Jeremy Waite


Stretching advice

Lower back stretch focusing on the Quadratus Lumborum

After neck and shoulders, the most commonly heard complaint on the massage couch must be lower back pain. This can be a problem area to treat as there are so many potential issues relating to muscles around the hips, vertebra and even muscles of the upper leg. For that reason I would always recommend consulting a specialist to finalise exactly what is causing the pain before taking any action. However, if appropriate, a lower back stretch can be exellent for releasing tension in this area and also very useful for people to perform as part of their regular routine.

The stretch I particularly like for this area focuses primarily on the Quadratus Lumborum muscle, but it will also benefit muscles in the erector spinae (the small muscles around the vertebra) and core groups as well as the latissimus dorsi. In fact with correct positioning, it is also possible to get a good stretch for the calf and other leg muscles at the same time.

Position and function of the primary muscle:

The Quadratus Lumborum joins the lower rib, the 1st-4th Lumbar vertebra and the Iliac crest or hip bone. This muscle's primary roles are in the stabilisaton and hitching of the hip and side bending and extending of the spine.

The stretch:

The basic premise of this stretch is to think that you are gaining flexibility in all three ranges of movement at the waist - frontal, sagital and tranverse. Step into the usual lunge position with one leg bent in front of you and the other stretched behind and then twist your upper body over the forward leg. Twist your upper body as far as possible whilst also raising the leading hand and gently pushing out with the hip on the same side. Make sure not to force the movement and feel the stretch working across through your lower back, side and also up your spine. When you reach the point where you first feel the stretch, hold the position for 10-15 seconds, relax and then repeat 2 or 3 times.

Inevitably, bearing in mind my job, my final recommendation would be to also get a sports massage if you are particularly tight, as massage work in conjunction with stretching will help ease the muscles even further.

Please note:
- Stretches should only be performed gently, not with any discomfort or pain and only subsequent to a gentle warm up
- When stretching do not bounce or strain into a stretch, increase the pressure slowly to a point where you feel the stretch become active
- Care should be exercised to perform all stretches correctly – if in any doubt please contact a specialist for verification on stretching manoeuvres.

Jeremy Waite works as a Sports Massage Therapist in Berkshire covering areas such as Steatley, Goring, Pangbourne, Wallingford and Reading, providing sports and remedial massage as well as training and rehabilitation advice throughout Berkshire and Oxfordshire and especially to clients in Streatley, Goring, Pangbourne, Wallingford and Reading.

Back to Strengthening and Stretching Exercises

lower back stretch


Jeremy Waite PTS (Dip), MSMA, MISRM
5 Underwood Cottages
The Coombe
Reading, RG8 9RA

Studio: 01491 872556
Mobile: 07827 926123

You are viewing the text version of this site.

To view the full version please install the Adobe Flash Player and ensure your web browser has JavaScript enabled.

Need help? check the requirements page.

Get Flash Player