” cue is critical to get the psoas to stretch properly. Also, loving the spinal hygiene stretch. So simple but feels so good! Thanks for another one, Jeremy!
I developed a lower back pain after weight lifting and its causing a burning sensation in my feet, genital, and pelvic areas. Do you think it could be due to pinched nerves?
@A H same areas on me
@Batuhan Kurtuluş Yeah, it feels like little tiny needles type of burning. I think it’s because I sit all day at work which weakens my core, pelvic floor, and glute muscles and then when I workout without warming up I may have developed a pinched nerve or herniated disk. I feel better when I just walk more instead of sitting all day, I think I need to stretch and strengthen my tendons naturally before lifting heavy weights or get physical therapy.
00:00 – Stretches to avoid
1:35 – “Good stretch” #1
3:20 – “Good stretch” #2
5:58 – “Good stretch” #3
7:39 – “Good stretch” #4
9:24 – Action plan
for people who need a summary
Thanks kind stranger
Google global truth project and read “the Present” if you want to know the truth about life/death. This text is supported by logic and can change the world, especially the beginning
It’s in the description but ok ty superman
It’s in the description tho
Yes i needed this, just started having back pain this week.
Onlyfans coming soon?
Lol exactly. why he extending his spine lack that
This comment needs more likes
@Zetsuke4 watch the whole vid ffs
Smh bro…you need a girl
We need stretches for biceps, triceps, shoulders, abs, forearms, glutes, legs, chest and upper back. Love your videos Jeremy ❤️. You’ve helped me with alot of my workouts.
What the hell. He has almost 3 milliom subscriber. I can remeber him having like 100 000 omg
He deserves all the accolades.
Ikr!! Exactly my reaction but i admit he really deserve it his content is So good
He does produce very good videos and quality content.
I rarely comment on videos but just wanted to say that this guy is providing quality science based information with a world renowned researcher, excellent demonstrations and absolutely no filler content.
Aren’t you the guy in the video that got his back cracked? I think I saw you last night on youtube
@1:48 – cat & camel
@5:04 – psoas strech
@6:31 – hip airplanes
@8:36 – spine hygiene
YES! As someone who’s been struggling with backpain for over 10 years and learned the hard way which movements aggravates or helps my backpain, I strongly agree with everything in this vid.
I have been doing those “wrong” stretches for a while now there is a new way to do It? I’m so confused.