Lower Back

Sidely Quadratus Lumborum (QL) Stretch







The information is intended for patients of mdkPHYSIO, who have been formally assessed and provided the instructions, precautions and parameters necessary to perform this exercise.  Information on this website is not, and is not intended to be, medical or professional health advice. You should not use this information to diagnose, treat or make any health related decisions. Whether and how any of the information on this website applies to your circumstances requires the assistance of a medical professional. Contact a doctor or appropriate healthcare professional to address your medical concerns and diagnose or treat any medical problems. Do not rely on this information to make decisions about your health or medical issues. Read my Terms and Conditions of Use for more information on the limitation of our liability.

Sidely Quadratus Lumborum (QL) Stretch

Sidely Quadratus Lumborum (QL) Stretch Featured Image
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    This is intended to be a stretch for your quadratus lumborum muscle, but can certainly stretch other tissues located in your lower back, glutes and thoracic spine.  If your QL is shortened and feeling tight and you are aligned properly during this exercise, you should get a really nice stretch  into the side of your lower back with this.  In the video below I go through the setup and provide some tips on how to get the stretch.

    What you should feel

    The intent is to feel a stretch into the (top side) of your back.  If you aren’t aligned properly, you may feel a stretch into your glutes and upper back.  In some cases people will feel compression into the bottom side of their back.  If I have given you this exercise, then I want you to feel this in the side of your lower back!  You may have to re-adjust, as described in the video, to ensure you get the stretch in the proper location.  Pain is not expected with this exercise!

    Stop this exercise if you are unsure about what you are feeling or if it is painful in an unexpected way.

    Sidely Quadratus Lumborum Stretch


    Here are the instructions and there is a video below that explains it all:

    1. Ly perfectly on your side (always revert back to this position if you need to re-adjust your position for this exercise, so start from the beginning).
    2. Bring your top knee up to about 60 degrees (measured from your femur, from the starting position–at 90 degrees the femur would be perpendicular to your trunk).
    3. Hold down your top leg with your bottom arm.
    4. Rotate your upper back behind you and up toward your head (on an oblique angle) to feel a stretch into the side of your lower back.


    Adjustments can be made to: how high you lift your top leg, the angle at which you twist your upper back and starting the exercise by twisting your upper back first (rather than lift up your leg first).

    You may also want to add a pillow between your knees if you are experiencing discomfort into the front or side of your hip with this.

    *All above modifications are reviewed in the video.


    mdkPHYSIO provides specific parameters to all patients.   In general, we hold this for about 30 seconds and perform it 4 times in a row.  How many times per day you do this may change depending on your case.


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