Low Back Flexibility Exercise Using Tennis Balls

low-back-flexibility-with-tennis-ballHere’s another exercise to improve mid back and lower back flexibility. You can use two tennis balls or lacrosse balls to easily self stretch different parts of the low back.


Hey guys, this is Manu Kalia, physical therapist and herbalist. So, in this video, along the same lines as some of the last videos that I did on improving the mobility of the lower thoracic area or even for your lower back or lumbar spine. We use a couple of other things. We used a foam roller and I used a wedge, some of the other videos, and in this video I’m going to show you to do something very similar by using tennis balls. You can also use other things like a lacrosse ball to mobilize those areas also.

So in this one I have two tennis balls. So you can see what they look like. So we tape them, tape them lengthwise and tape them in the center so they don’t move. This is where your spine can sit and the balls can go on either side, so it makes it more comfortable to mobilize specific areas.

So now what I’m going to do is basically the ball is going to be placed along this region. So this is my lower thoracic area, which tends to often get quite stiff because of people sitting in these rounded postures. So your hips get tight in the front as well as the back, plus your thoracic spine often gets really stiff because people are constantly in poor postures. So we’re targeting this region. You can also of course get stiffness in this lower area, too, but we’re targeting this area.

So what we’re going to do is I’m going to take these two balls and as I said they’re going to be sitting on either side and all I’m going to do is I’m going to place these guys, I’m going to search and place on either side of my spine, and now I can control… So if I’m really stiff, you might not be comfortable coming all the way down, so you can control how far you bring your pelvis down. So when I bridge up, and so now I control the pressure off of the balls. So when I come back down, it brings up the pressure onto the balls on either side of the spine or segments. So as I come down, now I’m feeling more pressure on those segments as well as it allows me to see if there’s some stiffness in those areas.

So now what I can do is I can go ahead and do some rotations to either side. If I want to mobilize the segments, I can hang out and do those. I can go the other way. And if I want to increase the stretch and mobility throughout the chain, maybe I’ll decide to bring my arm up, too, as I’m stretching the segments. And you can see where the ball is, right? So right now the pressure is on the other side right here, but this one doesn’t have as much as pressure on it because I’m going further out that way. So depending on what segment is stiff, you might decide to raise up, bring it down a notch, so you get to hit different segments and you get to do different positions. I could do some rotations with that. I could do some mobilizing by going up and down on a specific segment.

So, really easy technique to do and it’s a great exercise. Start with the tennis balls first. I showed it with a wedge also on how to mobilize that region. The wedge tends to be a little bit harder especially when you’re starting out. This could be an easy tool to use to help improve the mobility of that region. Four to five minutes, don’t overdo it, don’t crank on it too hard, and each successive time you do the exercise or the routine it should get easier and easier and you should have better mobility.

So if you have any questions, leave a comment. Check out the site, we have tons of information on it, and make sure you subscribe to the channel. Thanks, guys.


Lower Back Flexibility Using Wedge

back-flexibility-using-wedge-imageAnother self mobilization/stretch technique to improve mid back and low back flexibility. The wedge is very specific and can target specific segments of the spine.

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Lower Back Stretch Foam Roller

lower-back-stretch-foam-roller-videoThis is a another exercise to improve mid back and low back flexibility. The foam roller is a good tool to mobilize the spine. The exercise can also help you strength the core and glute muscles.


Hey guys, this is Manu Kalia, physical therapist and herbalist. So, today’s video, I’m going to show you an exercise to improve the mobility of the lower thoracic spine, so your mid and lower back area. So often because of people sitting too much, you tend to get stiffness in the hip and you get a lot of stiffness in this region. So because of prolonged poor postures where someone is sitting in these positions, you can get a lot of stiffness in this area. So if I’m too stiff here, I’m too stiff here, I got to move somewhere else. So I’m going to start hinging and moving or be getting hypermobile or unstable through the low back, often resulting in low back problems and pain or sacroiliac joint issues.

So one of the things we can do is we can improve the mobility of the lower thoracic area. So if I’m moving better there, I don’t have to hinge or move so much in the lower back. So we’re going to use a foam roller for this one, and this is a really easy technique and almost anyone can do it. You could do it on the floor. I’m going to do it here so it’s easy for you guys to see.

Now, what I’m going to do is, usually a foam roller, you see a lot of the exercises are targeted for the upper part of the upper back and the ribcage and the spine, but we’re going to reverse that. So I’m going to place this around the area where I want to target. So let’s say if I want to go right around here, I’m stiff in this area, I’m going to place this here and I can control how much extension or range I want to get out of this, how much mobility I want to get out of this. So all I do is, if I’m really stiff, I’m going to bridge up. I can get my glutes, my abdominals. So I do two things at once that way. So I get some strengthening done and I can work on mobility.

So now all I’m going to do is I’m just going to drop my pelvis straight down. As I drop it down, you can see I start to get some arching through my mid and lower back. And I want to target my lower part of my thoracic spine more, this region, so I’m going to scoot down a little bit because if I’m stiffer there, now I can let that pelvis drop down further and I can really start to target this area. So I let my body weight do the job. I let it drop down, take a deep breath as I go down, and you can see how the ribcage also expands – inhale.
Or I could do more movement-based stuff where basically what I do is I drop down, stretch, and then I come back up. I drop down, take a deep breath, stretch, tighten my glutes and abdominals, and I raise back up. So now I’m doing more movement-based stuff. And again, you don’t have to stay in one spot. You can move around a little bit. So if I can slide down a bit more, then I can do the exact same thing. So if you hit it from different angles, you might find certain spots are stiffer for you.

And again, you don’t have to go all the way down as I’m doing. If you’re really stiff and it is not comfortable, limit how far you go down. You can control that with your legs and your pelvis. So maybe I go down 50% and I just hang out there, and I take some deep breaths and I come back up. So, another great way to start getting mobility in this region as well as work on some strengthening too, and pretty easy to control.
Now, if you find that foam roller or this size is too big for you, you can even start with a smaller-size foam roller which is not as thick. This is about six inches. You can get one with a smaller band. There are three-inch ones available also. Or, for that matter, you can even roll up a thick towel and then it won’t be as rigid as this but it’ll still allow you to do some of those movements also.

So spend a few minutes at a time working on different spots and you can build to five to 10 minutes. Now, keep in mind, if you’re really irritated through the low back and you do this exercise, and if you find that it starts to irritate the low back further where you continue to hinge at those spots that are irritated, you might have to ease off a bit or you might have to roll back and forth and find a position where it’s comfortable for you.

I hope you found that useful, and make sure you subscribe to the channel. Leave a comment if you have questions, and make sure you check out the site. Thanks.


Shin Splints Yoga Stretch

yoga-for-shin-splintsVajra asana or Diamond pose is an excellent yoga pose for shin splints. It can not only help improve the mobility of the muscles but also great for knee and ankle mobility. It’s also a good pose for improving digestion and helps one become more grounded.

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Shin Splints Massage Treatment

shin-splints-massageThis is a good self massage technique for shin splints using a lacrosse ball to mobilize the front and outside shin muscles. Can be easily done by yourself and works really well at breaking down thickening and adhesions that often form with overuse and injury. This problem is very common in runners and can often be quite debilitating. Make sure you rule out stress fractures and other issues before doing this mobilization technique.

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