HOME STRETCHING EXERCISES

Back Exercises and Stretches

Choose the exercises/stretches prescribed by our office:

IMPORTANT:

If this or any other stretch/exercise causes pain, tingling, numbness or other abnormality discontinue and contact our office immediately. The exercises/stretches contained within this website are solely for the use of existing, active patients of our clinic who have received a prescription for these exercises/stretches. Other individuals do not have our permission to perform the exercises/stretches contained within and should not attempt to do so. Attempting to perform these exercises/stretches, unless explicitly prescribed by our office, could result in serious injury or a worsening of existing conditions.

Range of Motion

STRETCHES

Flexion

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Position:

Standing or seated in chair with leg spread apart.

Standing - While standing erect, bend forward at the waist and reach towards the ground. Bend forward far enough to feel a comfortable stretch in the back and legs. Hold this position for a count of ___ seconds*, then return to the upright position.
Seated - Lean forward between legs with arms stretched outwards. A comfortable stretch should be felt in the muscles of the back and legs. Hold this position for a count of ___ seconds*.

Extension

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Position

Standing or kneeling on floor with hands on hip

Slowly arch the lower back and stick out the chest while slightly leaning backwards. A comfortable stretch should be felt in the lower and mid back area. Hold this position for a count of ___ seconds*.

Important Tip:

If you have problems with balance or dizziness, perform this stretch in the seated position.

Trunk Rotation

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Position

Standing or seating position

Standing - Rotate your torso to one side while keeping your pelvis facing forward. Hold this position for a count of ___ seconds*, then return to the starting position. Next, perform this maneuver to the opposite side.
Seated -

Movement - Seated:

Grasp the chair arm of the opposite side with the hand and pull to assist in torso rotation. A comfortable stretch should be felt in the muscles of the back. Hold this position for a count of ___ seconds*, then perform this same movement to the opposite side.

Lateral Flexion

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Position

Standing position

Movement:

Run the hand directly down the side of the leg, being sure to bend laterally while avoiding forward bending. A comfortable stretch should be felt in the lateral rib cage region. Hold this position for a count of ___ seconds*, then return to the starting position and repeat this movement to the opposite side.

Important Tip:

If you have problems with balance or dizziness, perform this stretch in the seated position.

Standard

STRETCHES

Buttocks

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Position

Lay on back and grasp bent knee with hands; other knee remains flexed.

Slowly pull bent knee towards chest with hands. You should feel a comfortable stretch in the buttocks. Hold this position for a count of ___ seconds*, then perform this same movement on the opposite side. Alternatively, this stretch may be performed by grasping both bent knees together and pulling them towards the chest - as opposed to one knee at a time.

Calf

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Position

Leaning towards wall using both hands for support. The leg with the calf to be stretched is extended behind the torso while the opposite leg is placed forward with the knee bent.

Gastrocnemius Stretch - Keeping the back leg straight, slowly lean towards wall allowing front knee to bend. A comfortable stretch should be felt in the calf of the rear leg. Hold this position for a count of ___ seconds*. Repeat ___ times*, then perform this same movement on the opposite side.
Soleus Stretch - Keeping the back leg slightly bent, slowly lean towards wall allowing front knee to bend. A comfortable stretch should be felt in the calf of the rear leg. Hold this position for a count of ___ seconds*. Repeat ___ times*, then perform this same movement on the opposite side.

Important Tip:

If you have problems with balance or dizziness, perform this stretch in the seated position.

Groin

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Position

With knees bent, place bottoms of feet together in either the seated or supine (on back) position.

Seated Stretch - In the seated position with knees bent and feet together, gently press on the tops of the knees down with the elbows. A comfortable stretch should be felt in the region of the inner thigh. Hold this position for a count of ___ seconds*.
Supine Stretch -While laying on the back, bend the knees and place the feet together. Allow the legs to passively stretch towards the floor. A comfortable stretch should be felt in the region of the inner thigh. Hold this position for a count of ___ seconds*.

 

Hamstring

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Position

Either seated on floor with stretching leg extended and other knee bent or supine (on back) with hands holding back of thigh with the other knee bent.

Seated Stretch - While seated on the floor, extend one leg and bend the other so that the foot faces the inner thigh of the extended leg. Gently lean forward until a comfortable stretch is felt in the back of the thigh. Hold this position for a count of ___ seconds*. Repeat ___ times*, then perform this same movement on the opposite side. A towel may be placed around the foot of the extended leg to assist in the stretch.

st_hamstring_seated.gif

Supine Stretch - While lying on the back, grasp the back of one thigh. With that knee slightly bent, pull the thigh towards the chest until the back of that thigh tightens. Then, slowly straighten the knee. A comfortable stretch should be felt in the back of the thigh. Hold this position for a count of ___ seconds*. Repeat ___ times*, then perform this same movement on the opposite side.

IIiotibial Band (ITB)

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Position

Supine with hand grasping outside of opposite side knee.

Keeping back and shoulders flat on floor and arm extended for support, gently pull knee and thigh across to opposite side of the body. A comfortable stretch should be felt along the lateral aspect of the thigh. Hold this position for a count of ___ seconds*. Repeat ___ times*, then perform this movement on the opposite side.

Important Tip:

Perform this movement slowly avoiding any jerking motions

Piriformis

Position

Seated on floor with foot placed on the lateral aspect of the opposite side knee.

Using your arm, gently pull the thigh of the bent leg and twist the body. A comfortable stretch should be felt in the buttock area of the leg which is bent. Hold this position for a count of ___ seconds*, then perform this same movement on the opposite side.

Important Tip:

Be sure to keep the back straight during the stretch.

Tensor Fasciae Latae

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Position

Standing with crossed legs.

With the legs crossed, slowly bend forward at the waist. A comfortable stretch should be felt in the lateral thigh of the rear leg. Hold this position for a count of ___ seconds*, then perform this same movement on the opposite side.

Important Tip:

If you have problems with balance or dizziness, use a wall to assist with balance or stretch with an assistant.
 

Standard

EXERCISES

Hip Abduction

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Position

Lying on side.

Slowly lift the top leg to a comfortable height, hold for a count of ___ seconds*, then lower. Repeat this movement ___ times*, then perform on the opposite side.

Hip Adduction

Slowly squeeze the knees together and hold for a count of ___ seconds*.

Position

Seated with a pillow or cushion between the knees.
 

Resisted Hip Flexion

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Position

Lay on back with knees bent.

Slowly push the knee towards the chest while resisting the movement with the hand. Hold for a count of ___ seconds*. Repeat ___ times*, then perform the same movement with the opposite leg.

Hip Extension

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Position

Lay face down on floor or bed.

Slowly extend the leg to a comfortable height and hold for a count of ___ seconds*. Repeat this movement ___ times*, then perform with the opposite leg.

Lunges

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Position

Standing.

Slowly step forward allowing both knees to bend so that the thigh of the forward leg is parallel to the floor and the knee of the rear leg touches the floor. Then, slowly push off with forward leg to return to the starting position. If this movement is too difficult to perform due to weakness, do not perform the full movement.

Wall Squats

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Position

Standing with back against wall.

Slowly bend the knees and allow the back to slide down the wall until the thighs are approximately parallel to the floor. Then, slowly push with the legs to return to the starting position.

Abdominal Crunches

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Position

Lying on back with knees bent and arms crossed on chest.

Squeeze the abdominal muscles so that your shoulder blades are slightly lifted off the floor and your midsection is "crunched". Hold this position for a count of ___ seconds*, then slowly return to the starting position. Be sure to keep the neck relaxed and in a neutral position during the exercise.

Oblique Crunches

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Position

Lying on back with knees bent and arms crossed on chest.

Squeeze the abdominal muscles so that your shoulder blades are slightly lifted off the floor and your midsection is "crunched". As you "crunch", reach one hand to the opposite knee keeping the other hand on chest. Hold this position for a count of ___ seconds*, then return to the starting position. Repeat this movement ___ times*, then perform the same movement with the other arm. Be sure to keep the neck relaxed and in a neutral position during the exercise.
 

Leg Lift

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Position

Performed lying on back or seated in chair.

Floor - First, tighten the abdominal muscles and slightly squeeze the buttocks in order to press the small of the lower back into the floor and tilt the pelvis into a "neutral" position. Next, raise the bent legs until the lower legs are parallel and the thighs are perpendicular to the floor. Then, slowly extend the legs until they are near full extension, then bring them back to the starting position. Be sure all movements are slow and controlled.

Chair - First, grab sides of chair and lean back slightly while tightening the abdominal muscles and slightly squeezing the buttocks in order to obtain the "neutral spine" position. Next, raise the legs until the feet are approximately 6-12 inches off the ground. Hold this position for a count of ___ seconds*, then return to the starting position.

Stabilization

EXERCISES

Bridging

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Position

On back with knees bent and arms at side.

Tighten the abdominal muscles and slightly squeeze the buttocks. Then, tilt the pelvis into a "neutral" position and raise pelvis off the floor. Hold this position for a count of ___ seconds*, then return to the starting position.
 

Dead Bug

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Position

On back with knees bent and arms at side.

First, tighten the abdominal muscles and slightly squeeze the buttocks in order to press the small of the lower back into the floor and tilt the pelvis into a "neutral" position. Now, slowly extend one arm above the head and return it back down to the side. Next, perform the same movement with the opposite arm. Perform a total of ___ repetitions*.

Mad Cat

Position

Hands and knees on floor in "cat" position.

Slowly arch the back upwards and tuck the chin by flexing the head forward and tightening the abdominal muscles - the "mad cat" position. Hold this position for a count of ___ seconds*. Then, lift the head upwards and extend the lower back so that the abdominal section hangs downward (reversed position). Hold this position for a count of ___ seconds*.

On All Fours

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Position

Hands and knees on floor.

In the "on all fours" position, tighten the abdominal muscles and flatten the back to maintain a "neutral spine" position. Next, slowly extend one arm in front of the body, hold for a count of ___ seconds*, then return to the starting position. Repeat this movement with the opposite arm. Perform a total of ___ repetitions*.

Prone Extension

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Position

Face down position.

With the arms behind the back and while keeping the pelvis and legs in contact with the floor, slowly lift the torso off the floor. Be sure to keep the chin tucked during the movement to prevent neck strain. Hold this position for a count of ___ seconds*, then return to the starting position.

Prone Press Up

Position

Face down position.

While keeping the pelvis and legs in contact with the floor, slowly push the torso off the floor and into extension using either the elbows or hands. Be sure to keep the buttocks and back relaxed, and keep the hips in contact with the floor. Hold when in a comfortable position for ___ seconds*, then return to the starting position.