10 Ideal exercises for sitting long periods

By , K24 Digital
On Wed, 8 May, 2024 06:00 | 3 mins read
10 Ideal exercises for sitting long periods. PHOTO/Print

When we sit for long hours, our joints and muscles become tight, and you may develop issues such as lower back pain and poor posture. There are workouts you could do to maintain flexibility, as advised by personal fitness trainer and orthopaedic physio Benjamin Kitai. He also advises that you exercise for lifestyle change and not to achieve a particular body goal, writes Clarice Muchira

1. Squats

Squats work on different muscles, mainly glutes (the muscles around your buttocks), thighs, hips and pelvis, hamstrings and quadriceps. They also help with core stability. This is because you need to use a squatting technique where you engage your core, which boosts balance by strengthening the lower back. Squats aid in mobility and flexibility and improve body posture.

2. Glutebridge

Also known as the hip thrust, Gluterbridge mainly uses the gluteus maximus —one of the biggest muscles in the body. It works both the glutes and hamstrings. This workout does not put any pressure on the lower back and is a good aid for alleviating lower back and knee pain. It involves pushing your heels onto the floor and tightening your glutes as well as the abdominal muscles while lifting your hips up.

3. Bird dog

This exercise can be used for warm up before doing your legs or back workout and also as a main component in your workout sets. It strengthens the lower back and hamstrings. The bird dog exercise also strengthens the core, hips and back muscles. It helps relieve low back pain and promotes proper posture. It targets the whole body, for an increased range of motion and boosts balance and coordination.

4. Walking

When you sit for long periods, your muscles get stiff since the knees are bent and the back is stiff. Therefore, we need to walk so as to release the muscle tension and regain flexibility. It is a full body workout that not only helps with mobility and flexibility, but also aids in cardiovascular health and mental health. Walking saves you money and also helps you discover new places. Aim to walk for 30 minutes each day and your body will be in optimal condition.

5. Lunges

Walking lunges, or alternating lunges, works on your ankle stability, the knees and pelvis. This happens because all these muscles are engaged when you bend one knee forward and lower the other behind. It also strengthens the hamstrings and quadriceps. This strength building helps increase flexibility and boost metabolism; all this while improving mobility. Forward lunges are the most common style of this exercise.

6. Single leg deadlift

The single leg deadlift works your lower back, hamstrings, core and ankles. This is because you have to stand on one leg and maintain stability to support your entire body through the exercise. This workout is great for improving body balance and stability and get rid of ankle pain. It improves hip mobility and also boosts body posture. As you do this exercise remember to engage your core.

7. Dead bug

This exercise works the core as the main muscle. It also works the quadriceps, hamstrings and lower back. Remember when you’re sitting for long periods, you develop issues revolving around the lower back. Hence your workouts need to focus on strengthening the lower back hamstrings and the core, so as to maintain a good posture.

8. Push-ups

This is a body weight workout. You can either do the modified or advanced push-ups depending on your level of experience or strength. It works on strengthening the upper body mainly the triceps, biceps and chest depending on your form. It works on strengthening the core as well, since your core has to be engaged in order to achieve the perfect form.

9. Planks

You can do high or low planks for core stability. The core is a major muscle in the body. As seen in all the other workouts, you need to always engage your core. This is because a strong core equals a strong back and therefore good posture. A strong core helps get rid of any unnecessary back pain.

10. Donkey kicks

This work out helps you build the gluteus maximus (the largest muscle in the buttock that move the highest), hamstrings and core. It is very useful for improving hip stability, which reduces the risk of hip injuries and enhance overall movement efficiency. This workout required no equipment and helps boost overall fitness level.

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