Hey, desk dwellers, if you spend too much time hunched over that computer, your neck, shoulders, low back and hips are going to become super sore. Fend off tight muscles by taking two minutes every hour to sneak in at-your-desk stretches.
1. SEATED SIDE STRETCH
Side-bending postures stretch and lengthen your sides and back, release compression between the vertebrae, help open the diaphragm and increase range of motion in the spine, which can help relieve tension in the neck.
The Move: Sit at the edge of your chair with both feet flat on the floor. Inhale and sweep your arms overhead. Interlace your fingers, turn your palms up and keep your arms by your ears. As you exhale, bend toward the right. Hold here for 5 breaths, inhale to center and exhale bending to the left.
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2. SEATED EAGLE
In this variation of Eagle, you’ll focus on the arms, which will help relieve tension in your neck and shoulders and stretch the upper back.
The Move: Loop the right arm under the left and try to bring the palms to touch. Lift the elbows toward shoulder height and take your hands away from your face. Hold for 5 breaths and switch sides.
3. SEATED PIGEON
The pose opens up the hips, groin, hip flexors and thighs, which is the perfect antidote to hours sitting at your desk.
The Move: Scoot to the edge of your chair and cross the right ankle over the left thigh. Flex the right foot and gently press the right thigh toward the floor. Sit tall and take 5 breaths in this hip opener before switching sides.
4. SEATED SPINAL TWIST
This pose is a panacea for the back. It stretches your chest, abdominals and low-back muscles, releases tension and toxins and just feels good.
The Move: Come to the edge of your chair and keep both feet flat on the floor. As you exhale, twist to the right, holding the arm or back of the chair. Hold here for 5 breaths and switch sides.
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5. MODIFIED DOWN DOG
This modification of down dog stretches the arms, shoulders and back and creates length and space in the spine, which can get compressed with too much sitting.
The Move: Stand in front of your chair and hold onto the back of the chair. Without moving your hands, walk back until you make an L-shape with your body. Keep a small bend in the knees. As you lengthen the arms, think about pulling your hips away from the desk, stretching the shoulders, chest, low back and hamstrings.