Do these quick back stretches right at your desk to keep aches and pains away!
As you probably already know, sitting for prolonged periods of time can wreak havoc on your body. Too much sitting will shorten and tighten the hip flexors, hamstrings, calves, chest, and neck muscles. It will also weaken and deteriorate the glutes, abs, and back muscles. This leads to poor posture, decreased muscle tone, low energy, and back and neck pain. Yikes!
While things like standing desks and exercise ball chairs can help combat some of these negative effects, many people still sit at a traditional desk for hours at a time.
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If your lifestyle involves a lot of sitting, it is essential to incorporate daily practices like strength training, using an ergonomically correct chair and desk and, of course, proper stretching.
To get the most out of these four crucial back stretches, practice them one to three times per day. There’s no excuse not to do these stretches, because they can be done right at your desk!
Hip Flexor Stretch | 30 sec per side
Sitting leads to tightness in the hip flexors, which strains the lower back. This stretch helps to lengthen the hip flexors back out and erase lower back pain.
- Stand up facing your desk chair. Place your hands on your hips and draw your navel up and in towards your spine.
- Place your right foot up on the edge of the seat.
- Keep your belly in as you press your hips forward.
- Hold for 30 seconds, then switch legs.
Puppy Pose | 30 sec
This stretch reverses tightness in the shoulders and chest, which helps to improve posture while relieving upper back and neck pain.
- Kneel down in front of your desk chair. Bring your palms together to touch and place your upper arms and elbows on the chair.
- Lower your chest towards the ground, hinging at your hips.
- Then, bend your elbows and bring your thumbs behind the nape of your neck. You should feel a stretch through the chest, shoulders, and upper back. Hold for 30 seconds.
Side Stretch | 30 sec per side
Use this stretch to release tightness in the little muscles between your ribs, relieving back and neck pain and improving posture.
- Sit up tall in your seat. Interlace your fingers and flip your palms up towards the sky as you reach your arms straight up overhead.
- Inhale to sit up really tall, pressing through your palms and lengthening through the sides of your body.
- Then, exhale to reach up and over to the right so that you feel a stretch through your left side. Hold here for 30 seconds as you breathe deeply.
- Switch sides.
Eagle Arms | 30 sec per side
Melt the tension from your upper back and shoulders with this simple stretch.
- Sit up tall in your chair and cross your right arm underneath your left. Bend your elbows and cross your forearms to bring your palms to touch. If this isn’t accessible, just rest your hands on opposite shoulders.
- Lift your elbows in line with your shoulders and press them forward to feel a stretch across the upper back and rear delts.
- Hold for 30 seconds, then cross the left arm under the right and repeat.
If you still suffer from back and hip pain after these exercises, check out our mobility program to bring your pain relief to the next level. The Release Rebalance Method is a proven program from leading Hollywood Physical Therapist Brian Schwabe, and relieves and repairs low back and hip pain in just nine minutes a day!