Remote working has become a lifestyle in the last two years. As so, you may be glued to your computer more frequently due to facilitating and/or participating in Zoom meetings on top of your other screen-time. Therefore, it’s not surprising that when you’re sitting all day you’ll discover your back and neck somewhat stiff and tight at the end of the day. In addition, your body could be accustomed to changing into an hunched posture due to curled up on your bed or the couch in the absence of an appropriate desk at home.
“Sitting at the computer for long time frames can cause bad posture” claims AKT’s Master Trainer Alissa Tucker. “The round forward posture in the shoulder and head forward position that is so prevalent today is caused by working too hard on the muscles of our front, so they are overactive, and the muscles at those in the rear of your body are longer or are not active. The forward rounded position could result in headaches, back and neck pain as well as muscular imbalances across the entire body.”
Due to the lack of ergonomic workplaces both within and outside the workplace, Denise Prichard, Holistic Wellness Expert and RYT-200 with Mindbody is of the opinion that it’s not that surprising that pain in the shoulders and neck regions is at an all-time high.
“Although many workplaces have implemented ergonomic desks recently however, these designs aren’t enough to eliminate the effects of tension, pain and fatigue” she informs SheKnows. “By taking the time to make it a habit to be aware of your posture and include daily stretching exercises while sitting, you’ll keep your muscles in these regions resilient flexible, flexible and free of pain. This will increase your efficiency at work as well as your general quality of life.”
Here are eight stretches to strengthen your back and neck to aid in relieving pain and help straighten your posture. F45 Recovery Athlete Cristina Chan recommends taking several small breaks throughout the day. the best part is that taking 5-10 minutes between the morning and in the afternoon you will to reap the full benefits of these stretching exercises.
Upper back stretch
“This particular stretch is designed to target and loosen all the muscles that couple the shoulder blades, and also the traps and shoulders.”
How to perform it: Whether sitting or standing, connect your fingers. Place your hands behind your head . Then place them behind your head. Then, you can press your palms tightly against the top of your head. Then, hold your elbows back. The muscles in your back muscles activate and the shoulder blades drop towards your back. Keep your breath for five minutes. Repeat this exercise repeatedly as often as you like, but try to do at least three sets of this stretch.
“This particular stretch is designed to target your shoulders, chest, and shoulder blade. The goal of this stretch is to improve your flexibility, and also helps improve the flow of blood as well as posture.”
How to perform it: Standing in a in a position, connect your fingers with the back of both your hands. By firmly securing your hands then roll your shoulders back and downwards. Your chest should expand and you should feel a pleasant stretch of your shoulder. If you’d like to extend the stretch, begin to lift the clasped hands slightly or slightly arch your chest upwards. Keep this stretch for five breaths and repeat the stretch for at minimum three times.
“This is among my most-loved exercises. It’s not just that it feels good and ease lower back discomfort, these spinal twists can also help strengthen the muscles in your back and improve their flexibility.”
How to do it: While in sitting position, with your feet placed flat on the ground and your torso gently swivelling toward the right. Place your hands to rest on the seat or armrests on the seat to in extending the stretch. Keep it for five minutes and then repeat the same motion to the right side. Practice this stretch however you’d like, but try to complete at least three times on each side.
Lateral Neck Stretch
“This one is a great idea to be done while on your computer!”
What to do: Begin by sitting or standing up straight with your arms at your sides. Turn your head to one side, bringing your ear to your shoulder. Whatever side you’re leaning towards take your hand and lightly rest it on the top over your head. It’s crucial not to pull back, but allow the pressure of your hands slowly raise the stretch. Keep it for 30 seconds and repeat the exercise on the opposite side. The upper trapezius is stretched muscles, which are often overactive and is a good exercise to do every day.
Doorway Chest Stretch
How to accomplish it: Start standing in the doorway. Straighten one arm towards the side, then bend it in an angle of 90 degrees (or “goal post” position. Set the forearm against the wall and move your body forward in to the entrance until notice the stretch. Keep it for 30 seconds, then repeat the opposite side. The exercise stretches the pectoral muscles, which tend to be over-active and cause an rounded forward position. Repeat daily.
“Another one that you can sit in your office! I prefer using an extra small towel for this, but it could be done without.”S
What you need to do: Sit up high, put the towel on top of your head and hold it with both your hands over your ears. Then, press your head back into the towel for 5 seconds before releasing. Repeat the exercise 10 times. Be careful not to hold excessive tension in your neck while doing this exercise. This should be a soft move. This will strengthen the muscles that stretch deep at the neck’s back. This will aid in keeping the neck in the proper alignment over shoulders. Repeat daily.
“Perform each move for 45 seconds and repeat the pattern until you have completed two rounds. When you perform exercises that isolate one side of your body move to the opposite side for the next round.”
“This move is beneficial for those suffering from lower back pain that is painful, but not just by opening the hip flexors that are tight (a cause of low back discomfort) but also by strengthening the glutes and the core to support the back.”
Method: Lay on your back, with your legs placed hip-distance from each other. Set your arms to your sides with your hands lying flat across the flooring. Bend your knees, and ensure your feet are flat across the flooring. Press to raise your hips before lowering them to the floor while making sure your shoulders are in the air. Maintain your body on a gradual tilt between your hips and shoulders and maintain for 45 minutes.
Seated Pigeon stretch
“An easy method to stretch your butt, hips, and thighs if you’re not comfortable in your (potentially made-to-measure) workplace chair.”
The best way to accomplish this is by sitting up with your feet firmly on the floor directly underneath your knees. Then, lift your feet (with the hands, as necessary) and place it on the opposite knee or thigh , squeezing your knee to your chest. Make sure that your weight is evenly distributed across your sit bones (for instance: don’t lean to your right side as your leg is elevated).
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