Stretches to Undo the Effects of Sitting All Day
You have probably heard that a sedentary lifestyle can do a lot of damage to your posture and bone health. But for most of us, the realities of modern day living have forced us to sit for prolonged hours. After many years of sitting for long hours every day, your body can suffer several physical and metabolic disorders. However, you can prevent this from happening by performing simple yet highly effective stretches. Here are the five top stretches to eliminate the negative effects of sitting all day.
The Number 4 Stretch helps to work the piriformis, a small muscle in your rear end that becomes tight when you sit for prolonged hours. Use this stretch to keep your piriformis flexible and active. This stretch is performed in the sitting position. To do it, remain sitting and then cross your right ankle over your left thigh. With the palm of your right hand, apply slight pressure to the inside of the right knee, and then lean a bit forward until your right piriformis feels stretched gently. Inhale while holding the stretch. Onexhaling, try to increase the pressure and increase thestretch a bit forward by bending about a half inch forward. Continue with each breath and repeat for both sides.
This exercise works the shoulders, chest, hips, mid-back, and ankles, making it a great stretch for loosening sitting-induced muscle and joint tightness. For this, stand with your legs a bit wider than the width of your hips. Raise your hands skywards while your palms are facing forward. Stand high on tip-toes. This exercise will stretch your whole body.
Low Cobra with Feet Elevated
This stretch is perfect for working your hip flexors which can become stiffened by prolonged seating. It also helps strengthen the glutes and lower back as well as opening the chest and shoulders. To do this stretch, lie face down while resting your ankles on a set of yoga blocks or foam roller. If you don’t have either of these you can do the same stretch with your feet on the floor. Now, press your forearms into the ground and pull back your shoulders, while raising your head up and back.
Lunge with Rotation
This stretch boosts spinal health, strengthens the legs and shoulders and also stretches the hips. To do this stretch, take a standing position, then get into a lunge by taking a big step forward with your right foot, but make sure your right knee is behind your toes. Now, keep both hands on either side of the right foot. Simultaneously turn your gaze upwards while liftingyour right arm towards the ceiling. Attempt to go deeper into the rotation as you exhale. Repeat for both sides.
This stretch helps to reverse the effect of sitting by opening up your chest and shoulders. To do this, stand up as straight as possible while holding a belt or towel in each hand behind your back. With your hands still behind your back, try to raise them as high as its comfortable. While lifting the belt, pull your shoulders back and together.