If you’re constantly sitting at a desk all day, or moving around heavy equipment, your muscles can become sore, tired, or stiff.
There is no quick-fix to these kind of issues, but constantly stretching can greatly reduce your risk of any issues, joint pain, or injuries!
Benefits of stretching:
– Reduces fatigue by increasing blood flow to your muscle groups
– Increases elasticity of your muscles
– Improves posture
– Targets pain
– Reduces potential for injury
Recommended stretches during the work-day:
1. Rocking Hip flexor stretch:
How: Take a half kneeling position (one leg) and lower yourself down, feeling a slight stretch at the front of your hips. Gently rock and push your hips forward to get an extra stretch. Keep repeating.
Why?: This exercise is great for opening up the hips from sitting throughout the day. It helps to relieve lower back tension. This also decreases the load on your lower back and reduces lower back tension.
2. Rocking adductor Stretch
How: Start in a half kneel with both knees on the ground (or on a pad) and your spine and back straight. Extend your left leg out to the left of you. Place your hands on the ground in front of you and slowly rock back and forth.
Why?: This one is great for opening up your groin muscles, which can get really tight from regular activity. This also allows for hip mobility.
3. Rocking Pigeon
How: Start with your hands and knees in a table pose. Bring your right knee in between your hands and place your right ankle near your left wrist. Extend your left leg behind your kneecap, and the top of your foot should rest on the floor. Press through your fingertips and lift your torso away from your thigh – lengthening your body.
Why?: The rocking pigeon helps open up the hips through stretching the glutes (the largest muscle group in the body). This also helps to relieve lower back pain.
4. Kneeling T-spine Rotations
How: Start in a kneeling position with one hand one the ground and stretch one hand behind up above your head towards the ceiling. Bring that arm and tuck it under and across your torso, towards your opposite knee. Open up and try to look over your shoulder. Repeat.
Why?: This is great for opening up the mid-back, which can get really tight from driving, sitting and working at a computer all-day long. It also engages your upper back which helps in overcoming back pain.
5. Alligators (laying on one side, moving the arm from one side to the other)
How: While lying on your back, bring your left knee above and across your other leg at 90 degrees. Your right arm should be flat out on the ground while your left arm is out stretching towards the ceiling. Begin to rotate by bringing your right arm up to the ceiling and your left arm down. Continue this cycle and then switch legs.
Why?: It is great for opening up the mid back and shoulder to create less tension through the postural muscles.
6. Banded T-spine stretch off the rack
How: Using a band and a rack, hook the band onto the rack to that it is secure. Grab onto the band with one arm and stretch your shoulder muscles by pulling and lowering into a half squat.
Why?: Opens up shoulder and back muscles to improve mobility and release tension through the side of the body.