A yoga teacher says tight hamstrings could be to blame if you have poor posture and back ache and recommends these five stretches to make them more flexible

Bad posture? Tight lower back? Try this mobility routine

Woman stretching leg on sofa in living room
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you work a desk job, your muscles are probably tighter than they should be. This is because sitting forces our muscles to stay in relaxed, shortened positions. Without regular stretching, the muscles will adjust to this by gradually decreasing their length; a process known as adaptive shortening.

The hamstrings—the muscles at the backs of the thighs, running down to the knee—are one potential problem area. Tightness of these muscles can lead to other issues, including bad posture and lower back pain.

Yoga and barre instructor Mara Cimatoribus recently shared a routine on Instagram specifically designed to lengthen the hamstrings. It's made up of five stretches that you can easily do from home, maybe as a way to wake up your muscles in the morning or as a warm-up before working out.

How to do Mara Cimatoribus' hamstring mobility routine

A post shared by Mara Cimatoribus

A photo posted by maracimatoribus on

The only kit you’ll need is a foam roller for one of the moves and exercise sliders for the split slide.

You can get a cheap foam roller on Amazon for as little as $8. And if you don’t have sliders, simply fold up a towel or blanket to slide your foot back and forth.

Cimatoribus doesn't specify repetitions, but it's a good idea to move in and out of these moves for at least 30 seconds to feel the benefits or adjust the timing to suit you.

Stretching essentials

Benefits of hamstring flexibility

Lengthening and strengthening your hamstrings will help improve mobility and flexibility as well as support a more robust posture. It may even help you tackle achiness around the lower back and hips., Doing these moves regularly, especially if you work a desk job and want to minimize the damage from sitting down, will not only improve your joint and muscle health but may also make sitting down more comfortable.

If you can't touch your toes, practicing these moves may help you gain the flexibility to do so.

Hamstring mobility is also important for any type of exercise, particularly running. Doing these movements can help to reduce your risk of injury, recover more quickly and make movement more comfortable.

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.