We’ve all been there — glued to the TV, binge watching out favorite show while growing increasingly stiff and sore from too much sitting. Unfortunately, these days, the most movement many of us get is the walk from bedroom to kitchen table to couch. This inactivity takes a toll, leaving our bodies tight and tense.
But you can limit the damage of plowing through the entire season of Bridgerton in one session. HSS Brooklyn rehabilitation and performance expert Asma Mohammadi, PT, DPT, FAAOMPT, OCS, CSCS, suggests the simple movements outlined below, which you can do from the comfort of your couch to get the blood flowing again and start giving your body the attention it needs.
As you stretch, make sure you’re breathing properly and paying attention to your posture. “You don’t want to slouch,” Mohammadi says. “Sit in an upright posture to allow your diaphragm to function optimally, which enables better lung expansion and breathing.” Throughout the stretches, gently lengthen the muscles you’re working but don’t overextend. While you may feel a stretch, you should never feel pain.
Chin Tuck: This strengthens the deep neck flexor muscles.
Neck Stretch: This stretches the levator scapulae, which starts at the top of the shoulder blade and goes to the top of the neck.
Mid-Back Extension: This stretches the thoracic spine, which is the upper/middle part of your spine.
Shoulder Blade Rolls: This loosens tight shoulders.
Pelvic Tilt: This moves the lower lumbar spine.
Hamstring Stretch: This stretches the back of your thighs.
Figure 4 Stretch: This opens up the hips and stretches the glute area.
Tip: If you have limited hip mobility, just bring your leg up to without leaning forward. If that still feels too hard, hug your knee into your chest instead.
Ankle Circles: This helps with range of motion in the ankles.