Also known as, exercises to help those of us with desk jobs. It is no secret that sitting all day is very tough on your body, and unfortunately, many of us spend most of our waking hours in a sedentary position.
While there are certainly metabolic and cardiovascular consequences of a sedentary lifestyle, that’s for another post. Today I want to focus on the postural impacts of sitting all day. I’m talking about a stiff neck, tight hips, weak glutes, low back pain, and rounded shoulders. Let’s jump in and do some exercises to counteract those effects and provide relief from discomfort that may arise after a long day of sitting.
From a seated or standing position, cross your arms so the right arm is beneath your left and your elbows are bent and stacked on top of one another. Press your palms into one another, and raise your elbows up off of your chest to feel the stretch in your upper back and shoulders. Breathe deeply, and hold for 60 seconds. Repeat with your left arm beneath your right.
Figure 4 Stretch
You can also do this exercise in a seated or standing position. Cross your left ankle over your right knee. If you are standing, slowly lower your hips into a squat position to deepen the stretch in your left hip and glute. If you are seated, perform a forward fold over your crossed legs to deepen the stretch. Hold for 60 seconds per side.
Seated Spinal Twist
Begin in a seated position on the edge of your chair. Hold the back of the chair with your right hand, and place your left hand on the outside of your right leg. Twist your torso towards your hands, and breathe deeply as you hold the stretch. Hold for 60 seconds, then repeat on the other side.
Stand in a doorway with your elbows bent and one hand on each side of the doorway. Slightly lean forward to open the chest, and slightly lower your elbows to really engage the muscles of the back. Be mindful of your hip position, making sure you don’t hyperextend your lower back. Tuck your hips in and engage your core. Hold this position for 60 seconds.
Stand with your back against a wall. Bring your arms up and rest them against the wall with your elbows bent. You want your elbows and the back of your hands to maintain contact with the wall throughout this movement. Tuck your hips to maintain stability in your core, and raise your arms overhead maintaining contact with the wall. Your range of motion may be limited with this one – only go as high as you can keeping your hands on the wall. Slowly lower your arms to the starting position, and repeat for 60 seconds.
Comment below when you give this a try!
Les is the founder of Balanced Black Girl and the host of the Balanced Black Girl Podcast. She’s a Certified Personal Trainer, Nutrition Coach, and natural beauty junkie who loves 90’s R&B, trying new skincare products, and creating recipes in the Instant Pot. She created Balanced Black Girl to provide content and experiences empowering women of color to live well.