I took up smoking, I mean sitting, when I entered grad school and my lower back was not happy. For the most part I am aware of my posture as I sit creating a healthy pelvic tilt and trying not to hunch over. However, as I recently discovered, sitting for long periods of time can create lower back pain even with good posture. With the hip flexors contracting, the QL works overtime to stabilize the lumbar spine. Adding insult to injury, the longer I sat, the more fatigued I became, inevitably allowing my upper spine to hunch over the keyboard, thus shifting my weight forward and putting even more stress on my QL.

The YTU Boomerang pose has helped me find pain relief in my lower back. Since my QL overworks as it contracts to stabilize my lumbar spine, I use boomerang to stretch my QL and encourage greater blood flow into the area. Further, I find that adding breath awareness and igniting my tubular core increases the benefits tenfold. This pose is also beneficial for those who sit with less postural integrity and instead over stretch the QL. As boomerang stretches one side of the lower back it compresses the other and this compression facilitates muscle toning with increased circulation. Whether you need stretching or toning to achieve lower back health, boomerang delivers.

P.S. If you sit in an office and would rather not lie on the floor for boomerang, take it to the wall – MAGICAL!

Check out the YTU Pose of the Week

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Lisa Sanson

Lisa Sanson is an E-RYT and a certified Yoga Tune Up® teacher. With graduate studies in Counselling Psychology Lisa is able to integrate knowledge of the mind as she guides students through explorations of the body. She believes that awareness of the mind/body connection offers an effective path to wellness. Lisa strives to create an easy-going atmosphere where students are encouraged to experiment with traditional and innovative poses working to strengthen and tone the weak or hyper mobile parts of the body and stretch and open the tight or stuck parts. Ultimately creating balance of steadiness and ease in the body and the mind.

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Niki Loyst

This pose it’s now a part of my routine. The QL gets jammed up all too often these days with the amount that ppl sit. I’m not a big sitter compared to most ppl but even without a desk job I find my QL still needs some tlc and this pose does deliver.

Julie Rosier

I love how you say that sittin for a long time, even with good posture can cause lower back pain simply by over using the QL. Great article and good video pick.

Dejia B.

I just had day 1 of my Level 1 YTU certification and holy moly this pose was a GAME CHANGER for me! I’ve had so much pain in my QLs (a combination of working at a desk all day and commuting a couple of hours a day) and I can never seem to get into the area that’s hurting to get a release…until now. The sense of relief in my low back that I felt in boomerang at the wall was so profound that I seriously could have cried. I’m really excited to further explore this posture in its variations… Read more »

Jamie Walsh

Just completed my YTU Level 1 and have to agree this pose is amazing for the back.

Kat

I often have low back pain especially after prolonged periods of sitting. I will try incorporating this in with my other stretches and see if it helps! thanks

Joann Burnham

I LOVE this posture for alleviating lower back pain. I also love the sensation of spaciousness it creates in the side body. If sitting is the new smoking than this is our prescription.

Dani Ibarra

I love boomerang, my QL’s tend to be so tight and this is the perfect position to feel the amazing stretch to that area. Thank you so much!

Tessa W.

I will be putting this into practice immediately, thank you! I have for a while now realized that my QL’s are uneven and causing my low back discomfort. Jill moves through this poses quickly in the video, how long should each side be held? I also like the oblique stretch and that it makes the thoracic breath easier, loosening the muscles along the side ribs.

Geraldine

L’exercice du boomerang pour les poignets , mains et doigts st extraordinaire au sol ou sur un mur!Génial!

Tracey Arnold

I love stretching out and growing up in this pose!

Samara Andrade

Thanks for this great article on the continual QL awakening as I call it 🙂 I love these suggestions and also love to add some work with YTU Therapy Balls on the QL and major attachments, either on the floor if feeling too intense, taking it to the wall. I’m also a big fan of building in Sidewinder to my regular practice to round it out.

Alisa Fairbanks

This pose feels incredible — both at the wall and on the floor. Great suggestion to use it for relief from sitting. It’s an easy one that can be done anywhere, especially the standing variation.

Sonia

I have been sitting a lot lately and my low back is letting me know! I will definitely give boomerang a try.

Tracey Silverman

Boomerang helps relieve my cranky, overused QL, even more so when I’m careful to keep my rib cage in check and not thrust it forward. I’m looking forward to playing with tubular core in this pose and feeling how it changes things.

Thu Maraia

When doing this boomerang pose, it really helps strengthen my lower back, the QL and the serratus posterior and anterior, these muscles on me always cramp up when I sit for a long drive. During my pregnancy I also noticed my QL and the serratus muscles and my latissimus dorsi ache at night from carrying the weight of the baby. Wish I found out about YTU then, I would love to incorporate this with prenatal self care.

Teresa

I agree that sitting for long periods of time even with good posture can cause backache and appreciate your explainations on the role the QL plays in the process. Boomerang is a real relief to my back as well !!

Sarah

Boomerang is pure magic for my QL but strains my wrist – any thoughts on easing the pressure on the wrist? Thanks!

Andrew

Boomerang is one of my favorite… I feel a tremendous amount of freedom in my side body/QL when I perform this pose at the wall. Adding pranayama to this pose (as well as every other pose!!) always allow me to ‘feel’ it deeper inside.

Riyo Mito

This stretch is easy to follow the direction! Just make sure Head,Shoulder,Hip,Knee,Ankle are on same line! I need to use towel or blanket under my hip because my top of femur bone .But use palm to push down to get strong arm,shoulder down and get long neck… Ahhh, feel good!

Katy Forline

Nice description of the ways that posture effects the QL in different ways when sitting. I had been confused about people saying that sitting caused contraction because In my body it is more likely on stretch. As I am tall, I have a bad habit of tending to lean against my upper back in a chair, slide my butt forward and let my lumbar slump into flexion. Thanks for the clear descriptions of the fatigue factor in proper posture with hip flexion. That really clears it up for me. and also makes me aware that I need to boomerang to… Read more »

lulu yen

i also find yoga leg stretch # 3, and revolved are super help to ease the lower pain, it’s not only about stretching and feeling relief but also about strengthening the core to counter balance super strong (means super tight )muscle. this will help people who sit for a long time or for people who do spinning everyday.

Melanie Butz

I recently have been experiencing a very sore QL on my right side. I was perplexed on, a) how it got that way and, b) how to fix the problem. I am looking forward to giving this exercise a try to see if it makes a difference.

Garrett

This pose really helped increase my proprioceptive awareness of my QL, which I had little of before. Now I know how tight and overworked they are, and can begin to work on the actual problem! Thanks!

Ilene

This is an awesome stretch for the QL. I have been practicing Boomerang at the wall and will have to try this one too. I like the PNF/isometric contraction added to get even more stretch. I like the way you get the benefits of both stretching and strenthening the QL as one side stretches and the other contracts and then you switch sides.

Christine Colonna

I love this stretch for the quadratus, very gentle so most people can complete safely. Plus the added closed chain activity of the arm adds to the stretch with a gentle strengthening of the scapular stabilizers.

Jona Joyce

All variations of boomerang have freed up so much of my low back issues it’s not even funny. If you haven’t tried and you have any issues with your low back I can’t recommend it enough. Enjoy!

Ilana

I feel pain in my lower back frequently. I will definitely be trying the boomerang stretch against a wall in my office, thanks for the tip.

I feel that in my yoga practice it came easy for me to stretch my upper spine. I have recently become aware that I have a slight curvature in my lower spine. My yoga teacher noticed it in downward dog. The YTU blog has been a great resource to find helpful tips, exercises and to learn more about the anatomy of the back.

Toni Simpson

Hi Lisa, lower back pain is one of the most common problems of my parents. I shared this pose to them and it really did help. They said it was really relaxing and totally a big relief. Thanks for this post Lisa. I owe you big time.

Carley Beck

Lower back pain is one of the most common issues in most adults (and even as young as elementary students who carry too much weight in their backpacks), and I love learning new ways to stretch the “guilty by proximity” muscles surrounding and/or supporting the lower lumbar and thoracic spine. This boomerang pose is an amazing oblique stretch and spine lengthening pose, using gentle hip elevation and a long body position. As a 6ft, high impact athlete and a model who is required to stand in heels, my lower back takes a constant beating when I’m on my feet AND… Read more »

Lisa

HI Emill! I absolutely feel that boomerang could hone in on the Serratus Posterior Inferior (SPI). It might be more effective to take the pose to the wall where you can explore the position of your torso more freely as you try to connect to the SPI. If you read my answer to Kim’s question I explain taking the pose to the wall; this orientation allows for pulling the hands apart from each other which offers an additional sweetness that might help you access the SPI. Further, I find it easier to monitor the intensity and depth of the pose… Read more »

Emill Kim

What do you think of Boomerang as a stretch for the Serratus Posterior inferior. It’s often considered only an accesory muscle for respiration but I know some folks with terrible posture who have compressed t-10-l1. thoughts?

Marah

Thank you for this article and pose suggestion. I didn`t know that even with good posture, sitting can have such negative effects and for the first time it trickled into my conscious knowledge, that the contraction of hip flexors while sitting may be responsible for tightness in that area. I`ll Boomerang more frequently from now onwards 🙂

Lisa

Hi KIm! Please check out the previous post for a reply. I accidentally posted there.
Thank-you!

Kim

Hi Lisa. I’m looking for things to help my brother, who suffers from chronic back pain. He is significantly overweight and is battling cellulitis which severely limits his movement. This is a fairly passive exercise that I’m hoping will be accessible to him. How would I talk him into it on the wall? (We live across the country from each other, so demos aren’t possible) Thanks.