Do you get hip pain when sitting? How tight do your shoulders feel? It’s common to get sore muscles and stiff joints after sitting. However, it is not ideal! It is always important to get out of your chair regularly, as well as have your workstation set up correctly. You might also want to check out this simple tip to help correct posture. Aside from this, some simple stretches can help you to feel better.
Today I’m going to show you a few simple chair based exercises in the form of stretches. You can conveniently do these without moving far from your desk. These can also be useful for you if you haven’t started a fitness regime yet, or perhaps have been out of one for a while. If you’re ready to focus ahead but it feels overwhelming, why not start off with something like this, which doesn’t require a large amount of planning or preparation.
A few points to note about stretching:
- Stretch until you feel a mild discomfort, but NO PAIN
- Breathe continuously. If you find you are holding your breath it likely means you need to ease off the stretch a bit. You can use your breath to assist the stretch (and to calm your busy mind at the same time!) by breathing out as you ease into the stretch and then maintaining a normal breathing pattern as you hold it. To learn more about breathing, check out this blog.
- Hold each stretch for 15-30 seconds
The two best stretches if you get hip pain when sitting
This is one of the best stretches if you get hip pain when sitting. It is great for stretching out the muscles on the front of the leg that are being shortened whilst you are sitting. It can also help with lower back pain. Stand up; place one hand on your chair gently for balance. Bend the knee of your other leg and take hold of your foot behind you. Keep knees together and gently draw the hip forward to enhance the stretch.
This is the second essential stretch if you get hip pain when sitting. It will stretch out tight buttock muscles and can also help ease lower back pain.
Sit on the edge of your chair. Cross one foot onto the opposite leg, just above the knee. Keep your spine straight and place one hand on the foot, and the other on your knee, as pictured. Try to keep your hips square by keeping both butt cheeks planted on the chair.
Gently apply downward pressure to the knee, and upward pressure to the foot of the leg that is crossed. This should enable you to feel the stretch in the buttocks more effectively. You can also lean forward at the hips to feel the stretch more. Stop or ease off if you feel pain in the knee joint.
The best stretches if you get shoulder or neck pain from poor posture
This is a great one to counter the forward slouching habit that many of us find we revert to whilst deep in concentration. It can be helpful if you get tight shoulders as a result of poor posture. Sit up tall, clasp hands behind your back and draw shoulders back and down.
Sit up straight with shoulders back. Turn head to one side and hold. Then slowly take your ear down towards your shoulder, whilst keeping shoulders down.
To do the opposite of the ‘head poke’ position many of us find ourselves in when looking at a screen, keep the shoulders back and tuck the chin in and slightly down to lengthen the back of the neck.
A Bonus Sretch to help with lower back pain
This is an essential movement for a healthy spine. It can help with lower back pain if done carefully. Sit up tall; gently twist to one side, taking the opposite hand to the outside of the leg to add a little resistance.
Remember that some movement is better than no movement. To reiterate, these stretches can really be helpful if you get hip pain when sitting, or tight shoulders from sitting too long. But they are also great as a starting point if you’re not exercising for some reason or another. They can be a first step to doing SOMETHING.
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Click here to read what they have to say about training smarter, not harder.
Click here to learn why you shouldn’t diagnose your own injuries.
If you enjoyed this article, you’ll probably want to check out my complete guide to using exercise resistance bands. It even includes two full resistance band workouts!
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I write for a number of publications and generally publish a blog once a week about finding ways to enjoy a more happy and healthy lifestyle.
I also come across a lot of useful healthy information all the time. If I find something of value, I'd love to share it with you.
Also published on Medium.