Sitting all day can leave you feeling stiff and sore. Sitting for prolonged periods can cause or exacerbate back issues. Consequently, when we are stuck in this position, our hip flexors shorten in front and pull on our lower back. Over time, constant slouching can lead to compressed disks. But five minutes of simple stretching each day can wash away any tightness in your body. Here are four moves you can do:
1. Backbend Arch
Here's How: Start at the edge of your chair. Place your hands behind you, keeping your fingers facing away from your hips. Prop yourself up on your fingertips, drawing your sacrum in and up to lift your lower back. Allow your back to bend all the way up through your chest to shoulder blades and open up your entire front body. Hold and breathe for 8 to 10 breaths, then release.
Here's How: Sit at the edge of your chair, keep your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands on your knees and inhale. Lift your chest and stick the hips out behind you. Keep your gaze lifted and your chest open. Gently squeeze your shoulder blades together, as seen in photo A. On an exhale, round your chest and scoop in your belly. Curl your tailbone under, drop your head toward your sternum, as seen in image B. Repeat for a series of 10 cycles.
3. Lower-Back Circles
Here's How: Keep your feet hip-width distance apart, hands resting on your knees as seen in image A. Inhale and begin circling your torso clockwise. Initiate the movement from the base of the spine, as seen in image B. Complete about 8 to 10 rotations, stop, and then repeat the motion. This time circle in a counterclockwise direction. Continue to alternate for 2 to 3 minutes.
Here's How: Sit with your feet hip-width distance apart. Keep your hands hanging at your sides as seen in image A. From your head, round down through the spine, as depicted in image B. Exhale, letting your forehead lean forward and allow the weight of your head to bring you over until the top of your head is by your thighs, as viewed in image C. Inhale and slowly stack your vertebrae as you round up to sit. Draw your belly button to your spine and protect your back. Feel the articulation as you round up and continue this up and down movement for about 5 to 8 cycles.