Sometimes, weekends or after-work evenings are made for time on the couch. Whether it's because you've had an exhausting day of meetings and workouts or because you're indulging in a marathon of your favorite TV show, the couch can beckon in just the right way.
Unfortunately, the cuddly couch can be the opposite of comfort. Spending too much time sitting or lying on the couch can cause more pain than relaxation. First, there's the fact that your body won't be supported correctly while you're slumped in the cushions. Then there's the fact that sitting for too long causes the supporting muscles around the spine and pelvis to deactivate, which leads to chronic back pain.
If you spent too long getting acquainted with your couch last night, check out five easy types of stretches that will help relieve back pain, release shoulder tension, and remedy a stiff neck.
- Butterfly Pose: This simple pose stretches out your hips and lower back, and you can do it anywhere. As you lengthen your spine, relax and extend your arms out in front of you for more of a stretch.
- Spinal twist: A day on the couch can make the muscles around your spine feel tight. To release tension in both your lower back and your shoulders, try this shoulder-releasing twist.
- Child's Pose: I'm always happy to strike this pose in yoga class, and there's a reason why it feels so good. As you reach forward you stretch your lower back, which releases tension, but it's also just an all-around body-relaxing pose.
- Standing Forward Bend: This move stretches your lower back and also gives your hamstrings a stretch as well, which will feel great, especially if you've spent too long sitting.
- Neck stretches: Dozed off on the couch and now have that dreaded crick in your neck? Here are seven neck stretches that will remedy that stiff feeling.
If you find yourself suffering from chronic back pain, try moves to strengthen your core. Regularly practicing Pilates and yoga have both been proven to help alleviate and prevent back pain.