We know that stretching after a workout can relieve soreness and stiffness(1), but it’s also important to keep your body stretched when you’re not working out!
Whether you’re cramped in an airplane seat all day or sitting in a cubicle, some simple stretches can make all the difference when it comes to promoting good circulation and keeping your body in great working order even when you’re sedentary.
Based in Pilates, these strength-promoting exercises will help you keep your body limber and ready to go.
1. The Reclined Twist
Lying on your back, draw your knees into your chest and spread out your arms in a T shape. Keep your shoulders flat on the ground and take a deep breath as you twist your hips and lower your knees to the side, stopping before they touch the ground. Hold this pose briefly and then bring your legs back into the starting position, exhaling as you do so.
This stretch is designed to release tension in your lower back after an extended period of time spent sitting down.
2. The Single Leg Stretch
Begin this stretch by lying flat on your back with your knees drawn up towards your chest. Slowly extend your left leg until it hovers just above the ground, then bring your right leg up towards the ceiling. Lift your arms and grab the back of your lower right leg, drawing your chin towards your chest and lifting your shoulders off the ground. Hold this pose for a count of two, then switch legs and repeat this activity for two minutes.
This stretch is designed to lengthen your hamstrings and help prevent tightness in your legs.