Before you read any further… unclench your jaw, relax your shoulders and take a deep breath.
The human body is a wonderful thing! It can help us walk, jump, hug, play, eat, move and dance. It can also help us type emails, take phone calls and sit at a desk for 8 hours a day…and for all desk-workers out there, you’ll know sitting down for that long isn’t the most comfortable feeling in the world. Trust me, I know what it’s like having been a fellow desk-worker myself.
Every now and then I’d have to re-check how I was sitting (especially during lockdown). Am I hunching over my desk? Why is my lower back so sore? Oh no! Why are my wrists sore from typing on my keyboard? This is where I learnt the importance of good posture and stretching throughout the day to keep those gorgeous endorphins and blood flowing through my body.
Some of our favourites that you should add to your day are;
1. Seated Spinal Rotation
Helps promote good digestion and assists with spinal mobility.
- While seated, cross your arms over your chest and grab your shoulders
- Rotate your upper body from the waist, turning gently from left to right as far as feels comfortable.
- You should feel a tension on both side of your lower back as it stretches out
- Hold each side for 20s
2. Posterior Shoulder Stretch
Helps reduce tention in the shoulders and improves posture.
- Pull one arm across your body and in to your chest, making a + shape
- You should feel your shoulder gently stretching.
- Repeat on both sides holding for 20s each
3. Seated Butterfly
Targeting the hips, inner thights and knees, with a focus on strengthening your back muscles to help improve posture.
- Sit on the floor with your back up straight
- Place the soles of your feet together allowing your knees to fall to the floor
- Gently press down on your knees to feel a great stretch through your inner thighs
- Hold this position for about 1 minute (ensure to stop if you feel any discomfort)
4. Child’s pose
Calms the mind, relieves stress, increases circulation and stretches our the lower back.
- Sit on the floor with your knees out wide and bottom on your feet (or close to)
- Bring your forehead to the floor and walk your hands out in front until they are straight
- Keep palms to the floor
- Hold the pose for 30 seconds
5. Standing hamstrings stretch
Targets the hamstrings and lower back.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent and arms by your sides
- Slowly bend forward at the hips, lowering your head toward the floor
- Hold onto either your thighs, knees, ankles or floor – wherever you’re able to feel a nice pull down the backs of your legs
- Hold for 20s
- Gently roll up when you're done
6. Seated glute stretch
Relieves tension, reduces lower back pain and helps with tight hips.
- Sit on the floor with your legs out in front of you
- Keeping your back straight, lift your left leg and place your left ankle on your right knee slighting pushing down on your left knee
- Hold for 20 seconds then repeat on the opposite side.
7. Downward dog
Calms the mind and stimulates blood circulation
- Start in a plank position
- Begin to lift your hips up to the sky
- Push your shoulders away from your head
- Gently pedal heels up and down to further enhance stretch to the calves
- Hold for 30s
Stretches the front of your body, from the chest to the shoulders and abs, opening up the heart and lungs to allow you to breathe more freely.
- Start by laying tummy down onto the floor
- Gently press your hands into the floor pushing your chest off the floor
- Hold for 20s
9. Kneeling Hip flexor
One of the most common areas we tend to hold stress are our hips, this stretch wil open the area and is perfect for stress relief!
- Start in a kneeling position (as if you’re about to propose!)
- Gently tuck your pelvis under until you feel a nice pull in the opposing hip
- Hold the pose for 30s then swap
And… saving the best until last!
10. Lunge with Spinal Twist
Otherwise known as the "World's Greatest Stretch"
- Starting in a plank position, bring your left foot up to be in line with your left hand
- Slowly take your left hand off the floor and raise it up to the sky, allowing your torso to twist with your hand
- Hold for 20s
- Place your left hand back down and left foot back into the plank position then swap sides
I hope these wonderful movements help you to look after yourself that little bit extra today. In a time where there is so much going on that is out of our control, sometimes the best thing you can do is just to focus on what you can control - like how much you move, stretch and love yourself at the moment.
- Set an alarm every 55 minutes to dedicate 5 mins for stretching
- Pause after 5 minutes of typing on the computer, stretch your hands, wrists and fingers
- Take phone calls standing up or walking around the house if you can
- If you're needing a rush of energy, stop what you're doing and do 10 jumping jacks
- Drink plenty of water
- Look after yourself!
Tillie is a Certificate 3 and 4 qualified Coach who loves building muscle and burpees, specializing in HIIT conditioning and functional training. She is passionate about helping females learn to love themselves, being known as a go-to for positive energy and is a huge advocate for mental health, especially through the relationship of exercise and eating well for your body.
Interested to learn more about ways you can stay balanced, and discuss your lifestyle and fitness goals with our Fitness Trainer Tillie? Talk to us today