After a day sat at your desk, movement can feel stiff and restricted. Here are 10 simple stretches so you move more freely after a day at work.
Do you train after work? Or feel stiff whenever you get up from your desk? If work is causing issues with your mobility, it’s crucial that you start stretching regularly.
This sequence is designed to tackle areas that typically suffer when you sit at a desk and work on a computer for long periods. These 8 stretches will ease off your neck, back, shoulders and hips. Do them a few times a day in 3-minute bursts, or dedicate one longer session to them after work. However you choose to stretch, it will help you move better in and out of the gym.
- targets the entire spine from neck to lower back
Start your stretch session with a slow Jefferson curl. Stand with feet under hips and slowly roll down through your entire spine, taking your chin to chest and ending in a forward fold. Come back up through the Jefferson curl slowly, lifting your head last of all.
- helps decompress lower back and stretch hamstrings
Hang in a forward fold, with legs straight or slightly bent. Place your hands on yoga blocks or books if you can’t reach the floor. The focus isn’t on how far you can reach, it’s on decompressing your lower back from all that sitting.
- mobilises spine, shoulders, neck
Get into a table top position with hands under shoulders and knees under hips. Drop chin to chest and tuck your tailbone to curve your spine up, then raise your chin and drop your back to work through your back.
- stretches wrists and forearms
Our wrists and forearms can get tight from too much computer work, and this is bad news for lifting in the gym. From your cat/cow table top position, turn your hands so your fingers point towards your knees (palms on the floor) and gently rock and pull back to stretch the wrists.
- stretches hip flexors and glutes
Too much sitting shortens the hip flexors which can cause back pain. To stretch them out, get into a kneeling lunge and tuck your bum under to create a stretch in the hip flexor of the back leg. Increase the stretch by lifting the same arm up overhead.
- mobilises the spine and stretches the chest
This lovely stretch works the back and stretches the chest – ideal after a long day at work. Lie face down with your arms stretched out in a T-shape. Rest your chin down so your spine is neutral. Bend your right leg at the knee, and move it behind and over your body (aiming to touch your right foot to the floor on the other side of your body). You don’t need to touch the floor – just make sure you get a stretch through your hip flexor, glute, and chest. Repeat with the other leg and do a few reps of alternate legs.
- takes the chest and shoulders out of internal rotation
Sit with your legs bent, feet flat on the floor. Take your hands to the floor behind your back so your fingers are pointing to the wall behind you. With straight arms, shuffle your bum forwards until you feel a strong stretch through your shoulders, chest, and biceps.
- eases tension in the head and neck
To end your stretch session, sit on the floor in a comfortable position and roll your head from side to side by taking your chin to chest. Then take your right ear to right shoulder and apply a little extra pressure by putting your right hand on top of your head. Repeat on the left side.