I did this two-minute hip mobility exercise every day for a week and the results were impressive

This stretch is a game-changer for people who work desk jobs

A peaceful looking woman practices yoga on an exercise mat in front of a sunny window. She is on the floor, with one arm behind her on the ground for balance. One of her legs lies straight in front of her, while the other is crossed over it.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

I work a desk job and spend hours sitting down every day, so I often suffer from stiff hips and back pain. One of the best ways to combat these negative effects of working at a desk is by stretching regularly, to mobilize the joints.

I try to do hip mobility stretches now and then, but my body has become used to the ones I practice regularly and they seem to offer less relief. That's why I was excited to discover a new stretch via Instagram, which promises to reduce tightness in the hips and tension in the lower back.

In the Instagram Reel, mobility coach Rachel Pantano demonstrates a dynamic stretch that involves threading one arm into the other while sitting in the 90/90 position.

I decided to try this stretch for two minutes every day for a week to see if it could reduce achiness and make sitting at my desk more comfortable.

How to do Rachel Pantano's hip mobility stretch

You don't need any equipment for this stretch (but you might be more comfortable on a yoga mat, like this $20 option from Gaiam) and Pantano recommends moving in and out of it for two minutes.

My results

Fitness writer Alice Porter performs a hip stretching exercise in her living room. She is smiling, on a yoga mat, with a fireplace behind her. She is sat on the floor, with her knees bent; one arm reaches up and overhead while the other is in front of her for support.

(Image credit: Future)

I decided to try this stretch for two minutes during my lunch break each day. As Pantano explains, this exercise increases flexibility in the muscles surrounding the hip joint and gently stretches and releases tension along the spine.

I noticed the benefits of this exercise as soon as I started doing it. It delivered a satisfying rotation through my spine, relieving built-up tension. The stretch also challenged my hip mobility, and I felt my body relax into the 90/90 position the longer I held it, which suggested my hip joints were relaxing too.

I decided to swap the position of my legs halfway through so that both sides of my hips were stretched equally.

After a week of doing this stretch, my hips felt more mobile. I wasn't as stiff when doing squats, and this specific exercise felt easier every time I did it.

It hasn’t eradicated my lower back pain and hip stiffness—I need to dedicate more time to stretching and mobility exercises to achieve that. But I've set a good habit for myself and this is an exercise I'll certainly be adding to my roster of mobility movements.

Alice Porter
Freelancer Writer

Alice Porter is a freelance journalist covering lifestyle topics including health, fitness and wellness. She is particularly interested in women's health, strength training and fitness trends and writes for publications including Stylist Magazine, Refinery29, The Independent and Glamour Magazine. Like many other people, Alice's personal interest in combining HIIT training with strength work quickly turned into a CrossFit obsession and she trains at a box in south London. When she's not throwing weights around or attempting handstand push-ups, you can probably find her on long walks in nature, buried in a book or hopping on a flight to just about anywhere it will take her.