If you’re like most of the workforce, you probably sit at a desk all day. After a while, you’ll likely notice some aches and pains in your upper back, neck, and hips – so that’s where you should focus your stretching.
Every day, whether it’s after your workout or once you get home from a long day, do these five stretches to combat your desk job aches.
Taken from yoga, you’ll lie on your stomach face down with your palms planted next to your ribs, elbows toward the sky. Keep your neck long with your chin tucked slightly and press into your hands for a gentle backbend. Don’t worry about your elbows straightening. Just do your best to find a balance between strain and relaxation.
For a gentler version, place your elbows on the ground making a straight line to your hands and press into your forearms to lift your chest. This is called a sphinx pose.
LOW LUNGE WITH ROTATION
This stretch targets both your back and your hips. Start in a lunge with your hands planted on either side of your front foot. With your back knee lifted or resting on the ground, twist your chest toward your front knee and lift the opposite hand toward the ceiling.
Take a few arm circles if it feels good and switch sides to repeat. If it’s too much for your hips, do the same twist in a high lunge position resting the opposite hand on your front knee instead of on the ground.
Hold onto a resistance band or clasp your hands together behind your back. Stand up tall with a slight bend in your knees and slowly lift your wrists toward the ceiling. You’ll feel your chest muscles start to open for a welcomed relief after hunching over a desk all day.
For a little more of a stretch, draw your chin to your chest with your hands still clasped behind you and do some gentle neck rolls from side to side.
Start in a standing position, holding onto the wall or a chair for balance. Slowly, and with control, roll through your feet to rise onto your toes. You’ll be activating your calves before returning to the starting position.
This is a great stretch to do throughout the workday to stimulate blood flow to your legs which can help your body feel better while sitting at your desk.
RECLINED FIGURE FOUR
To open up your hips, figure four stretches are amazing. There a few variations you can do to achieve similar results, but here we’re going over the reclined version.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet planted on the floor hip-width apart. Activate your lower abs and place your right ankle on your left knee with your right knee facing the right wall. Your legs should look like the number four, hence the name of this stretch.
With your hands, bring your left knee toward your chest and you’ll start to feel your right hip opening. Gently rock your hips from side to side if it feels good or stay in this static stretch, doing your best to relax into it. Switch sides and repeat.
See? Now, don’t you feel better?
Keep in mind, there are many stretches you can do to keep your body feeling pain-free if you work from a desk. From simple neck rolls and twists to hip and chest openers, talk to your trainer about where you feel sore.
The OOMPH app not only offers trainer-led workouts, but you’ll also find a five-minute cool down with a series of stretches that can help with your desk-induced back pain after each and every workout. Now let’s get started!