4 Chair Flexibility Exercises to Alleviate Muscle Stress

Flexibility training is an important part of any physical activity routine. Regular stretching improves blood circulation, joint health, as well as reduces muscle tension and stress.

Try out these 4 seated stretches

1. Head Tilt

  1. Sit upright in a comfortable position. Relax your neck and shoulder muscles. Take a breath in.
  2. Slowly tilt your chin towards your chest as you exhale through pursed lips. You will feel a stretch in the back of your neck.
  3. Inhale and slowly lift your chin to the starting position.
  4. Exhale through pursed lips and slowly tilt your head to the right. Keep your gaze forward and bring your right ear towards your left shoulder.
  5. Inhale, return to centre. Then exhale, slowly tilt your head to the left. Bring your left ear towards your left shoulder.
  6. Inhale return to centre.

Benefits of the Head Tilt

The head tilt stretch helps relieve tight neck muscles and can alleviate tension headaches.

2. Seated Knee-to-Chest

  1. Move to the edge of your chair and plant both feet into the ground hip-width apart.
  2. Elevate your right foot off the ground, place your hands on your right knee and hug your knee towards your chest. Your left foot should not move off the ground.
  3. Keep your shoulders down and elbows near your sides. Bend your elbows to bring your knee closer to your chest and increase the intensity of this stretch. Extend your elbows to lessen the stretch.
  4. You should feel a stretch in your right hamstring and glute.
  5. Hold this position for 10-30 seconds. Remember to breathe deeply throughout this stretch.
  6. Relax and lower the knee to the starting position. Repeat on the other side.

Benefits of the Knee-to-Chest Stretch

The seated knee-to-chest stretch lengthens your erector spinae (a muscle deep in your back) and helps to flatten and stabilize the lower pelvis.

3. Overhead Side Stretch

  1. Sit up tall and keep your feet planted on the ground.
  2. Bring your right hand up overhead. Inhale as you reach your arm as high as you can, elongating your spine.
  3. Exhale and slowly lean over to the left as far as you can. You can use your left hand as support on your left thigh or the chair arm.
  4. Try to gaze up at your right hand.
  5. Inhale, rise to centre and stretch your arm up high.
  6. Exhale, lower your arm to your side.
  7. Now, repeat with the left arm leaning slowly to the right.

Benefits of the Overhead Side Stretch

The seated side stretch helps relieve muscle tension in the upper body, open the hips and improve spinal mobility.

4. Figure Four Stretch

  1. Remain seated, place your right foot on top of your left knee. Your knee and foot should be aligned.
  2. Keep your lower back in its natural arch and align your neck and back. Lean your chest towards your knees, hinging at your hips. Stop when you feel a stretch in your right glute and hip.
  3. Hold for 10-30 seconds, then slowly release the stretch and rise to centre
  4. Repeat this movement with your left foot resting on your right knee.

Benefits of the Figure Four Stretch

The figure four stretch targets the gluteus medius, which is the muscle that stabilizes the hip joint, helps aid hip movement and mobility.

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