A Simple Standing Spinal Stretch To Loosen Up Your Whole Body

Assistant Managing Editor By Abby Moore
Assistant Managing Editor
Abby Moore is an assistant managing editor at mindbodygreen. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from The University of Texas at Austin and has previously written for Tribeza magazine.
Woman Squatting

It's no secret that sitting for prolonged periods of time can have negative effects on overall health. Whether you work a sedentary job or are unwinding with a movie marathon, it's important to sprinkle little micro-movements into your routine every hour or so. 

By their very essence, micro-movements are simple exercises or stretches that you can do just about anywhere, in any type of clothing, without taking up too much time. If you're not sure which stretches fall into that category, try this "anytime, anywhere, any situation full-body stretch and release," from Pilates instructor and founder of B The Method Lia Bartha

The move, which Bartha shared on Instagram, is technically a spinal stretch, but it also loosens up the neck and shoulders and even targets the lower body. Here's how to do it: 

  1. Start with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. On the inhale, hinge forward, squat down, and bring your arms forward and down.  
  3. On the exhale, straighten your legs, bring your arms down and back, and stand up straight. 
  4. Repeat as many times as feels good to you. 

Whether you have two minutes to spare before your next meeting, or 15 minutes to bring energy and mobility back into your body, this stretch is a calming yet effective way to use that time. "The more you reach and stretch in every direction, the more you benefit here," Bartha writes. 

Along with using this stretch to add movement into a long day of sitting, it can also help wake the body up in the morning, release tension after an intense workout, or simply calm the mind after a stressful day. 

"It really is such a huge stress and tension reliever," Bartha says in the comment section. "Like a huge breath of air!" 

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