Many things have changed since last year but some things stayed the same – like spending the day sitting! Spending hours at the desk in the office shifted into sluggish days at home. We all know it damages our bodies, but how can we change it?
Desk jockey life is harmful to your overall health. More specifically, too much time spent seated at your workspace can cause lower back pain and tight hamstrings. When it comes right down to it, people weren’t meant to live a sedentary lifestyle. Especially as we age, it becomes more an issue of well-being than just a physical disadvantage.
Even though it’s relatively easy to remedy these conditions, it’s better to take action before they become a regular issue. The good news is that a 20-minute pilates home workout is more than enough!
We’re sharing two simple yet very effective exercises to take your pain away. Lifesavers for office workers, these exercises keep the lower back flexible and remind your legs that they do indeed exist. A well-choreographed pilates workout with dynamic stretches like these delivers quick results – improving core muscle strength, flexibility, and posture.
Let’s do one exercise to relieve lower back pain and undo the damage of sitting.
Starting on all fours with a cat-cow is a good way to relieve your lower back muscles. Inhale as you drop your belly. Raise your head, and look up. Don’t try to push yourself if your back is already in pain. Exhale, drop your head down and lift your belly while arching the spine. You’ll feel your neck and shoulders begin to relax. Repeat this exercise a few times and chances are you’re already feeling much better than you did five minutes ago.
Tight hamstrings are often the result of too much time spent seated with poor posture. The tendons at the back of our thighs are stimulated when we actively bend our knees or do related exercises. Pilates exercises like leg circle, downward dog, standing roll downs, glute kickbacks can work wonders.
With cat-cow under your belt, moving on to a pelvic curl to alleviate tight hamstrings is a good idea. For pelvic curls lie on your back and bend your knees as your feet touch the ground. You’re keeping the spine in a neutral position. Inhale,
and on the exhale peel the tail up, gently raising one vertebra at a time. Inhale and hold at the top. Don’t hurry. On the next exhale, slowly lower one vertebrae at a time, starting from the top. Come to a flat back, and finalise with the neutral spine. Try to repeat a few times with control, and congratulate yourself for doing something nice for your body today.
Even after these two basic exercises, you’ll feel the results right away and this is exactly where most of us start our Pilates journey. If you couldn’t agree more, click here to join my classes.
Targeting the areas that need more attention is understandable, but what’s better is having a whole-body movement experience. And keep in mind that if you can’t run away from sitting all day, you can spice it up by sitting on a pilates ball. Small changes for big impacts!