Sitting all day? These two surprising stretches can help relieve your back pain and loosen the tight hips.
Whether you are working remotely or have gone back to the office, one thing many of us have in common is that we sit all day.
Not to mention, our time on the couch in front of the TV and hours in the car commuting, we spend more time sitting than ever.
Many of us are aware that sedentary lifestyles can play havoc with our health, increasing the risk of weight gain, obesity, diabetes, and more.
A long period of sitting can also lead to all sorts of other issues like weaker hips, osteoporosis, back pain, and wasted leg and glute muscles.
If this resonates with you, spending some time with stretches can help reverse some of the damage of sitting.
Particularly, these two stretches are simple yet powerful for people who sit all day.
Prolonged sitting undeniably places stress on your neck and back muscles as well as the spinal disc.
If you tend to slouch your back, overstretch your neck while looking at the screen, or cross your legs, it’s even more critical to undo the damage often.
When you sit for hours, especially the large muscles like the glutes, hamstrings, and hip flexors become inactive. These are the lower body muscles that are essential in all movements, stability, balance, and flexibility.
Another area of your body that is susceptible to sitting all day is your back and hips. Especially with a slouchy back, your discs get compressed and flexor muscles get shrank.
At the end of your day, it’s essential to practice some stretches that lengthen and soothe those compressed muscles and discs.
This applies to even those with a healthy lifestyle with running, or weight lifting regimens.
Just by spending hours in a seated position, you are at a higher risk for health conditions and deteriorating muscles.
While many of us cannot escape the work environment that’ll have us sit all day, we can spend some time stretching to undo the damage.
Performing these powerful stretches every day will help keep your spine and muscles healthy.
Here are two surprising stretches to reverse the damage of sitting.
Half-Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch
The hip flexor stretch is known as a rehab exercise and that’s for a good reason. A long period of sitting can make your hip flexors tight and rigid. This stretch is effective in activating your glutes, hip flexors, and hamstrings.
How to do the Kneeling hip flexor stretch:
- Kneel down on the floor and bring your left leg in front. Adjust your front foot, so your knee is bent at a 90-degree angle.
- The back leg stays in place. Adjust if needed to make sure your shin is straight.
- Bring your hands on the hips and engage your glutes and core. Keeping your back flat, gently push your hips forward, shifting your weight to the front until you feel a stretch in your groin and back leg adductor.
- To stretch your back and spinal stabilizing muscles, lift your right arm overhead and lean to your left. Feel the stretch in your torso.
- Switch sides.
The piriformis stretch is a great floor exercise that loosens up your compressed hip flexors, glutes, and back muscles.
If you are experiencing piriformis nerve pain due to too much sitting, this is a great pain relieving stretch.
How to do the piriformis stretch:
- Lie on your back with both legs fully straight. Keep your back flat and avoid curving your lower back.
- Lift the right leg and bend the knee. With your left hand, reach your right knee and gently and slowly pull your knee across the body toward your left.
- Hold the position for 10-30 seconds. Feel the stretch in your spine, back, glutes, and hamstrings.
- Switch sides and complete on the other side.
Perform these stretches at least several times a week or whenever your glutes, back, and hips feel tight.