Fitness expert Brent Bishop shows us how to loosen tight muscles and release tension.
1. Strengthen your back
Prone cobra extension: Lying on your stomach, with your arms and legs extended, rotate your arms so your palms are facing and your thumbs are pointing upward. Bend at the knee to lift your left foot, turn your right palm outward and bring your right arm back to reach your left foot. Return to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side. Perform 16 repetitions in total.
2. Release lower-back tension
Isolated myofascial release: Lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, place a lacrosse or tennis ball under your lower back, just to the right side of the spine. Take some deep breaths, allowing your weight to relax onto the ball. Lift your right leg, bringing the knee toward your chest, then extend the leg, lowering it down to the floor. Repeat, bringing your knee to your chest 10 times, then repeat on the left side.
3. Loosen back-straining muscles
Myofascial release of hip flexors: Lower your body to rest your right hip on a foam roller, with your arms and legs extended and your palms on the floor. Bringing your leg out to the side, lift your left knee to hip level and place your left foot on the ground. Lift your right foot off the floor and, using your left foot, propel yourself forward until the foam roller reaches your right knee; roll in the opposite direction until the foam roller reaches your hip. Roll back and forth about 12 times, then repeat on the opposite side.
How it helps: This exercise loosens hip flexors that become tight from excessive sitting.