Do you work 9-5 behind a desk? Then here are some great stretches that are perfect for your lunch break!
A desk job can cause multiple posture flaws such as ‘text neck’ and internal rotation of the shoulders. A perfect stretch to do is to position yourself into anatomical zero. This requires the body to be positioned almost like a starfish (but with your arms just slightly away from the body) against a wall. Your heels, legs, bum, back, shoulders, arms and back of the head need to be in contact with the wall. Hold this position for at least one minute every day to counteract the slouch that the body becomes accustomed to by working behind a desk.
Another common issue with slouching behind a desk can cause muscular stiffness. To avoid becoming stiff ensure to stretch out during your break and after work to create blood flow to the muscles such as:
- Trapezius stretch – Rotate your neck to the left and right so that your ears get as close to the shoulders as your flexibility will allow.
- Shoulder internal and external rotations – create a circular motion forwards and backwards with the shoulders
- Wrist flexion – extend your arm and fingers in front of you and with the opposing hand, pull the extended fingers back towards the body so that your hands form a cross (+)
- Glute stretch – whilst sitting in your chair fully extend the back, place one foot on the floor for stability and place the other foot on top of your fixed knee. To increase the rate of stretch lean forwards (ensure to keep your back and shoulder fully extended). Make sure to stretch both sides!
- Back rotations – Place both feet together on the floor whilst sitting in your chair. Whilst keeping your back fully extended position your hands on the side of the chair and twist round. Then change over to the other side!
- Chest stretch – position on arm fully extended against the wall and rotate your body away from your arm as far as your flexibility will allow which is also comfortable
- Hamstring stretch – try and touch your toes with your legs fully extended!
- Inner thigh stretch – stand with a full extension of the back and legs. Take one large step with your left or right leg to create an upside down ‘V’ shape with your legs. Then lean forward (still keeping the back as straight as you can) and grasp anywhere between your knee and your ankle (the closer to your ankle, the bigger the stretch). Keep alternating between the left and right leg for a dynamic stretch
- Calf stretch – place your hands against a wall and position your feet approximately two foot away from the wall. Take one large step back with either leg. Bend the leading leg and push forwards to stretch the back leg’s calf. The bigger the step, the bigger the stretch!
- Lower back stretch – whilst sitting on your chair take a wide stance with your feet on the floor. Lean forwards and touch the floor with your fingertips. Gradually use your fingers to ‘walk’ backwards so that your hands begin to reach underneath your chair. The further you can tuck yourself into the chair, the bigger the stretch!
These stretches will help improve stiff necks and postural imbalances so try and do them daily wherever possible.
Each stretch try and hold them for at least 15 seconds, longer if you want to increase flexibility.
Let us know how you get on, tweet us your stretch pics and keep us up to date with progress.
Written by Coach Tia