We know that you’ve heard it all before but our sitting-down-all-day habit can make for a pretty unhappy back. If you get to the end of the working day and feel tight and uncomfortable through the muscles in your lower lumbar (the bottom of your spine), hit the mat for these four progressive moves.

backprogression1Single leg hug

First up, this single leg release will loosen up your hips and hamstrings. Make sure your straight leg stays on the ground, if it starts to lift, release the tension on your bent leg a little. Breathe into this stretch for 30-60 seconds before switching legs.

backprogression2Double leg hug

Next, pull both of your knees in towards you, keeping your shoulder blades together and on the ground. As your lower back start to release, gently rock side to side. Hold this for a minute, keeping your head rested on the ground throughout.

backprogression3Lying hamstring stretch

Ease into this stretch slowly, you don’t want to force your leg but rather, gently pull at the back of the knee or calf until you feel a stretch through the back of your leg. As you relax into the stretch you can pull it a little closer. Hold for 60 seconds and switch sides.

backprogression4Thread the needle stretch

This stretch releases your gluteal muscles which can become tight when our lower backs are tired or sore. Don’t lift your neck to pull your legs in closer, instead, relax your torso and keep your spine and neck on the ground. As you feel your muscles relax, try gently pulling your leg in a little closer. Hold for 60 seconds and switch sides.

While this progression is great done even once, it’s even better if you have the time to repeat it 3 or 4 times through. It’ll only take 10 minutes and can be done in front of the television after a long day.