7 Moves To Relieve Stiffness From Sitting All Day—Full Body Mobility Routine
Whether you need a break from a long work schedule or a quick full-body warm-up before your workout session, this routine will help you release pent-up tension and give your joints a much-needed stretch.
Whether you go to the gym, work out at home or don't exercise at all, mobility training and stretches are crucial for your health. Flexibility exercises can stretch your muscles and help your joints attain full range of motion—reducing back pain, preventing injuries and improving balance. According to a 2015 survey of Indian employees and students in the International Journal for Scientific Research and Development, 84 percent of participants agreed that prolonged sitting has had adverse effects on their bodies.
With the pandemic forcing us to shift to work-from-home and e-learning, sedentary hours have only been on the rise. That's why mobility and flexibility exercises are indispensable for better posture and stress-relief. It also prepares your bodies for more intense training, and reduces the risk of unwanted sprains and pains. Try this simple but effective mobility flow by Mumbai-based mobility and movement coach Shereena Master, using just a yoga mat, a foam roller and a TheraBand. Don't have a TheraBand? Use common household items like a PVC pipe or a towel. You can do these moves before, after, or in-between work, or as a pre-workout warm-up routine. Begin with 5 reps of each if you're a beginner and build up to 10 to 12 reps, but make sure to not overdo it.
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1. Thoracic extension
- On a yoga mat, lay down with a foam roller under your back, right below chest level. Keep your butt and feet firmly planted on the floor.
- Holding a PVC pipe, TheraBand or a towel, extend your arms overhead and try to reach the ground behind you.
- Slowly inhale and exhale to release tightness by feeding more oxygen to your muscles.
- Bring back your arms to hip level and repeat.
2. Shoulder swimmer
- Stand straight with your feet spaced at hip-width.
- Arms behind your back, bend down forward until your spine is parallel to the floor.
- Slowly draw a circle with your arms as you join them overhead.
- Staying at the same position, bring your arms back down and repeat.
3. Shoulder pass through
- Stand straight, holding your PVC pipe/TheraBand/towel. Keep your abs engaged, butt tight and do not flare out your ribcage.
- Raise the pipe overhead and bring it down behind you, as far as possible.
- Bring the pipe back in front as you push your shoulders down in their sockets. Do not bend your elbows or pelvis.
4. Hip circle
- With tight abs, get on all fours.
- Raise one foot backwards, bent at the knee, and draw circles in the air.
- Make one circle clockwise, followed by another counterclockwise.
- Repeat with the other leg.
5. Hip switch with shin box extension
- Sit down with your hands placed beside you and your heels planted on the floor.
- Switching to one side, bring yourself up on your knees.
- Squeeze your butt forward to open up your front hip flexor.
- Go back down, switch to the other side, and repeat.
6. Hamstring scoop
- Stand straight and put one foot forward, with your toes lifted and heel firmly planted on the floor.
- Bending down into a deadlift, push your hips back and go all the way down as your arms reach for the toes of the extended foot.
- Raise yourself back up, switch to the other leg and repeat.
7. Adductor rock back with thoracic extension
- On your knees, extend one leg sideways.
- Bend down forward as you place your hands on the floor in front of you.
- Slowly rock back and forth a couple of times until you feel a good stretch.
- Coming back up, reach for the toes of the extended foot with the opposite hand. Bring that hand back up as you stretch it backwards.
- Repeat on the other side.
Related Story: Easy Exercises You Can Do At Your Desk
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