Updated: Nov 5
Sore backs, stiff necks and painful joints are often the results of tight - and weak - muscles. This tightness stems from either injury, movement inefficiency or imbalances, and are often down to our lifestyles and daily routine. We are not designed to sit for long periods of time and stare at screens all day. When this happens over a prolonged period of time we end up with the aforementioned ailments - sound familiar?
So, how do we go about fixing the damage our desks and screens have done to us? There should be a three-pronged approach to the issue:
Improve your habit to avoid prolonged sitting and bad posture - Move more, get up and walk around, take part in sports, sleep better.
Strengthen muscles which become weakened due to this - Hamstrings, glutes. mid and upper back, "core" muscles.
Stretch tight muscles - Muscles such as the hip flexors, piriformis, neck and hamstrings.
This last point is one which we will address in this article. Here are three simple tricks to improve flexibility in problem areas:
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1. Stretch Wherever Possible
I touched on this in a previous article and it is a point I would like to reiterate. Any chance you get to stretch, take it! It could be sat on the sofa, watching TV, taking an escalator or doing the housework. How? Well, try this.
(Hold these stretches for 30+ seconds)
When seated on the sofa perform a seated piriformis stretch.
Place your right foot on your left knee, allowing your right knee to relax down. Apply slight downward pressure to your right knee and sit tall. Lean forward from the hips until a stretch is felt deep in the buttock muscles. Repeat the other side.