Reduce back pain and hip tension with just one bodyweight exercise

It's a staple in so many people's fitness routines

woman doing exercise
(Image credit: Getty)

Hip and back pain are extremely common, but when you get the double whammy of the two of them together, it can be absolute agony. As well as keeping mobile, the NHS recommends doing some light stretches to help ease these pains, and we’ve got one that's easy and targets both, your lower back and hips (and it's actually one of my personal favourites).

Whether you’re someone who works out or not, taking the time to incorporate stretches and mobility exercises into your daily routine will help prevent your body from experiencing stiffness, aches and pains in the future. Especially if you have a very inactive job where you’re sat down all day, which can contribute to lower back and hip pain. 

This stretch, which is a staple in my own warm up and warm down routines, is called the pigeon stretch (also known as the pigeon pose). It’s actually a very popular yoga pose, but one that’s also included within many people’s fitness routines, basically because it offers an amazing stretch to the hip flexors, lower back, releases bodily tension and is even thought to help with digestion. Curious to try the pigeon pose? Here’s how you do it:

  • Grab a yoga mat or exercise mat and begin on all fours with your hands underneath your shoulders and knees under your hips. 
  • Bend your right knee and bring your leg out in front of you, so your knee is just behind your right wrist and your shin is parallel to the floor.
  • Slide your left leg back out behind you as straight as you can.
  • Try and keep your hips as straight on as possible.
  • For a deeper stretch, place your hands in front of you and slowly lower your body towards the floor.
  • Stay here for 10 seconds then repeat on the other side.

We hope you liked that one, as I said, it’s one of my favourites that I often lose track of time with, especially when doing it on my left side which is always really tight. Ideally you’ll want to do this stretch on an exercise mat or yoga mat (just make sure the floor beneath you isn’t hard). If you enjoyed that, then definitely try out this 30 second hip mobility stretch and these two bodyweight exercises I use daily to relieve my back pain in two minutes. 

Bryony Firth-Bernard
Staff Writer, Active

Bryony’s T3’s official ‘gym-bunny’ and Active Staff Writer, covering all things fitness. In her spare time, you will find her in her natural habitat - the gym - where her style of training is a hybrid of bodybuilding and powerlifting. Bryony loves writing about accessible workouts, nutrition and testing innovative fitness products that help you reach your fitness goals and take your training to the next level.