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Fit & Well
Fit & Well
Alice Porter

Do this six-minute stretching routine at the end of the day to relieve tension in the back and hips

A woman relaxes in a seated position on a yoga mat at home.

If you spend a lot of time sitting down, it’s not unusual to feel stiff at the end of the day, especially if you’re a desk job worker. Common gripes might include tightness in the hips and back due to the pressure on these muscles and joints from sitting for long hours.

One of the best things you can do to reduce the impact of your desk job is stretch. Certified Pilates instructor Katy Bath recently shared a six-minute routine that you can do at the end of the day to provide some relief for tight hips and back. 

Watch Katy Bath's six-minute end-of-the-day stretch routine

The sequence includes a combination of dynamic and passive stretches, inspired by Pilates. Dynamic stretches such as the bridge roll and standing circle involve moving in and out of a stretch, which is great for activating your muscles and improving mobility. With passive stretches, such as the single arm stretch and spinal twist, you'll hold a move for some time, which will increase the range of motion in your muscles and joints.

Both types are great for improving flexibility and mobility. Bath recommends doing each move for one minute, or 30 seconds on each side of the body, adding that you can stay longer in each stretch if it feels good.

Move slowly through the six movements, ideally repeating this routine regularly to see improvements in the way your body feels.

Benefits of stretching

Stretching is a simple way to reduce discomfort. It can help to increase your range of movement and may even make sitting down and moving through your day more comfortable.

Regular stretching will also help you to maintain the flexibility you have, which will support your performance in sports and at the gym.

Try doing these beginner yoga stretches, if you want a longer session, or have a go at these hip stretches if you want to target that specific area. 

Looking for a new yoga mat to support your stretching routine? Have a look through our guide to the best yoga mats 

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