When you work at a desk, it's pretty inevitable to be sitting all day long, and it's honestly a real pain in the ass (seriously, someone HMU with a butt massage). I know you feel me on a spiritual level when I say your butt is legitimately aching after hours parked on it in the office. But if you're wondering how to stretch after sitting all day, you might automatically think it involves an intricate list of glute stretches that sound even less appealing than your painful posterior.
From seated twists, to foam rolling, there are plenty of different stretches that can relieve all that tension in your butt. And though no one really enjoys taking the time to stretch it out, it's pretty important, especially when it comes to avoiding conditions like dead butt syndrome (aka when your glutes literally decide to stop working because you've been sitting for so long).
Plus, studies suggest that sitting for prolonged periods without activity can lead to early death, so it's definitely in your best interest to get up and get the blood flowing whenever the opportunity strikes.
Now, your quest for a tension-free tush doesn't have to involve an hour of elaborate stretching. There's a single movement you can do at the end of your day that'll soften the blow of sitting in a chair for hours on end, and feel absolutely amazing for your lower body.
Meet the figure four stretch, aka the answer to your tense booty prayers.
The figure four hip stretch is one of the easiest and most effective stretches to ease the uncomfortable side effects that come with sitting all day long. In case you were wondering, it's called the figure four because that's literally the shape your legs make when you get into the pose (easy enough to remember, right?).
This booty-saving stretch targets the piriformis, which is a muscle that runs from the back of your pelvis to the outer part of your upper thigh bone, according to PopSugar.
To perform this stretch, all you have to do is lay down on your back, and bend both knees with your feet hip-width apart on the floor. Then, raise your right leg, and place that ankle over your left knee. Loop your hands through the hole in your legs, and slowly draw the stretch in as close as you can manage toward your chest. Be sure to listen to your body, and only do whatever feels comfortable for you.
Take deep, even breaths, and feel the prominent stretch on the outside of your hip as you hold the position for about 20 seconds. Once you're done, repeat the pose on the other side.
This bad boy is sure to give your glutes some major glory, but if figure four isn't doing much for you, there are ways to make the movement a little more intense.
For a deeper stretch similar to the feeling of figure four, try your hand (or booty) at pigeon pose.
Pigeon pose flips figure four in the opposite direction, applying more pressure to the hip and giving you a deeper and more luxurious stretch. This pose, which is often featured in yoga classes, lengthens the hip flexor connecting your torso to your legs, which sort of scrunches up a lot when you're routinely sitting down for extended periods of time.
To get into pigeon pose, come onto all fours, and slowly bring your left knee forward, placing it on the floor just behind your left wrist. Once you're in this position, check on your back leg. Make sure it's straight back behind you, and your hips are squared and neutral.
If your hips don't reach the ground, you can use blankets, pillows, or other props to level them out and make the pose more comfortable. Once you manage to release the initial tension in your hip, the pose should begin to feel extremely soothing and relaxing. Hold yourself here for about 10 deep breaths, and then repeat on the other side.
You and your booty can thank me later, fam.