Stretch/articulation: knee hugs

A stretch for the lower back muscles and joints

Knee hugs are a popular exercise for the lower back. They gently stretch the muscles of the lower back and bring movement through the hips, pelvis, and spine. Ideal for getting moving first thing in the morning, this is something you can do in bed before you get up and again before sleeping. Some people prefer to do this on the floor- particularly for taking the legs off to one side. There are three parts to the exercise, and I may not have prescribed all of them to you so follow the instructions given to you previously.

  1. Bring one leg up at a time
  2. Bring both legs up together
  3. Take both legs off to one side

Hold the stretch for 3-5 seconds each time. You will likely feel the benefit from repeating each step, and making sure you stretch both sides. If you have knee pain and it’s too uncomfortable to apply pressure to your knees during this exercise, you can modify it by holding onto the back of your knee or thigh.

Main muscles targeted: lumbar erector spinae (LES), quadratus lumborum (QL).


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