5 Tips & exercises to help your back pain while at work. #3: Kickstand

Sherwin Nicholson | Updated Dec 3, 2020

Continued from Tip & exercise #2: Stand

Kickstand? No, it’s not standing and no kicking is necessary.

It’s a pose you should hold while seated.

Most of the time you’ll be in your chair at work,  but you won’t always have the chance to stand up to take the strain off of your back.

When seated, your pelvic tilt goes from a neutral one into a posterior one. This is bad. And it’s the reason you most likely have pain.

It causes disc bulges and deep inter vertebral muscle strain.

You may have the opposite problem of excessive anterior pelvic tilt when you sit. This tilt tightens up your hip flexors and causes adaptive shortening syndrome.  This form of tightening is brutal on the lumbar discs as it causes your psoas muscle to pull on them literally all day and night.

Most people have either of these problems and there aren’t many suggestions out there to correct this problem

But Kickstanding will help relieve both!

When you Kickstand, you are imitating the kickstand on a bike. 


You can do the kickstand even if your chair has armrests!

As you continue to sit, adopt the position as follows:

  1. Sit further out on your chair
  2. Keep your spine straight
  3. Extend one leg behind you with your foot/toes touching the ground
  4. Try to straighten your leg (only if possible)
  5. Continue typing or writing as comfortably as you can

Don’t worry, you don’t have to hold this pose all day.  Only for a few seconds at a time (however the longer the better).

No one wants to look or feel weird at work. If you don’t mind being seen sticking your leg backwards briefly, doing  it will give you a lot of benefit!  You will feel instant relief and can really enjoy how easy it is to do to feel better.

Be sure to do this stretch position often as you are now spending more time at home and have less access to fitness centers.  This can help you quite a lot now that we are all inside for longer periods of time.

What Kickstanding does and why it matters

There is quite of lot of benefit to this one simple action.  Which is why you’ll appreciate how much you do it.

  • It corrects your posterior pelvic tilt to prevent your discs and muscles of the spine from straining
  • It naturally aids in re-straightening your spine
  • It takes the pressure off of your glutes/butt muscles (relief from sciatica, piriformis syndrome)
  • It activates your leg muscles and improves the circulation down your legs
  • It stretches and strengthens your legs muscles (most of them, to stabilize your spine)
  • It stretches the hip flexors (especially your psoas major)
  • It prevents the psoas and iliacus from pulling on your lumbar region (relief from anterior tilt)
  • You can do it briefly and still find relief.  The longer, the better the effect.
  • You are correcting, rehabilitating and preventing injury all at the same time!

All of this from one simple stretch at work.

Most people feel instant relief the moment they practice it.

If you don’t find it easy to do, don’t let it frustrate you.

It’s a pretty valuable tip & exercise so don’t pass on it!  Look at this point of challenge as a goal to be reached and not to be discouraged by.  Your back depends on it.

Just like an actual kickstand on a bike, it supports the bike and keeps it upright.

When you kickstand, you’re giving yourself that support you need.  By no longer relying on the backrest or a lumbar support, you are consciously activating many of the correct muscle and joint groups responsible for keeping your back stable.

If you have to be in your seat, then kickstand often to give you that extra relief whenever the opportunity of standing is not available.

sitting too long

This exercise is also known as the Seated Lunge. It’s one of the 10 important exercises for pain.

Stretching your Psoas major is very important

This is one of the most important accomplishments of the kickstand.

I doubt that the average person with lower back pain would be aware of this hip flexor muscle.  It’s even more rare that they would be aware of the importance of stretching it.

There is hardly any encouragement out there to make this crucial stretch a common activity, yet we need it for something we do every single day. Sitting.  A very tight psoas muscle creates an excessive anterior pelvic tilt.  It make your back feel very sore whenever you stand and as you sleep.

Adopt the Kickstand especially whenever you are at work or whenever you anticipate sitting in a moveable chair for a long time.  It takes up very little of your time and you only need to do it for a few seconds occasionally. The more often and longer, the better of course.

Kickstanding is also a very good preventative measure as it will correct your posture and stretch the tight areas that are already prone to hurting you.  If you get started this way, then your time in your seat will be much more productive and enjoyable.

Begin Tip & Exercise #4: Hug

For more help for your discomfort:

Eliminate these 5 Bad Habits to protect your back

5 Warning signs you shouldn’t ignore

The importance of exercise to treat your discomfort

Should I exercise if it still hurts?