Best Stretches for Your Posterior Muscles

January 13, 2023

Maintaining a healthy and functioning back can be hard work at first. Still, as you train your body and mind to be more aware of bad habits and replace them with better ones, it gets easier.

When visiting ProActive Health, Dr. Doug or Dr. Mike suggest you implement daily stretches and exercises to retrain your body to its natural state. In today’s society, most people are heavily front channel dominant, leading to improper posture and an imbalance in their sacrum and spine.

What does it mean to be front-channel dominant? Well, our bodies are naturally created to work with our posterior chain muscles (back, pelvis, and hamstrings etc.), but because of desk jobs, the invention of cars, and phones, we’ve begun to rely more on our front channel (abdominal muscles and by arching your spine forward) to support our body. This reliance on our front channel has caused our back channel to weaken and become less effective, which inevitably leads to back, hip, knee, joint, and muscle pain as you age.

In today’s article, we’ll review some stretches and exercises you can implement to help retrain your body to become more back-channel dominant and relieve some pain.

Seated figure-four stretch

The seated figure-four stretch stretches your glutes and surrounding muscles. This stretch is perfect for those who sit in a chair for several hours and can be done while working or resting.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Sit tall in a sturdy chair that won’t slip. Your feet should be hip-width apart.
  2. Lift your right ankle and place it on the left leg, above your knee.
  3. Place your hands on the left shin and lean forward until you feel a stretch in the right glute.
  4. Hold the stretch for 30 to 60 seconds.
  5. Return the right foot to the floor and repeat with the left leg.

Standing hamstring stretch

The standing hamstring stretches your hamstrings and your calves.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Stand tall with your feet together and arms by your sides. Step forward with your right foot and flex it toward you.
  2. Engage the core muscles and bend at the waist, reaching your hands toward the right toes. Stop when you feel a stretch. You can place your hands on the upper part of your right thigh.
  3. Hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds.
  4. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat with the left leg.

Child’s pose

This common yoga pose stretches your glutes, thighs, and spine and can help relieve any pain or tension along your spine, neck, and shoulders.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. With your hands and knees on the ground, sink back through your hips to rest them on your heels.
  2. Hinge at your hips as you fold forward, walking your hands out in front of you.
  3. Rest your belly on your thighs.
  4. Extend your arms in front of or alongside your body with your palms facing up.
  5. Focus on breathing deeply and relaxing any areas of tension or tightness.
  6. Hold this pose for up to 1 minute.

Knee-to-chest stretch

This stretch is pretty self-explanatory, but it’s one of our favorites as it helps relax your hips, thighs, and glutes.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Lie on your back with both knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Keep your left knee bent or extend it straight out along the floor.
  3. Draw your right knee into your chest, clasping your hands behind your thigh or at the top of your shinbone.
  4. Lengthen your spine all the way down to your tailbone, and avoid lifting your hips.
  5. Breathe deeply, releasing any tension.
  6. Hold this pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  7. Repeat with the other leg.

Foundation training

This short YouTube video is a favorite of ours, and we often recommend it to our patients. The exercises in this video focus on retraining and reactivating your posterior muscles so your body can work more efficiently and effectively.

Visit us at ProActive Health today to “Align Your Spine, Realign Your Life!”

Ready to see a chiropractor, whether for the first time or as someone looking to visit a new chiropractic office? Dr. Doug Patterson or Dr. Michael Hummer at ProActive Health is the top choice in the Michiana area! They will help guide you in developing a plan to tackle a routine exercise plan, consuming the right foods, and targeting your goals with chiropractic care.

Dr. Doug Patterson hurt his back in 1993 thus he first sought the care of a Chiropractor. After this experience, he decided he wanted to help people himself by pursuing chiropractic. He is a 1997 graduate of the Life University College of Chiropractic in Marietta, Georgia, and has been in practice for 25+ years. Since then, Dr. Doug has expanded his field of practice to include functional medicine,  science-based nutrition, and now certified in Shockwave Therapy. Schedule a visit with Dr. Doug at ProActive Health today!

Dr. Michael Hummer is native to northern Indiana. He grew up very active and found great enjoyment playing football, rugby, and wrestling. Dr. Mike earned his undergraduate degree in Dietetics at Ashland University where as a student-athlete he was a member of the varsity wrestling team. After graduation, he went on to become a personal trainer, and through his passion for both fitness and nutrition, he helped people to achieve their own goals and acquire greater health and wellness. At the same time, he also enjoyed working with and inspiring the local youth throughout his community through his dedication as a volunteer wrestling coach. Now Dr. Mike is excited to apply his education from Logan University and versatile skill set in aiding the community as they strive for greater health and happiness. Dr. Mike is also certified in Shockwave Therapy.. Schedule a visit with Dr. Mike at ProActive Health today!

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