Try This Quick Stretch When Your Body Is Stiff and Achy From Sitting Through a Show


SOS Stretching is designed to perform when you need it most. These super quick routines will relieve tension, tightness and relieve muscle soreness from any activity you engage theater intermission As a routine, you will:

  • Stretch your: neck, hip flexorsback, hamstrings and calves.
  • You can do this: Wear whatever you wear in the theater—even a fitted dress and heels. These stretches are discreet and require no major movements, making them easy to perform while waiting in line for the restroom or socializing in the lobby. Plus, some can be done in your chair.

If you’re feeling stiff and sore after an evening at the theater (or anytime you’ve been sitting in a confined space), well, it makes sense. Not only do you sit most of the time, but the chairs are usually small, too, and you’re often shoulder to shoulder with the person next to you.So you might put your elbows on your knees, be quiet, and really fold your body in, says physical therapist Brando Lakes, DPT, co-founder motor function In New York, tell yourself.

Also, during tense parts of the show, your head might come forward to catch every word and your shoulders might lift toward your ears, Lex said. He added that if the theater is cold — and many are — your shoulders might shrug if you’re cold, too. Depending on the length of the performance, you may be holding these positions for hours at a time, resulting in body soreness and stiffness.

Fortunately, there is a little stretch, you can counteract that tightness and “re-establish some balance in your body,” Lex says. With this in mind, Lex has developed the following four-step routine that you can perform during halftime performances. These gentle stretches lengthen key muscles that are often tensed on theater sets—think hips, legs, neck, and back—so you can feel less stiff and sore at night.


  • Do the following stretches for the time specified below. Feel free to do it in any order, and mix and match however feels best to you.
  • The sequence takes about three to four minutes as is, but feel free to repeat it as many times as you like. Just make sure to listen to your body and back off if the movement feels too intense. “As long as you feel the stretch, you’re fine,” says Lex.


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