Q:

How do you safely stretch your back?

A:

Quick Answer

Dr. Chris Iliades for Everyday Health explains that the best and safest back stretches support the back muscles at all times. One safe stretch is the pelvic tilt; lie on the back with knees bent and tighten the stomach muscles until the small of the back touches the floor. The knee-to-chest and hamstring stretches are also safe back stretches.

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Full Answer

The knee-to-chest stretch starts with lying on the back with knees bent. Use the arms to bring and hold one knee close to the chest while the back touches the floor before switching legs. The hamstring stretch features the same starting position, only this time, bring up one knee to the chest while straightening out the other leg along the floor. These stretches can be held for up to 20 seconds at a time, according to Iliades.

Women's Health magazine suggests several safe yoga stretches for the back, including the reclining twist stretch. This type of stretch starts with lying on the back with knees bent. The legs move together, and to the right, until the right knee touches the floor. The lower back twists, along with the hips, while the chest and head remain in contact with the floor. The right part of the hip also touches the floor, and the left leg remains in contact with the right leg. Switch directions to the left to complete the reclining twist stretch.

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