Yoga for Deskworkers: 4 Poses for Tight Hips and Hamstrings

Sitting at a computer all day can take its toll on your low back. Often the source of this discomfort is weak gluteal muscles and overworked hamstrings. Our glutes (aka buttock’s muscles) help to stabilize the pelvis, particularly when walking. They need to stay active to remain strong. Extended sitting not only weakens them, but also forces the hamstrings to compensate. Too tight, over-worked hamstrings tend to pull on the low back, misaligning the pelvis and causing low back discomfort. It’s a perfect storm for back pain! So, if you sit at a desk for many hours a day, it’s important to take regular breaks and actively engage these muscles. Here are four (4) yoga poses you can do to counteract the effects of prolonged sitting using a wall or the back of a door for added support:

Standing Hip Circles

To bring circulation to the hips and glutes and begin to “wake” them up, stand with your feet slightly wider than hip distance apart. Place your hands on your hips and begin to circle your hips in a clockwise direction, as if you were using an invisible hula-hoop. Do 4-5 circles in each direction.

Wall Lunge

This pose lengthens the back of the legs and activates the glutes. Stand in Mountain pose with your palms flat on a wall or closed door. Step your right leg back, bend your left knee. The right heel will stay lifted. On an inhale, straighten your left knee, allowing your right heel to lift away from the floor. As you exhale, bend your left knee, bringing your left heel closer to the floor. Repeat 3-5x. Step forward, back into Mountain for 1-2 breaths before repeating on the left.

Quad Stretch

The muscles in the front of the pelvis, or hip flexors, shorten from extended sitting, while the hamstrings are in a prolonged lengthened position. This stretch counteracts this effect. Standing in Mountain pose, bend your right knee and reach back with your right hand to grab either your calf, ankle or the bottom of your pants. Draw the heel of your right foot towards your buttocks. Notice if your knee opens out the side and gently work to bring both knees parallel. Stay here for 3-5 breaths before releasing your foot to the floor. Take a breath or two before repeating on the other side.

Standing Lateral Sunbird Stretch

This pose helps to lengthen the side body while lengthening the hamstrings Turn so the wall is on your left. Place your left hand on the wall for support as you come into Mountain. Step your right foot to the outside of your left foot, closer to the wall. On an inhale, raise your right arm out to the side and overhead, bending your torso towards the wall. Stay for 3-5 breaths, focusing on the lengthening the entire right side. Inhale back to center, uncrossing your legs. Turn so the wall is to your right and repeat on the left side.


Taking short, 3-5 minute breaks from sitting throughout your day will help to prevent back pain by keeping your hips, glutes and hamstrings healthy and strong.

Sending love and light,


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