Stretches To Do After Sitting All Day
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Learn 5 stretches to do after sitting all day in this post!
Do you sit all day for work?
Is most of your day spent working on a computer?
If you answered yes to either of these questions then this stretching routine could be super helpful for you!
Which muscles tend to get tight from sitting all day?
When we sit for a prolonged time period, there are common areas of the body that tend to get tight.
These areas include your hamstrings, inner thighs, front of your hips (hip flexors), and pecs.
The lower back itself, meaning the lumbar spine, can also become tight especially if we sit with poor/slumped posture.
Incorporating stretching into your routine can help improve your flexibility and also prevent future injury because yes, sitting too much can cause issues.
General things to note for all the stretches below:
Try out these stretches at the end of your day. As always, listen to your body. These stretches should feel good.
If you experience pain or something doesn’t feel right with any of these stretches, then back off the stretch. If there’s still pain or discomfort, then stop and consult with a medical doctor or physical therapist.
Also, numbness/tingling occurring with a stretch means that a nerve is not happy. If this happens, stop the stretch and consult with a medical professional.
Remember to keep your breath steady with all of these stretches.
If you perform all of the stretches below in a stretching routine, it will take you about 10 minutes.
I also have a FREE 5 day program to reverse the effects of sitting. This includes 5 videos that guide you through stretching and strengthening routines that are specifically tailored to people who sit for most of the day.
Click here to access these videos.
5 Stretches To Do After Sitting All Day
1. Hamstring stretch with strap:
Hold for 30 seconds. Perform 3 times on each leg.
Wrap the strap around your midfoot region and use the strap to gently pull your leg towards you while keeping the upper torso relaxed on the floor. You should not be lifting your head and upper back up during this stretch.
You can use a stretch strap, belt, dog leash, or whatever you can find that works!
This type of strap is great: Multiloop Stretching Strap
Make sure to keep your knee straight even if that means you have to let the leg move further away from you. Keeping the knee straight is what is stretching the hamstring.
Also, keep the leg that is on the floor relaxed. If this leg starts popping up, then bring the leg that is lifted with the strap a little lower.
2. Kneeling hip flexor stretch
Hold for 30 seconds. Perform 3 times on each leg.
Your front foot is firmly planted on the floor and you are kneeling on your back knee.
From here, start to lean forward. You should feel a stretch across the back leg’s front hip.
Make sure your front knee stays in line with your front ankle.
To increase the stretch of your hip flexor/psoas muscle, drop the tailbone down. This puts your pelvis in a posterior pelvic tilt which will increase the stretch. You might not go as far in the lunge when you do this but that’s ok, you are actually getting a better stretch this way!
You can also place a pillow under the knee on the floor if you need extra cushion. I like to fold up a little spot on my yoga mat to cushion my knee so that’s another option.
3. Wide leg stretch
SHold for 30 seconds. Perform 3 times.
This is stretching your inner thighs (your hip adductors).
Start by bringing your legs out to the sides of your mat. Your knees should stay straight and you want to sit up tall. (Stage 1)
If you can’t keep your knees straight, read this post for more ways you can stretch this muscle: 4 Inner Thigh Stretches
Keep your toes pointing up to the ceiling. You don’t have to actively be pulling your feet toward you, all I mean is to keep in mind the position of your toes.
This may be enough of a stretch for you which is perfectly fine!
If you need more of a stretch, you can begin to lean forward, but keep your back flat. (Stage 2)
If you have to round your back to lean forward, then stick with stage 1 of this stretch.
4. Pec stretch in doorway
Hold for 30 seconds. Perform 3 times.
Stand in a doorway with your elbows bent and your hands/forearms/elbows against the door frame.
Step one foot in front and start to gently lean the upper torso forward until you feel a stretch in the pecs (front chest area).
Make sure to bring one leg out in front so you are in a split stance. This protects your lower back.
Also, keep your chest relaxed (don’t let it pop forward too much). You can do this by thinking about relaxing your sternum back toward you after you lean forward.
This is so good to counteract the position of sitting and working at a computer all day.
5. Sphinx/cobra stretch
Hold for 10 seconds. Perform 5 times.
Start with the first variation (called sphinx). Keep your elbows under your shoulders as you prop up the upper torso. Keep your shoulders down and back. Keep your legs relaxed.
If there’s too much pressure in your lower back, gently pull your abdomen in and GENTLY drop your tailbone down as if it is moving toward your heels (this is a very slight motion). Still keep the breath steady! As mentioned before, there should be no pain! Listen to your body; if there’s pain, your body is telling you to stop the movement and that maybe there is something that needs to be addressed.
If you would like more of a stretch, move into cobra pose by pressing the elbows straight. Don’t lock out your elbows, keep a slight bend in them. When performing this stretch, think about trying to keep your legs relaxed.
I hope you enjoy these stretches 🙂 Don’t forget to check out my FREE 5 day program to reverse the effects of sitting!