Child’s pose is a position often used in Yoga. It is an appropriate movement for beginners and can be done by most people without any formal Yoga training. In physiotherapy, this exercise is great for stretching and relaxing your lower back and hips.
Who should do this stretch?
Child’s pose can be great for people experiencing both acute and chronic low back pain. Additionally, for those people who experience back pain after prolonged periods of standing or sitting. This is a great way to stretch your back, while helping to focus on breathing and relaxation. This exercise should be avoided, or used with caution, if bending forward in any fashion elicits pain or worsens symptoms. Be sure to speak with your physiotherapist about if this is appropriate for you.
How do I do it?
The only equipment required is a mat, or floor space that is comfortable for kneeling. If you don’t have either, an old towel or sweater can be great tools to act as padding for your knees. The minimal equipment needed makes this a great home exercise. If you are unable to sit on your heels, a couch cushion or a yoga block can be placed on top of your heels for assistance.
- Start kneeling, sitting back on your heels (or on a higher, comfortable object) with your bum.
- Keeping your knees together will focus this stretch on your lower back. Spreading your knees apart will allow for a deeper stretch in both your lower back and your hips.
- Place both hands on the ground in front of you and slowly slide your arms and body forward. Keep your bum back on your heels.
- Look down throughout the movement. Continue shifting forward until your arms are extended and your forehead is near, or in light contact with, the ground.
- Once you feel a comfortable stretch, maintain that position for 30-60 seconds. Take breaks as needed. Repeat the cycle 1-2 more times, for a total of 3 sets.
The movement should feel like a stretch but should not be painful. As with most exercises in physiotherapy, it is important to perform them in a pain-free range. This means not pushing the exercise past mild pain, as we do not want to risk re-injuring or worsening an existing injury. This position can also be great for practicing deep breathing. While you are stretching, be sure to focus on taking slow, controlled breaths.
What To Expect
If this is your first time doing an exercise like this one, you may experience some soreness 24-48 hours after completing it for the first time. If that’s the case, take time to rest and consult your physiotherapist if it persists. As with all exercise, make
Stay safe and take care,
Owner of First Line Physiotherapy