Workouts for women usually jump right to cardio and weights, but it’s so important to take a few minutes (not a lot, I promise!) to just stretch your body out at the beginning and end of the day. Whether you work from home as a business person or full-time mom, or head off to work at the office or store, the stress of the day takes a toll on your back. That’s why back stretches are so important.
As much as I don’t like it, a lot of my day is spent sitting at a desk and working on a computer. I love my work, don’t get me wrong, but it definitely wreaks havoc on my back and hips.
To combat the back aches that come with sitting for too long, I set my alarm for three separate stretching times per day. The stretches only take a few minutes, but they help relieve the stress that settles in my lower back. Let’s face it, when you’re a busy mom, you don’t have hours for stretching. This I know.
Check out three of my favorite back stretches below.
As always, consult with your doctor before beginning any exercise routine – including stretching! And, if you ever get into a stretch and it hurts, stop immediately! Stretches might feel slightly uncomfortable, but they should never hurt! Listen to your body.
Back Stretches for Busy Moms
CAT AND COW STRETCH
This simple stretch feels sooooo good when I’m holding on to a lot of tension. Start on your hands and knees with your shoulders directly over your wrists and your knees directly below your hips. Breathe in and gently round your back to stretch your spine and lower your head. Smoothly and slowly breathe out as you sink your back and arch your chest and your hips toward the ceiling.
SIDE TO SIDE STRETCH
I love this one, but I will warn you that if you’re just starting to exercise, don’t worry about being able to get your knees flat against the floor. It can be challenging and you definitely don’t want to pull a muscle! Stretching should never hurt!
Start flat on your back, arms extended to the side, legs lifted and bent to 90 degrees. Slowly twist and lower your legs to the right while looking and reaching to the left. Take 2-3 deep breaths and release the tension in your lower back. Slowly bring your legs back to 90 degrees and repeat on the opposite side.
Small, controlled movements are always better than big, uncontrolled ones!
LOWER BACK STRETCHING ROUTINE
On those days when I just want to spend about 5 minutes stretching out my back (which is usually most days!), I break out this quick routine. It’s a set of seven exercises and takes less than 5 minutes total.