Forget COVID; the real epidemic of the 21st century is back pain issues. We sit around all day at work; we sit around all day at home – no wonder we feel stiff and immobile all the time. The good news is that spending only 0.18 per cent of your week doing this stretching workout can significantly improve your general well-being.
That's right; stretch 10 minutes twice a week, and you'll be sorted as long as you do the right exercises. Doing this 10-move back-stretching workout doesn't take a lot of effort and has tangible benefits. Don't believe us? Try it yourself, and see how you feel after...
By the way, did you know you build muscle when you stretch? The overlap between the thick and thin myofilaments increases by contracting the sarcomeres – the basic contractile unit of muscle fibre. As it stretches, this area of overlap decreases, allowing the muscle fibre to elongate, PhysioPedia explains. In essence, your muscles get physically longer over time, thanks to stretching!
This is a 10-minute stretching workout that can do with or without a warm-up. In fact, this session can be an excellent way to loosen up the back and the hips for a more gruelling workout. You'll do each exercise for 60 seconds, or if you stretch different sides separately, for 30 seconds. There are no rest periods; follow the flow and perform each movement back to back. The exercises in this workout are as follows:
- Cat-Cow pose 60 seconds
- Cobra pose 60 seconds
- Overhand reach (left) 30 seconds
- Overhand reach (right) 30 seconds
- Seated twist (left) 30 seconds
- Seated twist (right) 30 seconds
- Fold over/hamstring stretch 30 seconds
- Hamstring stretch rock 30 seconds
- Knee hug (left) 30 seconds
- Knee hug (right) 30 seconds
- Knee hug/rolls 60 seconds
- Lower back twist - 60 seconds
- Knee crossover (left) - 30 seconds
- Knee crossover (right) - 30 seconds
- Child pose - 60 seconds
If your hips are equally as tight as your back, this 10-minute hips and back pain workout will probably sort you out. We also have a 15-minute lower back stretching routine if that's of interest. Finally, you can, too, improve flexibility with this 6-minute hamstring stretching workout.