Many occupations involve long periods of sitting down. Wherever possible, you should get up regularly to walk and alter your posture. But whether it’s in the office, on a long journey, sitting for a prolonged period can leave your muscles stiff and in need of a stretch. Here are our top stretches for combatting sitting down. Hold each pose for around 30 seconds or repeat 3 times.
A classic but a great place to start to get your muscles feeling a little more limber. Reach your arms above your head as far up as they’ll go. Keep reaching until you are on your tiptoes. This will stretch out your calves, glutes, obliques, shoulders and arms.
Take it to the next level by stretching up one side so your foot leaves the ground and then transferring to the other side.
This yoga pose is ideal for stretching out your back, core and glutes. Lie with your belly down, then place your hands flat on the ground and push until your arms are fully extended. Keep your belly button as close to the floor as you can so your back is curved.
A squat with your feet set apart will help to loosen up your legs and warm up your core. Maximize the effects by transferring your weight from side to side to really get a stretch going in your obliques.
A nice deep lunge will limber up your legs. Take a big step and lower your front knee to a right angle. Lean your hips into a stretch. Take the stretch to your upper body by reaching your arms above your head and taking a soft lean back.
Side plank dip
Reach up into a side plank and then slowly lower to the ground. This will warm your legs but mainly your core. This is particularly satisfying to do if you have hunched while sitting and are feeling the tension in your lower back.
If you aware feeling tightness in your lower back and hips, you are likely to circle them upon impulse when you are standing again. Circle your hips wide clockwise and then anti-clockwise. To ramp up the stretch, circle your ribcage in a counter direction.
Shoulder and back stretch
Interlock your hands behind your back. Bend forward until you are at a 90-degree angle and lift your hands until you feel a good stretch. This will open up your shoulders and undo aches caused by hunching.
Stretch down as far as you can toward your toes. Then lean out until your hands can touch the ground and walk out several hand steps. Then retract it. You’ll stretch out your whole body. You can combine this with the cobra by dropping down onto your belly when you reach out far enough.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Wrap your arm around your waist with your palm flat on the back of your hip. Twist your middle towards your hand, hold, and then repeat on the other side.