Have a Sedentary Lifestyle? Leg Flossing Will Help Take the Edge Off of Tight Desk Hips

Photo: Getty/undrey
My legs are always sore and tight, thanks to all the bootcamps, running, and dog walking I task them with. I try everything I can to loosen them up, from taking a Theragun to my quads to stretching in every single position—but I've never quite been able to shake the feeling of cement-heavy legs after a workout.

In the middle of an at-home yoga sesh, though, Los Angeles-based yoga instructor Kyle Miller, co-founder of Love Yoga—who just released her own at-home yoga videos—started flowing through what I can only describe as leg flossing. "This is my absolute favorite thing to do—I do it in just about every class, and I'm sure my students are sick of it," Miller jokes as she walks me through the feels-so-good movement. "It's such a great position for opening up the joints of the lower body."

If you've ever done shoulder flossing—another yoga-based move that I fell in love with recently—you'll know that anything dubbed "flossing" really brings fluidity to your body (not to mention, it just feels divine). Miller explains to me that her practice is based off of Taoism, which views the body as its own little universe. "We have our own networks of circulation, land masses—organs and muscles—delicate ecosystems, and homeostasis," she says. "Joints are like bends in the river, places where garbage collects. We want everything to flow, nothing to get caught and create stagnation." This is exactly why she's partial to cleaning out, articulating, moving, and stimulating the joints, all so that your body can flow better. "Cleaning the joints ensures that blood, energy, lymph, and emotions can flow rather than get caught."

When doing leg flossing, you're basically working the legs in ways and movements that they're not used to feeling. "Spherical movements in the joints let you break out of the box and move organically, exactly how you want to move—and you really can't mess it up," says Miller. Considering how your legs most likely only move in a unilateral direction (when you're not sitting at your desk, of course), this leg flossing moves them all around in every single direction, which is really, really good for their health.

All you do is start from your hands and knees on a quadruped position—you don't necessarily have to be mid-yoga flow. "Stick your right leg out to the right, with your toes facing forward," says Miller. "Start more subtly, moving forward and back in space." Then, as you warm up, make the movements even bigger. "Extend the outstretched leg and make the movements spherical. Imagine the femur bone moving around in the hip socket and the stiff joints of the sacrum moving," she says. Do each leg for about 30 seconds or longer, and enjoy it. I may not floss my teeth as often as I'm supposed to (don't tell my dentist), but leg flossing is something I can actually get behind.

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