Dealing with pain or stiffness in your lumbar spine? At Onward Charlotte our physical therapy team specializes in treating low back pain. One important step in your rehab is determining if stiffness is contributing to your pain. For those with poor low back mobility these drills will help improve your motion and get you moving again!
Low Back Mobility with the Banded Cat Cow
A great starting point for improving low back mobility is the banded cat cow. Get on your hands and knees and place a resistance band over the stiffest areas of your back. Hold the other end of the band.
The key with this motion is to focus on pushing your back into the band slowly, segment by segment. This intentional movement takes the cat cow from being a waste of time to a great stretch of your low back.
Cat / Cow with a Rockback
We can knock the banded cat cow up a notch by adding in a rucksack. Sit your butt back onto your heels so you’ll further intensity the low back mobility you gain from the above exercise.
Side Lying Lumbar Rotations
This variation on the open book stretch commonly used for the thoracic spine is a great low back mobility movement. We prefer this one off a bench or the edge of your bed as dropping your knee off let’s you move deeper into the stretch. Notice that Jordan’s other hand is grabbing his lower ribs as he tries to pull his upper back towards the floor.
Reverse Hypers on GHD
Combining low back mobility with strength is an important key to your low back rehab. The reverse hyper is a great option for doing this. Most gyms don’t have a real reverse hyper machine but have a GHD and can perform this variation instead.
Medicine Ball Jefferson Curls
One thing we believe is very important in low back pain rehab is building strength in the back muscles. Many emphasize “core strength” and working the muscles of the abs, but it is really the low back muscles that need your focus. Build them up strong, so they’ll be more resistant to future injuries.
For those that need strength and low back mobility the medicine ball, Jefferson curl works both. Grab a low-weight medicine ball and give it a hug, wrapping your chest over the ball. Slowly slide it down your anterior hip and thigh as you round your low back forward.
Need a more individualized assessment and treatment plan to finally unlock your lower back? Our team in specializes in low back pain physical therapy. We’d love to get you on the path to better freedom of movement!