10 Yoga (Ish) Poses For Back Pain
Updated: Apr 3
Did you know that among the tons of benefits of yoga, it can alleviate allergy symptoms?
I definitely didn't, and as the pollen continues to rage war against my sinuses for the 27th year in a row, there are not a lot of things I wouldn't try to get it to stop.
But I'm not writing this post to complain about my allergy pains.
I am, however, writing this post to complain about my back pains.
After a brief stint with a yoga routine one time, the amount of time I spent doing anything yoga-related slowly decreased to nothing while I focused on other aspects of my fitness training.
But keeping up with body maintenance routines is so important. It keeps things moving holistically and even prevents injuries from happening.
It's not always the easiest to do daily mobility routines—you know, life gets in the way. So I try to keep it simple and build routines that I stick to and become habits.
I encourage you to do that too, so here are 10 crazy simple movements inspired by actual yoga that help with back pain and general mobility. They're great to add to a running warm up too!
Why Daily Mobility?
When it comes to daily mobility, we often forget, make excuses, or don't see the benefits right away and stop caring to do it.
But it doesn't matter if you're an elite athlete or someone with a 9-5 desk job, regular stretching and mobility exercises can (and should) be a part of your routine.
Making time for intentional movement:
increases athletic performance
improves joint movement and muscular function
decreases stress levels
And if you feel better, you do things better!
However, after a long day of work, taking valuable free time to configure yourself into some distorted pose could be the very last thing you want to do.
...if you even remember to do it, that is.
I had a run-in with lower back pain and sciatic nerve pain when I started spending more time at a desk while also working out really hard on most days of the week.
If you don't know, the sciatic nerve runs from the lower back through the butt and all the way down each leg. So when the pain was radiating through the entire nerve, my whole leg was bothering me.
It's a very annoying, tingly type of pain.
So I had to do something about it and what I ended up doing is developing a routine that helps keep my
whole body really 💁♀️
So without further ado, the yoga-inspired exercises that help you feel and perform better in just a few minutes each week.
1) Low Lunge with Knee to Ground
You should really feel this on in the hips. The stretch may also extend down the quad of the lower leg. Hold for a great stretch, but make it dynamic if it's pre-workout by rocking back and forth.
2) Low Lunge with Knee Raised
This is just like the position above, but with the back knee lifted up (by straightening back leg). Hold this for a few seconds for a great stretch. Breathe in and reach up, trying to stay calm and relaxed.
3) Low Hip Opener
From a raised plank position, bring one knee up to your chest and place the foot outside of your hands. Hold!
You can also make this a dynamic movement for pre-workout, which is great for bonus spine mobility. Do this by reaching up towards the sky with inside arm. Bring it back down and repeat.
4) Seated Figure 4
This feels so great on the glutes and hips!
Stay seated and cross your right leg by placing right ankle on left knee. Hold or make it dynamic by swinging the knee back and forth for a dynamic mobility movement. (The knee of the down leg goes out to the outside and back up.)
You might want to refer to the YouTube video at the top of this post for this one.
5) Cat Cow
The position pictured is the cat pose, start here and hold for 2-3 second. To rotate to the cow position, maintain the same body position but arch back the other way.
Rotate between the two breathing slowly. Breathe in on cat and slowly exhale as you arch into cow.