This expert-recommended tweak to child's pose is helping me undo the damage of my desk job

If you spend a lot of time sitting down, you need to try this stretch

Woman doing child's pose at home
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you're anything like me, you probably end your working day feeling a bit stiff and sore after hours at your desk. I don't need endless studies to tell me that spending lots of time sitting down isn't good for my body—I can feel the effects of it every day at 5:30.

Fortunately, there's one simple way to offset the damage of a desk job: movement. Regularly strengthening and mobilizing our joints and muscles eases stiffness, and becoming more flexible and strong also means that our muscles can better support us while we're hunched over our desks.

One of my favorite stretches to do at the end of the day is child's pose. It's a passive stretch that targets the upper-body, particularly the shoulders and the back, as well as the hips, which are some of the areas most affected by prolonged sitting.

I was excited to see a video on social media with a hack that promises to make child's pose even more effective. In an Instagram reel, Julia Morgan shares a tweak to child's pose which will help you stretch even further into the shoulders.

I decided to try it during my lunch break, to see if it could help ease the habitual stiffness in my upper body.

Watch Julia Morgan's Instagram Reel

Morgan's tweak involves sitting into a normal child's pose with your knees wider than your hips, and then lifting your palms and hips up in the air so that you're in a puppy pose.

From there, she recommends arching and rounding the back, in a similar way to cat-cow pose. Do this while keeping the hands and feet in place to really target the upper-body.

I've tried puppy pose before, so I was familiar with this stretch. But moving my upper-body around as Morgan suggested was completely new for me and it felt great for my shoulders.

Woman doing child's pose.

(Image credit: Alice Porter)

I moved around in circular motions for about 30 seconds and found that my upper-body felt far more relaxed afterwards, particularly my shoulders, chest and upper-back.

This is definitely a stretch I'll be doing more regularly, especially during or after the working day. My usual strength and mobility workouts will probably play a larger role in keeping my body healthy and strong, but this pose is great for immediate relief.

Looking for more ways to stay supple? Try these yoga stretches for beginners, or start your day with one of these 15-minute yoga flows

If you need a new mat to support your practice, have a look through our round-up of the best yoga mats

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.