Sit at the table In the long run – the way many of us do it every day – create a chain reaction throughout your body. The combination of crouching in front of a laptop and applying pressure on your lower body for hours in a row signals bad news for you. hipThat is why stretching them out on reg is extremely important. While it can be difficult to find time between Zoom meetings to get the rug to give them the TLC they need, you can do a lot of hip stretching while sitting to dissipate stress without need to get up from the chair.
“While we are sitting [at a desk] all day, our iliopsoas are shortened, assembling the muscles in the hips and making them weaker, and can overcompensate the lower back and cause severe back pain, ” Gbolahan Okubadejo, MD, an NYC-based orthopedic and spine surgeon. “Bad posture can also make your hips stiff and tight as it puts more pressure on the hips than necessary, and this stiffness can cause swelling, pain, and pain in the hip.”
There are a number of different ways your body tells you it’s time to stretch your hips, among them the first of course is pain in the hip itself. Also, says Dr. Okubadejo, if you have lower back or neck pain, or pain in your groin while standing up, it’s a sign that your hip flexors can use a little more.
To make it as easy as possible to help you integrate that “extra love” into your day, we asked Jessica Mazzucco, a NYC trainer and founder of Recruitment Glute, to share seat stretches that you can do without ever leaving your laptop.
1. Stretch the folding hamstrings forward
You may be familiar with the forward bends that help you relax your hamstrings, but you can achieve the same results while you are still sitting at your desk. Putting your heel on a rack, box or anything else can lift your heel off the floor a bit and pull the navel towards the spine while flexing the hips forward. Reach your hands forward toward your feet to stretch both legs simultaneously, or extend your hands toward each foot to stretch each leg. Hold this position for 20 to 30 seconds and remember to take deep, slow breaths during this exercise.
2. Pigeon leather stretch has modified seats
This ooey-gooey hip stretch is a staple of a yoga class and can be easily modified to let you do it right from your chair. Sit upright, cross right ankle over left knee and bend right foot. If you do it correctly, you should feel your glutes and outer hips stretch. If you don’t feel any tension, slowly bend forward and lean over your right hip. Hold this position for 20 to 30 seconds, then switch sides.
3. Hip Flexor Warrior 1 Stretch
This stretch requires you to get up, but you won’t have to go far. Place your right leg forward and your left leg back, not wider than your hips. Bend your front knee while keeping hind legs straight and rotate your toes back so that your toes are facing forward slightly (as if they were pointing at a “2” on the clock). Place your hands on your hips, on your head, or on a table for more balance, while focusing on the core activity and relaxing your shoulders. Hold this for 20 to 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side.
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