Hamstring Stretches You Can Do At The Office To Ease Lower Back
Hamstring inflexibility can be caused by many things; not the least of which is a sedentary lifestyle. In addition, if you work in an office and are stuck sitting at a desk all day, your hamstrings will become short and tight without regular stretching and lengthening. Inflexibility also increases injury potential as well as muscle spasms and strains in the lower back.
A lot of people are switching to a standing desks, but not always and not everyone yet can stand as much as they would like to at work. That’s why stretching out hamstrings is always a good idea if you tend to sit more than you stand during the day. These stretches are also great for people who drive, fly and travel a lot in seated positions.
The Classic Bent-Over Hamstring Stretch
The bent-over hamstring stretch is performed while standing. Use your desk as support for your upper body during this stretch.
How To: Stand straight. Bend forward at your hips until you feel pulling along the back of your thighs. Hold this position for 20 to 30 seconds and repeat three times.
Seated Hamstring Stretch
How To: While sitting at the edge of a chair, straighten one leg in front of the body with the heel on the floor.
Then, sit up straight and try pushing the navel towards the thigh without leaning the trunk of the body forwards. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times for each leg.
Office Chair Stretch
Stretch your hamstrings while sitting in your office chair. A small stool, box of copy paper or other sturdy object can be used to prop up your foot during this stretch.
How To: Sit up straight at the edge of your chair. Prop you right heel up on the stool and point your toes up toward the ceiling. Keeping your knee straight, bend forward at your hips until you feel a pull along the back of your right thigh. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds, then relax. Perform this stretch three times on each leg. To intensify the stretch, prop your leg on a taller object.
Desk Panel/File Cabinet Stretch
The desk panel/file cabinet stretch is an adapted version of the doorway hamstring stretch. All you need is a flat panel on the side of your desk. You can also stretch against a file cabinet.
How To: Sit down on the floor with your feet toward the side of your desk. Place the bottom of your right foot against the edge of the panel and lie down on your back. Scoot toward the desk and slowly slide your right heel up the desk panel until you feel a stretch in the back of your thigh. Depending on how tight your muscles are, your knee might still be a bit bent. Hold this position for 20 to 30 seconds, then bend your knee to relax. Stretch three times and switch legs.
Sports Massage techniques can help you loosen the hamstrings. Ask about it during your next massage.
-Jolita Brilliant, Licensed Massage Therapist in Burlington, Vermont