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Lying Cross-Over Lower Back Stretch 101 Video Tutorial

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Lying Cross-Over Lower Back Stretch
Lying Cross-Over Lower Back Stretch

Exercise Synopsis

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The Lying Cross-Over Lower Back Stretch is a bodyweight exercise aimed at stretching and releasing tension in the glutes with secondary focus on the lower back. To perform this stretch, lie flat on your back with both legs extended. Cross one leg over the other at the knee, then gently rotate your hips and lower back towards the opposite side, using your arms to assist in stabilizing and guiding the stretch. This movement helps elongate and relax the glute muscles while also promoting flexibility in the lower back, making it beneficial for relieving tightness and improving mobility without requiring any additional equipment.

How to Perform

  1. Starting Position: Begin by lying flat on your back on a comfortable surface such as a mat or the floor. Extend your arms out to your sides to stabilize your body.

  2. Leg Lift: Lift one leg straight up towards the ceiling, keeping it as vertical as possible to prepare for the stretch.

  3. Cross-Over Movement: Lower the lifted leg across your body towards the opposite side, aiming to bring it towards your hand or beyond. This movement engages the glutes and initiates a stretch in the lower back.

  4. Hold and Stretch: Maintain the stretched position for a few seconds, focusing on feeling the stretch in your glutes and lower back. Allow your hips and lower back to gently rotate and relax into the stretch.

  5. Repeat on Opposite Side: Return the leg to the starting position and perform the same movement on the opposite side. Lift the other leg straight up, then lower it across your body towards the opposite hand, holding the stretch and focusing on breathing deeply.

  6. Breathing: Throughout the exercise, remember to breathe deeply and steadily. Inhale as you prepare and lift your leg, and exhale as you lower it across your body into the stretch.

  7. Benefits: This stretch targets the glute muscles primarily, helping to relieve tightness and improve flexibility in the hips. It also engages the muscles of the lower back, promoting spinal mobility and overall relaxation. Regular practice can enhance posture and reduce the risk of lower back discomfort.

  8. No Equipment Needed: The Lying Cross-Over Lower Back Stretch requires only your body weight, making it convenient to perform at home or anywhere you have space to lie down.


  1. Start lying flat on your back with arms extended to your sides for stability.

  2. Lift one leg straight up towards the ceiling to initiate the stretch.

  3. Cross the lifted leg over your body towards the opposite side, aiming to reach towards your hand or beyond to engage the glutes.

  4. Hold the stretch position briefly, focusing on feeling the stretch primarily in your glutes and secondarily in your lower back.

  5. Maintain relaxed breathing throughout the stretch, inhaling deeply as you prepare and exhaling as you settle into the stretch.

  6. Ensure your hips and lower back gently rotate and relax into the stretch to maximize its effectiveness.

  7. Avoid forcing the stretch beyond your comfort level or causing any pain; it should feel like a gentle, relieving stretch.

  8. Repeat the stretch on the opposite side by lifting the other leg and crossing it over towards the opposite hand.

  9. Incorporate this stretch into your routine to improve flexibility in the glutes and lower back, promoting overall mobility and reducing stiffness.

  10. Utilize this exercise regularly as a beneficial cooldown or relaxation stretch after workouts or periods of prolonged sitting.

How Not to Perform

  1. Avoid Overstretching: Do not force your leg to cross too far over your body or reach too forcefully towards your hand. Stretch only to a comfortable range that allows you to feel a gentle pull in the glutes and lower back.

  2. Do Not Rush: Avoid rushing through the stretch. Move slowly and deliberately to ensure you are properly aligning your body and allowing the muscles to relax into the stretch.

  3. Avoid Holding Your Breath: Do not hold your breath during the stretch. Breathe deeply and evenly to maintain relaxation and support muscle relaxation.

  4. Do Not Lift Your Head: Avoid lifting your head or straining your neck during the stretch. Keep your head and neck in a neutral position on the floor to prevent tension.

  5. Avoid Tensing Other Muscles: Do not tense your shoulders, arms, or non-stretching leg excessively. Focus on relaxing these muscles to enhance the stretch in your glutes and lower back.

  6. Avoid Arching Your Lower Back: Do not arch your lower back excessively during the stretch. Keep your spine in a neutral position to effectively target the intended muscle groups.

  7. Do Not Force the Movement: Avoid using momentum or force to move your leg across your body. Use controlled, deliberate movements to maintain proper form and prevent strain.

  8. Do Not Neglect Symmetry: Ensure you perform the stretch on both sides equally. Balance the stretch to promote symmetry and prevent muscle imbalances.

  9. Avoid Jerky Movements: Do not perform the stretch with sudden or jerky movements. Smoothly transition into and out of the stretch to maximize its effectiveness and safety.

  10. Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to how your body feels during the stretch. If you experience pain or discomfort beyond a gentle stretch sensation, ease off or modify the movement.


Variations of fitness exercises refer to different ways of performing a specific exercise or movement to target various muscle groups, intensities, or goals. These variations aim to challenge the body differently, prevent plateaus, and cater to individuals with varying fitness levels.


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Alternative exercises in fitness refer to different movements or activities that target similar muscle groups or serve the same training purpose as the primary exercise. These alternative exercises can be used as substitutes when the original exercise is unavailable or challenging to perform due to various reasons such as equipment limitations, injuries, or personal preferences.