The muscles of the lower back are difficult to exercise with ordinary stretching exercises. Fortunately, a piece of common but priceless fitness equipment can make your stretching easier - pull up. Just hang on the barbell or similar surface for a few seconds at a time, it can well reduce the spine, improve the circulation and activity of surrounding tissues, and provide much-needed relief for tight and sore muscles.

What you should know

  • Pull up can easily stretch the muscles of the lower back, which are usually difficult to reach with traditional stretching.
  • Just hang on the barbell in a comfortable position for 10-30 seconds and you can get a stable stretch.
  • When you hang on a barbell, crossing your legs and landing on your feet is a good way to stretch your latissimus dorsi, oblique and erector spinalis muscles.

Perform basic suspension decompression


1. Straighten your head and grab the barbell with both hands. Keep your arms shoulder width or slightly wider. To ensure a stronger connection to the barbell, hook your finger on the top of the barbell instead of trying to hold it with your palm. Before continuing, take a moment to confirm that your grip is good and firm.
  • You can squeeze your thumb under it like a fist, or you can put them on both sides of your index finger. Choose a more natural position.
  • If the bar or surface you use is rough, rusty or full of debris, you'd better wear a pair of gloves to protect your hands.
  • Some people put their thumbs next to their fingers in the distance. That's not good - it's much better to hold the barbell with all your hands than with only four fingers.

2.Gradually lower your weight until you are completely airborne. First, move your center of gravity down so that your arms have some tension. Your arms should be completely straight. Then, when you are ready, continue to sink bit by bit until your arms support all or most of your weight.
If necessary, you can put your toes or feet on the ground for some additional help.
  • Don't get into trouble too suddenly. Doing so may give you an unpleasant shock and may even hurt one or both of your shoulders.

3.Maintain a relaxed posture for 10-30 seconds. This should allow enough time to lengthen your spine and decompress your individual vertebrae without completely exhausting you. As you hang, focus on releasing any tension you may maintain in your core. It may take a few seconds to really relax, but once you relax, you will immediately begin to feel relaxed. 
  • Face forward and straighten your hips to ensure that your spine remains aligned. Your back should form a perfect straight line throughout the stretch.
  • If you don't have a good way to time yourself, just count 5-10 slow deep breaths while focusing on softening your abdomen.
  • As your strength increases, you can begin to increase the drape time for a more thorough extension.

4.Repeat the exercise 4-6 times and rest for one minute between each round. An extended break will give your arm muscles a chance to recover before the next interval. After a few rounds, you should be able to feel a significant improvement in your upper and lower back.
  • You can do this exercise 2-3 times a day, or at any time as needed.
  • There is evidence that spinal decompression may help alleviate mild to moderate low back pain and enhance overall mobility.

Add twist for deeper stretching


1.Find a barbell low enough to keep your toes on the ground while hanging. You need to keep twisting a little longer than normal suspension to make it as effective as possible. For this reason, it is important to make sure that the barbell you use keeps you in contact with the floor so that you can bear part of the weight with your legs.
  • If you are in the gym, you can slide an aerobic step or a set of elevators or yoga bricks under your feet to improve yourself.
  • Not only is it more difficult to keep twisting in a fully suspended state, but your arm is also more likely to fatigue faster, forcing you to fall before you get the full benefits of stretching.

2.Relax your body under your shoulders to start hanging. When ready, straighten your arms and bend your hips and knees until your arms support 60-70% of your weight. You should feel firmly rooted, but still be able to move your feet easily.
  • Remember to keep the upper arm, shoulder and back muscles involved to avoid pressure on the shoulder joint.

3.Cross one leg in front of the other and rotate your torso as much as possible. Turn your lower body so that one leg is in front of you and the other leg is behind you. Keep your legs about 2-3 feet (0.61-0.91 meters) apart and balance your soles or toes to minimize contact with the ground.
  • If you are particularly flexible, you can make your legs at a 45 degree angle to your torso to enhance stretching.
  • Adjusting your lower body may make you feel a little unstable, so be careful not to lose grip on the barbell.

4.Keep twisting for up to 2 minutes. If this is your first overhang twist, start from 5-10 seconds, and then from there. Your lower back is full of large muscles that play an important role in stabilizing your body, such as latissimus dorsi, internal oblique, middle gluteus and erector spinalis, so the longer you keep stretching, the more you can get rid of it.
  • Don't forget to maintain a natural breathing pattern throughout the stretching process.
  • If your arm starts to fatigue before reaching the target time, just transfer more weight to your legs.

5.Change your posture and stretch on the other side. After completing the extension of the first side, rotate your hips to the other side, land your feet on the ground, and then reset the timer. Try to maintain the same length of stretch on the second side. After that, your back should feel refreshed and ready!
  • If you like, you can repeat this stretch 2-3 times on each side. However, if you choose to hold it on each side for more than half a minute, you may not feel necessary.
  • This can also be a good mobile exercise to increase your warm-up program.