Flexibility is important – and hard to have if you are stuck sitting at a desk all day. These stretches will help you overcome the damage sitting all day does to your body.
How to: With legs straight, fold forward at the hip and try to touch fingertips to ground.
What it stretches: Hamstrings and back of legs.
The goal: You want your fingertips to graze the floor or be just around your ankles, Dragone says. If you’re not very flexible, bend knees to get your fingers to the ground and work toward straightening legs over time.
How to: With feet together, right hand at side, and left hand overhead, inhale deeply. Exhale as you bend to the right, allowing right hand to slide down outside of right thigh. Keep hips square (don’t stick out left hip) and do not tilt forward or back. Repeat on the other side.
What it stretches: All of the muscles along your side, quadratus lumborum (part of your core muscles), and external obliques.
The goal: Ideally, your right fingertips reach the outside of the right knee, Wu says, and same for the left side.
How to: Sit on the edge of chair and cross right ankle to rest on left thigh. Gently press right knee toward ground so shin is parallel to floor. Repeat on the other side.
What it stretches: The muscles around your hips: psoas, piriformis, other deep gluteal muscles, and even some of your hip extensors.
The goal: Work to get your top shin parallel to the floor, Dragone says.
Thread the Needle Stretch
What it stretches: You’ll feel this all over your upper and middle back, plus in your shoulders. (It’s a great go-to after a stressful day sitting at a desk.)
The goal: Try to get your shoulder to rest comfortably on the ground, opening up the entire upper back.
Tomorrow we will share 3 more stretches everyone should be doing every day.