Stiffness in your low back may be contributing to your low back symptoms. Cat/Caw stretches, knee rocking stretches, and pelvic clocks are three simple and effective exercises to improve motion in your low back.

Cat/Cow Stretch

Cat Position Cow Position

  1. Begin on your hands and knees. Your hands should be under your shoulder and knees should be under your hips.
  2. Move into the “cat” position by gently pulling your abdominal muscles up towards the ceiling. Curl your chin towards your chest, arch your mid-back, and tuck your tailbone in to rotate your pelvis.
  3. Slowly move into the “cow” position by lifting your head up, flattening your mid-back, and curving your tailbone up to rotate your pelvis in the opposite direction. Your abdominal muscles should remain engaged.
  4. Repeat by transitioning back to the “cat” position.

Knee Rocking Stretch

Knee RockingKnee Rocking

  1. Lay on your back and bend your knees so your feet are flat on the floor.
  2. While keeping your knees together and shoulders on the floor, slowly rotate your trunk, hips, and knees to one side as far as you feel is comfortable. Hold and then gently rotate to the opposite side.

Pelvic Clocks

Pelvic Clocks

  1. Lay on your back and bend your knees so your feet are flat on the floor.
  2. Imagine a clock has been placed on your stomach as seen in the photo.
  3. Tuck your tailbone in and tilt your pelvis up towards 12:00. Curve your tailbone out and tilt your pelvis down toward 6:00. Tilt one side of your pelvis towards the ceiling to direct your pelvis towards 3:00 and perform the opposite motion to direct you pelvis towards 9:00. Progress to moving smoothly in clockwise and counterclockwise motions.
  4. Tip: Place your thumbs on the bony points on the front of your pelvis to better understand where your pelvis is moving.

 

If you are experiencing pain and wondering if these exercises can help along with other methods of treatment, see a physical therapist for a thorough evaluation of your symptoms.

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Nicole graduated with honors from Carroll University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Exercise Science. She continued her education at Carroll and received her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree.