When you sit for long periods of time—at your desk, while cycling, on your commute—your shoulders become rounded, your pelvis shifts forward, and your hip flexors tighten, explains Maria Garcia, group fitness manager at Equinox Darien in Connecticut. When all this happens, your spine loses its natural S shape, putting undue pressure on the low back.
To counteract it, Garcia suggests making two fists behind your back with the palms facing away from you, knuckles pressed together, and applying light pressure into your low back, just above the tailbone. Do it while sitting or standing. Hold for three full, deep breaths.
The bottom line:
Practice this at least three times a day, anytime you’ve been seated for more than 45 minutes, says Garcia. It’ll bring your spine out of flexion (the hunched-over position) and into extension (with shoulders pulled back) as well as tilt your pelvis back to neutral.