Sitting hunched over a computer all day can leave you feeling stiff, sore and in pain.
Muscles get tight from our hunched-over seated posture, which not only causes us pain, but can also cause us to get injured during our workouts.
If we want to live injury free AND get the most out of our workouts, we need to take time to roll out and stretch those tight muscles.
Below are some great stretches to help you alleviate those desk job aches and pains.
10 Essential Stretches For Anyone With A Desk Job
1. 3 Way Neck Stretch – Bend your elbow and reach one hand behind your back. Then grab that wrist with the other hand. Pull the arm behind your back toward the opposite side. You want to create a “chicken wing” with the arm that is pulling. Then lean your head to the side you are pulling to. Do not tense your shoulders and bring them up toward you ears. Relax into the stretch. Start by looking straight ahead. Then look up and hold for a second or two. Then look back straight ahead. And then look down. Move your chin as you look and not just your eyes. Changing the direction of where you look, will change exactly which muscles in your neck and upper back that you stretch.
2. Forearm, Wrist and Bicep Stretch – Stretch one arm straight out in front of you. Point your finger tips down toward the ground. You can do one stretch with your palm facing away and one with your palm facing toward you. Take the other hand and press down on the fingertips, pushing them back toward your body As you press down, you should straighten your arm more so you feel a stretch down your forearm and up into your bicep.
3. Thoracic Extension on a Roller – Lie on your back with the roller at the bottom of your upper back. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the ground. Drop your butt down to the ground and then lean back over the roller, trying to drop your head to the ground behind you. Move the roller up higher on your upper back and then drop your butt to the ground and extend back over again. Work all the way up and down your upper back. Extend back over the roller and breathe deeply while keeping your butt on the ground.
4. Scorpions – Lie on your belly with your arms out straight at shoulder height. Your legs should be out straight behind you. The swing one leg up and kick it behind you. As you kick it back over your body, bend the knee and reach your toe over and behind you back a bit toward your head.. Kick your leg back over your body, trying to touch your toe back behind you. Tap it down then bring that leg back down and then reach the other leg over your back. Alternate reaches, bringing your toe back over your body and toward your head.
5. Star Stretch – Lie on your back with a foam roller or ball to your right side. Bend your left knee to about 90 degrees and pull it across your body so that your left knee is resting on the ball/roller. Place your right hand on top of your knee to hold your knee onto the ball or roller. Reach your left hand across your body and touch the floor on the right side with your palm. Then open that arm back up to the left side, trying to touch the back of the hand down to the ground. Relax the arm open, trying to drop the shoulder to the ground. Try to open up the chest as much as possible without letting the knee move from the roller or ball. Hold for a second or two and then bring the hand back across and repeat. Complete all reps on that side before switching.
6. Standing Lat Stretch – Place the side your hand on a wall, bookshelf or desk and then straighten your arm and bend over and walk away. You want to push your butt back and lengthen from your hand all the way down your side. Even rotate a bit so you are looking under the arm on the desk or wall and then away from the arm. Feel a nice stretch down your arm and into the side of your back. Hold and repeat on the other side. Child’s pose can be another great way to stretch your lats and your upper back as well as your lower back.
7. Kneeling Bridge – Start by kneeling on both legs with your feet flexed and toes tucked under. Sit back and place your hands on your heels. Then arch up off your heels, driving your hips forward and chest out, keeping your hands on your heels. Relax your head back and arch as much as you can, getting a nice stretch down your chest, core, hips and quads. Hold for 1-2 seconds and relax back down. Repeat. If you are less flexible, do this stretch with a couch, chair or table behind you. Kneel down and place your hands back behind you on the couch or table. Press your chest out and arch as much as possible away from the piece behind you while leaning your head back. Then relax back down and repeat.
8. Kneeling Hip Circles – Come to your hands and knees on the ground. Place your hands underneath your shoulders and your knees underneath your hips. Lift one leg out to the side, keeping your knee bent to about 90 degrees. Lift your foot back and then bring your knee up around and forward. Then drop the knee down and around back to the starting point. Make big circles with your hip, going clockwise and then counterclockwise. Keep your arms straight as you circle.
9. Crescent Pose to Hamstring Stretch – Start in a high plank position. Step one foot up between your hands with that front knee bent and your back leg straight behind you. Your front heel should be down while your back heel will be up. Lift your hands up off the ground and reach them back and overhead as you stay in a low lunge. Feel a nice stretch down the hip and quad of the back leg. Then bring the hands back down to the ground and hike your hips up to straighten your front leg. Lean your chest over and feel a stretch down the hamstring of the front leg. Sink back into the lunge and reach up and back overhead again to stretch the hip and quad before repeating the hamstring stretch. Complete all reps on one side before moving back into the plank and switching to the other side.
10. Bear Squat – Kneel on the ground with your hands on the ground in front of you. The closer you place your hands to your knees, the harder the stretch will be. Press your butt up into the air, driving your heels into the ground. Feel a nice stretch down your calves and hamstrings as you try to get your legs as straight as possible. Hold for 1-2 seconds and then drop back down to your knees before repeating.
Have nagging aches and pains from sitting all day? Want help to get rid of them? Comment below and I’ll get back to you with suggestions!