re usually stuck at work all day and have no idea about exercising. Sitting all day increases our risk for obesity and puts us at risk for back pain, poor posture, leg cramps, tense muscles and sheer boredom. These exercises demonstrated below can assist in increasing overall productivity, decreasing stress, and promoting a sense of wellbeing.
- SHOULDER PASS THROUGH
If you sit a lot, for example over a computer, the body tends to slump, and the spine will actually start to curve that way over time. This exercise stretches out your neck and shoulders, preventing that hunch, and keeping your posture in alignment.
START: Stand tall with shoulder-wide apart. Hold each end of the broomstick with a wide grip.
FINISH: Keep your elbows straight and lift the broomstick up and over your head. Bring it as far back as you can while keeping your elbows straight. For the best performance, you should go all the way down so that the broomstick touches your lower back. Then slowly come back.
NOTE: Once you feel comfortable with this width, move your hands a little closer to each other for deeper stretch, as is shown in the video. To stay safe and prevent hurting your shoulders, be sure to very gradually move your hands closer.
- STANDING BACKBEND
Are you suffering from back pain after all day long at work? This backbend movement helps to open up the chest, improve posture, and helps in releasing tension on the back, neck, and shoulders especially after sitting for long hours. Perform the Standing Back Extension Exercise 3 or 4 times per day, whenever you have been sitting for a while or your back feels tight or sore. Your back should feel looser and better.
START: From a standing position with both feet together, place your arms to support your lower back.
FINISH: Keep your knees straight and bend as far back as possible. Be careful not to force yourself too much backwards, as you may end up hurting your back instead. Hold for three breaths and then return to the starting position and repeat six times, trying to extend slightly farther back each time.
- LYING BACK EXTENSION
The Back Extension is a very important exercise that is often overlooked in favour abdominal curls. A lot of force is put on your back when training and even just doing daily tasks, always try and balance any work done with the opposing muscle groups. If you are training your back muscles make sure you put equal effort into your abdominal and chest muscles.
START: Lying face down on a mat with your back and legs straight. Place your hands by your side.
FINISH: Raise your torso upwards then slowly lower while maintaining tension in your back extensors. Keep your shoulders slightly off the floor when lowered. Keep hips and feet on the floor throughout the exercise and your head should remain in line with your spine, looking down at the mat. Look straight ahead throughout the move. Return to starting position and repeat.
- QUADRUPED THORACIC ROTATION
Open up your spine, lats and low back with this Quadruped Thoracic Rotation Stretch. This is a great way to open up your upper back after sitting hunched over a computer or a bike.
START: Get on your hands and knees with your knees under your hips and your hands under your shoulders.
FINISH: Then reach one hand down your neck and spine. With your hand behind your head, rotate your elbow down under your body toward your opposite knee, sitting your butt back slightly as you tuck. Then rotate the elbow up toward the ceiling as much as you can, opening your chest up toward the ceiling and pushing your hips slightly forward. Feel a nice stretch down your back and even into the outside of your hips. Repeat, rotating your elbow back under before twisting open. Complete all reps on one side before switching. Make sure to really rotate open as much as you can each time.
- STANDING IT BAND STRETCH
Tightness in the outside of your hip and down your IT Band can cause hip as well as knee pain. And Runners are especially at risk for IT Band issues; therefore, they need to make sure to stretch your IT Band and abductors.
START: Stand with your feet together. Then cross your left leg over your right leg. Bring the left foot over and back across until the big toe is even with the big toe of the right foot. You want your feet even so that your front leg is pressing the back leg straight during the stretch.
FINISH: Then reach your arms up overhead for a nice big stretch. After reaching up, hangover, reaching your arms down toward the instep of the back foot. Push your hips out to the right as you reach your right foot so you feel a stretch down the outside of that right hip and side. Hold for a breath or two. Keep alternating sides with a reach up overhead in 2 minutes.