In the first episode of the new series Good Stretch, East River Pilates instructor Brian Spencer guides viewers through a stretch routine you’ve probably wished for a million times: seated stretches you can do anywhere from the middle seat of a packed airplane to at your desk. These stretches work to engage your hips, neck, shoulders, and even a small, but ever so important, muscle near your glutes called the piriformis. If you’ve been craving some seated stretch relaxation in your life, this inaugural episode of Good Stretch will undoubtedly deliver.
Spencer starts off by showing you how to do a modified cat and cow stretch while sitting. This can be a lifesaver if your muscles are super tired. Then, he has you pull gently on your head to stretch your upper trapezius muscle, which can relieve tight shoulders and ease neck pain.
Next, Spencer has you cross your legs and lean in order to get some hip and piriformis stretching in. The piriformis is a small muscle in your bum that runs along the biggest nerve in your lower body. When this muscle gets irritated, inflamed, tense or sore, it can press on this large nerve. This frequently happens when you’ve been sitting for a while—so this stretch will come in handy when trying to prevent or ease any pain.
It’s amazing what Spencer can accomplish in this five-minute stretch routine. You don’t need anything for this stretch routine, except maybe plane neighbors that aren’t asleep on your shoulder. Tune in and let Spencer be your guide.