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5 Full Body Stretches For Your Office

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5 Full Body Stretches For Your Office

 

There is no denying the fact that most of us should be stretching more. But let’s be honest, how many of us actually have the time to do this... let alone meal prep, get to the gym, show up to work, and have time for family?

 

Well, your days of deciding between 10 more minutes of sleep or getting up early to stretch before your gym session are over.

 

Why?

 

Because new research has found that stretching does not have to be an elaborate, lengthy routine. Even five minutes per major muscle group per week is enough to reap the benefits.¹ That equates to about one minute per day for each body region! Certainly, we can handle this even on our busiest days.

 

A major benefit of stretching is improved flexibility. However, it can also increase your muscular strength!² And, if you find yourself sitting all day at work it can even decrease your risk of developing musculoskeletal aches and pains associated with sitting most of the day.³

 

The hardest thing about stretching is simply making it a part of your daily routine. The best way to build a new habit is to pair it with a routine you already have set in place. Your workday is most likely chock-full of very specific, daily routines. So why not start stretching while you are at the office?

 

Every time you send an email, stand up and stretch.

 

Need to make a call? Do it while stretching.

 

Time to refill your coffee cup or water bottle? Also a time to get your stretch on.

 

Here are our top five full-body stretches for your office, leaving you feeling energized, pain-free, more flexible, and maybe even a little stronger!

 

  1. Doorway Chest Stretch

 

Begin in a standing upright position in the center of a doorway.

 

Then, with your elbows bent, place the palms of your hands on each side of the doorway, anywhere between 90 to 120 degrees away from your sides.

 

Next, step forward with one foot and slightly lean into this leg. You should begin to feel a stretch in the front of both shoulders and into your chest. Hold this stretch for 20 to 30 seconds and repeat for your desired repetitions.

 

Not only are you working on stretching the front of your chest and shoulders, but you are also extending your mid-back, allowing you to take a break for the rounded posture we often find ourselves in while working at a computer.

 

  1. Bent Over Stretch

 

Begin in a standing position with both hands resting on your office desk or the back of your office chair.

 

Next, keep your hands in the same place, straighten out your arms and slowly step backward. This will cause you to bend your trunk forward. Continue until a stretch is felt in your shoulders. You may even feel a stretch into your back, hips, and hamstrings.

 

Hold this stretch for 20 to 30 seconds and repeat for your desired repetitions.

 

  1. Hip Flexor Stretch

 

Begin in a standing position, with your office chair in front of you. If your chair has wheels, make sure it is pushed against a wall or your desk for support. Place one foot on the chair with your knee bent.

 

Keep your back leg straight and lean forward, allowing the knee of the leg that is on the chair to continue bending until you feel a stretch across the front of your back leg (the leg that is on the ground).

 

To feel the deepest stretch, make sure that you do not arch your back. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds and then switch legs. Repeat for your desired repetitions.

 

  1. Neck Stretch

 

Begin in a standing position. Place your right hand behind your back. Then, place your left hand up and over the top of your head so that you are touching the right side of your head. Gently pull your head and neck to the left until you feel a comfortable stretch.

 

Focus on keeping your shoulders relaxed while you stretch. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds and then switch sides. Repeat for your desired repetitions.

 

  1. Spinal Rotation

 

Begin sitting in your chair in an upright posture with your feet flat on the floor. Then, cross your arms over your chest, resting your hands on your shoulders.

 

Now, rotate side to side, focusing on keeping your feet flat and hips in place. Rotate as far as you can in one direction, briefly pause and take a deep breath in, allowing your rib cage to expand. Repeat to the other side. Continue to repeat for a total of 10 repetitions.

 

Try these out next time you are at work! Spending a total of 1 minute each day doing each of these stretches can provide you long-term benefits in and out of the gym.

 

References

 

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29506306/
  2. https://journals.lww.com/nsca-jscr/Abstract/2011/03001/The_Effects_of_Chronic_Stretch_Training_on_Muscle.6.aspx
  3. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/268786469_Ergonomic_intervention_workplace_exercises_and_musculoskeletal_complaints_A_comparative_study

     

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