Lumbar Extension Stretch

What muscles does the lumbar spine rocking stretch target?

Lumbar Spine

Abdominals

How to perform stretch:

Lie flat on your stomach

Push shoulders upwards

Anatomy:

“Iliopsoas” is a combination of three muscles, namely Iliacus, Psoas Major and Psoas Minor. These muscles are present deep in the pelvis. Iliacus arise from the iliac fossa, while the other two from the lower lumbar vertebrae. Iliacus and Psoas Major have a common insertion on femur at lesser trochanter. Psoas Minor is rather insignificant and is absent in about half the population; when present, it ends above the hip joint.

Iliopsoas flexes the hip joint. When the trunk is fixed, it moves the femur and when the femur is steady in position, it bends the trunk over it.

Rectus Abdominis is another strong trunk flexor. It runs longitudinally, covering almost the entire anterior aspect of abdomen.

The lower part of the Lumbar Spine as well as the joints between the sacrum and the two iliac bones are drawn backwards.

Advantages:

This stretch loosens the inner structures in the abdominal and pelvic region. Therefore, it is profoundly beneficial for people who have to stay crouched for hours daily or who suffer from lower back problems particularly those having stiffness in the lumbar spine and/or pelvic area.

It may also prove helpful in leveling the posterior lumbar disc bulge and is often used in its treatment.

Regular Movement:

This stretch can extend the lumbar spine up to 20 – 30 degrees, against the anterior longitudinal ligament. The greatest movement occurs normally between L4 – S1, while L5- S1 is usually stiff and unyielding.

It also extends the hip joint up to 10 – 30 degrees, with the pelvis held steady.