Hello desk workers! How many of you out there spend the majority of your time in a sitting position? Desks, cars, couches, dinner tables…we spend most of our lives sitting. While there is no one solution for counteracting the pains and imbalances that come from this, there are a few key concepts that can help. This is a four-part blog dedicated to the imbalances of the modern lifestyle.
Part I focuses on stretching. If you have limited movement in your hips or chest, you may have difficulty performing some exercises correctly. So lengthening tight areas can help in the exercises I list in parts II-IV. This is obviously not a complete list of stretches, but a good place to start.
As with any good exercise routine, quality is more important than quantity. The key to stretching is paying attention! Stretching should be active, straightening and expanding slightly on each inhale, and settling slightly deeper into the stretch on exhale. Hold each for 30 seconds to one minute, but let the breath be your guide.
Chest (pec) Stretch
With palm and elbow flat on wall, turn body until sideways with wall. Lean forward, leading with wall-side shoulder. For a more intense stretch, step through with the wall-side leg. This can also be done in a doorway.
Lower Thigh (quad) Stretch
If balance is an issue, stand near a wall or counter so you can hold on. The key to this stretch is in the hips. Draw the belly button in and engage the lower core slightly, keeping the hips from dropping forward and the low back arching when you bring the leg up behind.
Hip Flexor (psoas) Stretch
Start with rear thigh perpendicular to ground, knee on ground. Draw stomach in, engaging lower core. Keeping this core stabilization, shift hips forward, creating tension in the front hip area of the back leg. Make sure the low back doesn’t arch when dropping forward.
For a more intense stretch, rotate across front leg (to the right in the picture) and lean away (right again).
Wrist (forearm flexors) Stretch
This is great for people with carpal tunnel symptoms. Hands together in prayer position, drop hands down while keeping elbows up. For a more intense stretch, flip hands over (fingers down) and bring hands up.
Happy stretching and look for Parts II-IV of the desk worker exercise guide!
Dr. Spencer Cruttenden
Chiropractic Physician and Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist
Elemental Back & Body