As a kid you move and play. As an office worker you sit and walk to the bathroom. No wonder you’re stiff and tight—and probably weak, too.
In particular, office workers suffer from short hamstrings, tight hip flexors, and slumped shoulders. These three things affect the way you move and the way you breath, and the effect isn’t positive.
Here’s a stretch for your hamstrings:
Seated Hamstring Stretch
Sit on the ground and place one leg straight out in front of you and the other folded up with the foot pressed against the thigh of the straight leg. Fold from the hips and reach for your straight leg’s foot.
When your muscles tighten to resist your stretch, tighten them even more, without losing any stretch. It helps to imagine driving your heel in the ground when you are tightening your muscles.
Then relax and breathe out a sigh of relief. Repeat the tense / release process 2-3 times. When you reach the greatest stretch, tighten your muscles and hold the tension for several seconds to ‘reset’ the nervous system to the new length. Then relax and come up.
It is easy to ‘cheat’ and fold your back over to give the appearance of getting a greater stretch. Resist this temptation and give your focus to stretching your hamstrings.
You should feel this stretch in the back of your leg, but not the back of the knee. If you feel the stretch there you are going too far too soon.
You can hit different parts of the hamstring (it’s actually three different muscles) by stretching directly over the leg, about 45 degrees to outside of the leg, and 45 degrees to the inside of the leg.
Along with the hip flexors, the hamstrings tighten during long periods of sitting and can negatively impact posture.