1. Cat Stretch
- Position yourself on the floor on your hands and knees.
- Pull your belly in and round your spine, lower back, shoulders, and neck, letting your head drop.
- Hold for 15 seconds.
2. Child’s Pose
- Get on your hands and knees, walk your hands in front of you.
- Lower your buttocks down to sit on your heels. Let your arms drag along the floor as you sit back to stretch your entire spine.
- Once you settle onto your heels, bring your hands next to your feet and relax. “breathe” into your back. Rest your forehead on the floor. Avoid this position if you have knee problems.
3. Crossover Reverse Lunge
- Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. This will be your starting position.
- Perform a rear lunge by stepping back with one foot and flexing the hips and front knee. As you do so, rotate your torso across the front leg.
- After a brief pause, return to the starting position and repeat on the other side, continuing in an alternating fashion.
4. Dancer’s Stretch
- Sit up on the floor.
- Cross your right leg over your left, keeping the knee bent. Your left leg is straight and down on the floor.
- Place your left arm on your right leg and your right hand on the floor.
- Rotate your upper body to the right, and hold for 10-20 seconds. Switch sides.
5. Ball Hug
- Seat yourself on the floor.
- Straddle an exercise ball between both legs and lower your hips down toward the floor.
- Hug your arms around the ball to support your body. Adjust your legs so that your feet are flat on the floor and your knees line up over your ankles. Keep a good grip on the ball so it doesn’t roll away from you and send you back onto your buttocks.
6. Knee To Chest
- Lie down on your back and pull both knees up to your chest.
- Hold your arms under the knees, not over (that would put to much pressure on your knee joints).
- Slowly pull the knees toward your shoulders. This also stretches your buttocks muscles.
7. Low Back Foam Roller
- In a seated position, place a foam roll under your lower back. Cross your arms in front of you and protract your shoulders. This will be your starting position.
- Raise your hips off of the floor and lean back, keeping your weight on your lower back. Now shift your weight slightly to one side, keeping your weight off of the spine and on the muscles to the side of it. Roll over your lower back, holding points of tension for 10-30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
8. Supine Pelvic Tilt Into A Bridge
- Lie down with your feet on the floor, heels directly under your knees.
- Lift only your tailbone to the ceiling to stretch your lower back. (Don’t lift the entire spine yet.) Pull in your stomach.
- To go into a bridge, lift the entire spine except the neck.
- Start off by rolling your torso forward onto the ball so your hips rest on top of the ball and become the highest point of your body.
- Rest your hands and feet on the floor. Your arms and legs can be slightly bent or straight, depending on the size of the ball, your flexibility, and the length of your limbs. This also helps develop stabilizing strength in your torso and shoulders.
- To begin, lie straight and face down on the floor or exercise mat. Your arms should be fully extended in front of you. This is the starting position.
- Simultaneously raise your arms, legs, and chest off of the floor and hold this contraction for 2 seconds.Tip: Squeeze your lower back to get the best results from this exercise. Remember to exhale during this movement. Note: When holding the contracted position, you should look like superman when he is flying.
- Slowly begin to lower your arms, legs and chest back down to the starting position while inhaling.
- Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions prescribed in your program.
Variations: You can also perform this exercise using one arm and leg at a time. Simply elevating your left leg, arm and side of your chest and do the same with the right side.
11. Standing Pelvic Tilt
- Start off with your feet hip-distance apart.
- Bend your knees slightly to keep them soft and springy.
- You may want to move your pelvis forward and backward and back few times before holding the tailbone forward in this stretch.