Easy mobility work to do at home after a day at work
Having a home gym is great in so many ways – especially convenience. But there’s a big temptation to go straight into a training session after getting home from work. What’s so wrong with that?
If you get in from work and head straight for your home gym, you don’t give your body the chance to get ready. Maybe you just spent 8 hours sat at a desk, driving a vehicle, or doing a repetitive manual job. You feel stiff, sore, and a tired. Now you’re expecting your body to get energised to lift weights? You need to stretch out, mobilise, and warm up.
Common Aches & Pains After A Day At Work
Hips: if you sit for your job (which is most of us) your hip flexors will have been in a contracted position for hours, leaving them tight and stiff after a day at work
Shoulders: shoulders can feel it after a day at work, either from receptive movements (typing, phone calls) or simply from stress and tension
Upper back: the entire upper back bears the brunt of postural issues from desk jobs and driving (how often do you check your posture or move your back at work?)
Neck: your neck can feel the strain of computer work, phone calls, driving, and also from too much time looking at your phone screen
Hydration: not really an ache or pain but something to look at before you train after work, have you drunk enough water over the day, and when did you last drink something that wasn’t coffee?
The 5 Best Stretches To Do After Work & Before The Gym
Take 10-15 minutes between getting in from work and heading out to your garage gym. Think of it as a transition period, to help get your head in the game, leave behind the stress of the work day, and ease your body out of work mode.
Grab your resistance bands, put some music on, find somewhere quiet, and do these stretches:
Sit back on your heels (or kneel up) and take the resistance band in both hands. Rotate your arms back and forward slowly, taking the resistance band over your head. If you feel any really tight areas in the chest or shoulders, hold there to ease it out.
Hip rotation mobility
Start by moving your hip sockets through open and closed positions to warm them up. Sit on the floor with legs bent and feet on the floor (wider than hip width). Take both knees over to the right, without moving your feet out of position. You should end up with the outside of the right calf and thigh on the floor. Bring the knees back to the start and then send them to the left and repeat. Try to do this without using your hands. Go back and forth from left to right for 8-12 repetitions both sides.
Stand with your feet wide, hands at your chest (for balance). Lunge over to the right and bring your hips low to the ground but keep your chest high. The right foot should be flat, the left toes should be lifted. Shift over to the left side in a fluid movement. Go back and forth from left to right for 8-12 repetitions both sides.
Hip flexor stretch
Lunge forward so you are on the front foot and back knee. Both knees should be at right angles. Lift both arms towards the ceiling (keeping your shoulders down away from your ears) to add more stretch to the sides of your body. Tuck your glutes to get more of a stretch through the back hip flexor. Switch sides.
Thread the needle upper back mobility
Start on all fours in a tabletop position. Raise your right arm out and up, then bring it back and thread it under your left ribcage. Bring your upper body down so you are resting on your shoulder, upper arm, and side of your head. Hold here – this may be enough. If you want more of a stretch, take your left arm out in front of your head. Want more? Bend the left arm and take it around the back of your waist. Come out of this move carefully, reset, and repeat on the other side.