Say goodbye to stiff muscles on your back, shoulder and hamstrings with these four stretches. Ready now, get stretching!

You did not think we would stop at only four stretches, did you? Following on our 4 Easy Stretches for Stiff Muscles, Sitting Down, we have four more! These are slightly more challenging, and some requires you to stand. Regardless, they all contribute great benefits for your body, especially if you sit for long periods each day.

In the video above, our yoga advisor Theresa Shan demonstrates the correct way to do these stretches.

#1 HAMSTRINGS

4 Stretches for Stiff Muscles—Part 2

 

BENEFITS

If you suffer from back issues, most likely you have tight hamstrings. If you have tight hamstrings then it is important to stretch them everyday—just like brushing your teeth everyday. Because if you do not stretch them daily, tight hamstrings can ultimately lead to much larger problems.

Your hamstrings are considered tight if you are unable to reach for your toes comfortably without rounding your spine too much.

METHOD

  1. Extend your leg forward in front of you
  2. Flex your foot
  3. Reach down to grab your foot; if you cannot reach use a belt or a strap
  4. Keep your spine as straight as possible
  5. Look forward
  6. Hold for 3-5 breaths
  7. Repeat on the other side

#2 SHOULDERS

4 Stretches for Stiff Muscles—Part 2

 

BENEFITS

For many of us, the upper back or thoracic spine has little mobility. By sitting at a desk all day, naturally your shoulders begin to slouch forward and your back begins to round, giving it a convex shape. Over time, the body begins to get ‘used’ to this position and so the muscles begin to ‘set’ into this shape, causing stiffness in the shoulder, neck and upper back. It is important to counter this habitual position by moving your body in the opposite direction.

With this pose, you use gravity to gently move the upper back and chest further forward and the arms backward, thereby relieving the stress on the back and neck.

METHOD:

  1. Place both hands on your desk
  2. Push your chair back until your arms are fully extended
  3. Drop your head in between your arms
  4. Allow your belly to rest on your thighs
  5. Try to move your chest down to the floor as much as possible
  6. Do not crunch your shoulders to your neck
  7. Hold for 3-5 breaths, or longer if you can

#3 CHEST

4 Stretches for Stiff Muscles—Part 2

BENEFITS

This will stretch the chest, biceps and front shoulder muscles, and relieves tension from the trapezius—neck—muscle. This stretch helps to pull the shoulders backwards, countering the effects from sitting at a desk for to long.

METHOD:

  1. Stand up
  2. Clasp your hands behind your back
  3. Straighten your elbows
  4. Lift the arms away from the hips as much as possible
  5. Lift the chest
  6. Hold for 3-5 breaths

#4 UPPER BACK

4 Stretches for Stiff Muscles—Part 2

BENEFITS

A really good one to open up the chest, counter the hunchback position and gain more flexibility in the thoracic spine. This pose can help relieve stiffness in the upper back, neck and shoulders—a really good one to do everyday!

METHOD:

  1. Find a chair with a back rest that ends below the shoulder blades
  2. Clasp the hands behind the head
  3. Lean back into the back rest
  4. Let your head rest into your hands
  5. Keep your elbows wide
  6. Lift the chest
  7. Hold for 3-5 breaths or longer