One of our Physical Therapists, Danielle Weis, PT, DPT, OCS, was interviewed by Well+Good to discuss 5 Ways To Stretch Your Lower Back With A Medicine Ball.

She’s quoted saying:

“Over the course of the day, the effects of gravity and poor posture cause compression through the vertebral segments, from neck to sacrum, and the spinal discs. It also places muscles and joints in disadvantageous positions.  Longterm—as little as 3 to 6 months—prolonged posturing and inflexibility causes the muscles around the spine to get tight and the spine itself becomes compressed and stiff between each segment. As we age, compression can worsen and disc health can become compromised, setting us up for future injury.”

“It also allows for easy modification. You can take a stretch deeper or keep it light, depending on your needs and exercise tolerance. An exercise ball, since it’s air-filled, also provides a comfortable surface to stretch on. Aka the opposite of a foam roller.”

Weis recommends stretching the tight muscles in and around the back, as well as mobilizing the spine.

1. Lay Back Over The Ball

“It creates a stretch through the front of the body—mainly the abdominals and iliopsoas muscles—which get tight with sitting at a desk, as we hunch forward through the day. This also allows the spine to mobilize and reverse the upper back’s natural ‘kyphotic’ curve, which can become overly rounded with poor posture. It’s an easy stretch, but it’s highly effective.”

2. Stretch Forward Over The Ball

“Reverses the natural rounding of the upper and mid-back, which become overly rounded due to many common activities of daily life,”

3. Lay On Your Side Over The Ball

“This opens the vertebral joints on the ‘top’ side of the body and stretches out the muscles, including the lats, paraspinals, quadratus lumborum, and glutes. Just make sure to stretch both sides.”

4. Sit On Top Of The Ball

“This stretches both the long paraspinal muscles in the back, as well as the hip of the crossed leg.”

5. Do A Wall Sit With The Ball

“It creates a stretch through the pecs, opening the front of the body and shoulders, as well as mobilizing the spine to extension.”

View the original piece placement on Well+Good