Working long hours behind a desk can be debilitating if you’re limiting your body to the correct movements. This can lead to some severe issues and health problems, including but not limited to Headaches and Migraines, upper back pain, neck and shoulder tightness and excessive exhaustion. Luckily, with these easy to do stretches, you can improve your posture, quality of life, and mood!
The Sport and Health Clinic, based in Gregory Hills proudly serving the residents of Narellan, Oran Park, Harrington Park, Camden, Currans Hill and Gledswood Hills, are a team of dedicated, trained professionals all passionate about your overall health and wellbeing.
As modern life takes over and screen-time becomes an inevitable part of life, the health of your spine and neck, in particular, become just as important as diet and exercise. Because your skeleton and the muscles and tendons attached to it are so important to your overall wellbeing and health, it’s important to make sure they’re in tip-top shape.
Doing these exercises from the comfort of your own home, or office can give you the freedom of movement you’ve been looking for to cure pains and all sorts of ailments.
1. Hands and Neck Stretch
This stretch should be done frequently and can help reduce upper back pain and relieve shoulder stress. To do the “hands and neck” stretch, place the palm of your hand to your forehead, then let the other rest on the small of your neck; push down slightly with the palm as you pull your chin in toward your chest. Hold this for 10 seconds, then switch hands.
Repeating this stretch 3-5 times daily will release a lot of pressure in the upper sections of your neck and lead to a freer feeling.
2. The A-Pec Stretch
This stretch is designed to give relief to the muscles that are being worked overtime when you’re hunched over a computer all day long. To do the stretch, stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Reach your arms up overhead, then bend over to touch the floor; as you do so, try lifting your feet up to your hands to meet. Hold this position for 30 seconds and repeat twice.
You’ll feel a loosening in your back and upper legs. This is great for full-time office workers that are at a deck on a computer for extended periods of time.
3. Cat-Cow Stretch
In addition to being a good warmup exercise, this stretch will give your back muscles a much-needed break. To do this stretch, you can either use a yoga mat or blanket to sit on or stick to the carpeted floor.
To get into position, place your hands behind your back with palms together, move them down towards the base of your spine. Let out a big breath and let yourself droop forward. Move your lower back towards the floor while focusing on keeping your chest up.
Let out a big breath and lift your head, neck, shoulders, and upper back upwards. Round you back to get closer to the ceiling. Repeat this pattern 10 times at least three days per week for best results.
By allowing your back and shoulders to move in this fashion, you’re allowing proper movement to otherwise static muscles and ligaments.
4. Lying Spinal Twist
To start, lie down with your feet flat on the ground and your knees pointed up. Take a deep breath in and let yourself relax. From here you’ll want to exhale, allowing your legs to rotate to one side of your body while keeping your chest up and towards the ceiling. This one, if done right will produce some oh-so-satisfying cracks.
To make sure none of this movement is imposed on your lower back, it’s important to be aware of your core throughout the duration of this exercise.
By taking deep breaths in and out you’ll help relax your muscles even further, making sure none of these movements is done with too much force or at an inappropriate angle.
If there’s enough movement to be had and pressure to be released, you’re going to get some of those oh so sweet cracks and instant relief.
5. Cow-Face Pose
With a yoga mat on the ground, sit yourself down, legs stretched out in front of you, together if possible. Once this position is settled, hug your knees with your arms making sure to have your right arm hugging your right knee and the left arm hugging your left knee.
The idea here is to use weight distribution throughout this exercise so it’s important not to let your knees slide out through the process.
While holding this position, you’re going to want to lean back and bend at the waist as far as possible, making sure that your shoulders stay parallel to each other. Once you feel a good stretch in your hips and lower back, hold for 20-30 seconds before repeating again on the opposite side.
You may not know it, but you hold a lot of pressure and tension not just in your back, but in your shoulders and hips. Releasing and relieving this will make HUGE differences day-to-day.
When you’re at work, it’s not likely for one minute to go by without you being seated on your butt. This means, there is little chance of stretching until dinner time rolls around. So instead of waiting until the end of the day to stretch out, try some simple shoulder rolls throughout your workdays.
Keeping your body in tip-top form isn’t impossible. Work these stretches into your day to day life and you’ll be in great shape for years to come!