Three mobility exercises I'm doing to tackle lower-back pain and offset the damage of my desk job

A mobility coach recommends these movements to strengthen your hip flexors and improve your hip mobility

Woman exercising at home. She is on her hands on an exercise mat, with one leg lifted behind her. She is looking at a laptop in front of her and is wearing a white top, grey leggings and white socks.
(Image credit: Prostock-Studio / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

If, like me, you work a desk job and spend a lot of time sitting down, you may have noticed the toll it can take on your body.

I feel it mostly in my hips, which are far tighter than they used to be, and when I spend a day working on my laptop my lower back often starts feeling uncomfortable by 5pm.

Mobility coach Anthony Green recently shared a routine to target these issues.

Stiff hips and lower-back pain often go hand in hand. This can be because tight hip flexors prevent your glutes (the muscles in the buttocks) from working effectively. This may put extra pressure on the lower back as it takes on more of the load of sitting and standing, causing discomfort.

Green's routine of three exercises only takes a few minutes, so I decided to give it a go during my working day to find out what it could do for me.

How to do Anthony Green's mobility routine

No equipment was needed so I just rolled out my yoga mat for extra support for my joints, but this is optional. If you don't have a mat and the positions become uncomfortable, try placing a cushion under pressure points, like your knee in the final exercise.

Green suggests completing each exercise for 60 seconds to help improve hip mobility and strengthen your hip flexors.

My experience trying Antony Green's mobility routine

I know that for mobility exercises to make a difference, they need to be done consistently over a sustained period, so I wasn’t expecting big changes after trying the routine once.

However, having tried a lot of hip stretches in my time, I felt Green’s exercise recommendations were effective at engaging my hip flexors.

The leg lifts were especially challenging, working a range of lower-body muscles and requiring control from the hips. I can see how doing this exercise regularly would strengthen this area.

The other two movements provided some immediate relief to my tight hips. I could feel them getting looser the more I moved in and out of these stretches and my body felt more limber going back to my desk.

I think this routine is well worth your time if you're trying to manage nonspecific lower-back pain and improve your hip mobility like me. It only takes a few minutes but I'm hoping that doing it a few times a week will have a positive effect.

Read more about each pick in our guide to 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.