Is back pain preventing you from doing the things you like and living your life to the fullest… or even from performing simple tasks without severe pain or discomfort? If you’re struggling with back pain, minutes can feel like hours.
In this video Ian Hart (creator of ‘My Back Pain Coach‘) shows you four simple movements that will give you instant relief if you are feeling back pain. All you need is a mat and a little pillow or something to prop your head up.
With these movements, as Ian explains in the video, it’s very important that you’re not just engaging your body but also your mind. What you’re doing here is activating your neuromuscular system. This is your brains connection to your body.
Typically it’s muscular imbalances that create back pain. Activating those muscles is going to take pressure off your lower back instantly, which can lead to back pain reduction or even relief. It can also help your hips as well. We covered the connection between hips and back pain in the article ‘Are Tight Hip Flexors To Blame For Your Low Back Pain?‘.
Simple Movements for natural back pain relief
Watch the video below and follow along with Ian Hart as he walks you through the movements.
Stretch your lower back
The first movement helps stretch your lower back while activating your abs at the same time.
- Lay on your back with your knees bent close to (about a foot from) your butt. Prop your head up on the pillow. Hands at your side.
- Start by bringing your right knee into your chest. When you do that really think about the muscles you’re engaging. The tightening your abs and the stretching of your lower back.
- Do eight reps on each side, lifting the butt slightly up by pushing down with your hand. Then you’re going to switch side. Again, think about your abs and feel good stretching your lower back. Do eight reps again.
- Repeat that whole sequence two more times while focusing on activating your abs when you pull the knee into the chest.
In time you should feel your lower back loosen up, so you’ll be able to pull your knee back a little bit more, further activating your abs.
Knee side drop out
The second movement is going to be a ‘knee side drop out’. Some people might call this a ‘clam’. During this movement you will feel a stretch in the inner thigh as well as feel your glute activate.
- Start in the same position as the firs exercise (on your back with your knees bent, your arms to the side and your head propped up on the pillow.
- Drop your right knee to the side pushing it out as far as it will go without forcing it and then bringing it back up.
- Do eight reps and then switch sides. Now do the same thing on the other side.
- Repeat for two more sets of 8 reps on each side.
In the beginning you might only have a small range of motion. Try to push a little bit further each time and you will gradually increase your range of motion.
Some people might just automatically be able to go down to the ground. If that’s the case, bring your feet back a little further and really think about those muscles. Squeeze your gluts still keep your abs tight and activate all the muscles, your glutes and inner thigh.
You may notice one side is tighter than the other. This can be due to muscular imbalances. Some people might also feel shaky while they do this movement. If you’re shaking, focus on going slower and with more control. Make sure you have a good mind-body connection by realy paying attention to those muscles. Remember, you’re activating your neuromuscular system. So, go slow and controlled.
Single frog leg
Now that you’ve gotten that area loosened up, you’re going to go a little bit deeper with what’s called the ‘single frog leg’. This is a combination of the first two movements.
- Start by laying on your back with your knees bent, your arms to the side and your head propped up on the pillow.
- Bring your right knee into your chest (like you did in the first exercise)
- From this position, open up move your knee to the side (like you did in the second exercise).
- Now slowly stretch your leg and from there bring your knee back to your chest.
- Focus on feeling it stretching the lower back, open up your hip rotators and your inner thigh and then rotate back and repeat. Remember that, while you’re thinking about this, you’re really engaging all the muscles.
- Like the previous exercises, do three sets of 8 reps on each side.
Seated jackknife stretch
Lastly you’re going to do a stretch that’s going to help really take pressure off those discs.
- Sit up straight with your knees locked and your toes pointing at the ceiling, your legs as straight as you can.
- Now reach as far forward as you can. If your hamstrings are super tight you might not be able to get very far. Just go as far as you can. The key here is that the knees stay locked and your ankles close together. Push your forehead as far down towards your knees as possible, but don’t bounce. Just go slowly forward.
- If you’re able to grab your toes then go ahead and grab them so you can hold them and pull yourself forward. Push your forehead down to the knees as far as you can.
- Hold this position for about 12 to 15 seconds and the slowly come back up. Relax for a few seconds and then repeat.
- Try getting a little bit further each time and think about feeling stretching your lower back.
- Repeat this stretch for a total of three repetitions.
You might feel your hamstrings a lot during this exercise. That’s okay. Just focus on feeling that stretch and gradually increasing your range of motion.
So, those are four simple exercises you can do anywhere that should help give you instant relief. They are part of Ian Hart’s ‘My Back Pain Coach‘ program. It goes beyond simple relief and helps actually repair your back and protect your spine. It consists of a 16-minute, 8-movement method that helps re-balance your body and heal back pain for good. Many people experience a dramatic reduction or even complete relief of their back pain after just a few sessions.