Do you sit most of the day? Is your lower back stiff and tight or even painful?
It might not be your hamstrings. Try these hip stretches to alleviate back pain and create mobility in your hips.
Many people work jobs where they are sitting most of the day. This can have many negative affects on the body. It can decrease blood flow to the lower body, it can cause stiffness and pain in the lower back, and it can also increase the likelihood of gaining excess weight.
When a person sits all day they are in the position called hip flexion which causes the hip flexors and quads to become very tight, this will basically shut off your butt muscles and make your core weak. When your hip flexors are tight this causes a muscle called the iliopsoas or psoas for short that attaches to the front of your spine to become tight and pull on your back. Also, when people sit their posture is not great and their pelvis tucks under which causes even more issues with the lower back. Essentially the body gets pulled into a very bad flexion position that causes not only lower back problems but upper back and neck problems as well.
Even if you don’t sit a lot, most of the clients that I have trained usually have tight hip flexors, stiff lower/upper backs, and a weak core. Many people have heard that they should stretch their hamstrings to decrease or alleviate back stiffness and pain. This may work for some people and it is good to stretch all of your muscles because most people are very inflexible. Instead of cranking on your hamstrings though, try stretching your hips, hip flexors, and psoas instead.
Give these stretches a try, they can be done just about anywhere multiple times a day. It only takes a few minutes. I recommend to my clients to set a timer for every couple hours to get up out of their chair, move around, and do some of these dynamic stretches. Your lower back and body will thank you. Plus, it will get the blood flowing and give you some energy in the afternoon when you might be feeling sluggish.