A yoga teacher recommends doing these five exercises to relieve upper-body tension at the end of the day

Use this stretching routine to unwind and improve your flexibility

Young woman practicing yoga at home
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Achy, tight muscles are a common complaint for desk workers. The best way to combat this is by doing regular movement throughout the day, but if you need to relieve some tension after a day in the chair, this routine could help.

It comes from personal trainer and yoga instructor Emily Mouu and has five stretches designed to limber up joints and stretch out muscles.

Most of the moves target the upper body, focusing on areas like the shoulders, neck, and spine, but the threaded child’s pose should provide a satisfying hip stretch, too.

Watch Emily Mouu's stretching routine

A post shared by Emily Mouu

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Benefits of stretching

Doing these exercises could relieve muscle tension that has built up after a day spent hunched over your laptop.

"When you stretch, this identifies tension in the muscle and tendons, which sends a signal back to the muscle to relax," explains Helen O’Leary, physiotherapist and director of Complete Pilates.

Commit to regular stretching sessions and you could also improve your flexibility. O’Leary says that you could see improvements in as little as four weeks if you’re doing routines like this one consistently.

She explains that some people are naturally more flexible than others thanks to their genetics, but nearly everyone can boost their flexibility with dedicated stretching sessions.

"As you get older, maintaining your range of movement [with flexibility routines] will help you feel comfortable doing everyday activities like sitting on a chair or picking something up from the floor," she adds.

If you’re looking for more routines to relieve aches and pains, have a go at these beginner yoga stretches or limber up with our favorite hip stretches.

Need some support for your stretching routine? We've got you covered with 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.