I found myself looking forward to this stretch today as I could feel my back suffering. We had been out all afternoon making the most of the sunshine and I carried my 9 month old son around in his baby carrier. The baby carrier is pretty comfortable and I like using it but we ended up being out for 3 hours and my son is heavy now so I knew my back would need a bit of love once he’d gone to bed and I had some time to myself.
I love this stretch as no matter how much my back hurts this makes it feel better. It’s nice and gentle, perfect for when you’re really in pain.
Before you start, it’s important to find something you can rest your feet and calves on which is the right height. You calves need to be parallel to the floor and your thighs should come straight up from your hips. The gym ball I’ve used in the photos is the perfect height for me. Other useful items to rest your legs on are dining chairs, the sofa and maybe even your bed if it’s the right height.
You want to aim to kiss your knee caps!
Once you’ve found an item that works for you, position yourself on the floor and put your feet on your prop. Make sure you’re lying in a straight line by lifting your head up and checking the centre of your chest, belly button and centre of your pelvis are all lined up. You may want to stay in this pose: it is a good position as your weight is being supported by the floor rather than your back.
If you do want to take it further, move your knees from side to side, keeping your legs together. Try to do this in time with your breathing, for example as you breathe in, move your knees to the left and as you breathe out, move them back to centre then over to the right. As you move your knees you’ll feel your lower back getting a massage as you press different parts of your back into the floor.
If you want to move on from here, as you breathe out, move your knees towards your chest, keeping your legs together. It’s handy to put your hands on your knee caps in this position but try to resist the temptation to pull your knees towards you with your hands. Instead, use the strength of your thighs to pull your knees in.
The last move, if you’re up to it, is to bring your head up as your move your knees towards your chest. You want to aim to kiss your knee caps! If your back is really bad, you might find this is too much.
Please only take your body as far as it wants to go: none of thees poses should hurt.