June 29, 2017

At-Your-Office Stretching by Jennifer Austin

If you’re sitting at your desk all day and find that neck, back and leg aches are a part of your every day, there is a solution. Combining range of motion, stretching and deep breathing will reduce muscle tension, as well as release stress. Use each series below as your check list and simply follow as outlined moving from one exercise to the next. Stretching and range of motion exercises should never be painful. Ease into each exercise and start slowly. The following stretch and range of motion exercises are for those without injury or illness concerns. Consult your physician before beginning exercises.

To decrease low back tension:
Lift both heels 10 times. Lift your toes 10 times. Circle your right ankle 10 times. Then circle your left ankle 10 times. Extend and bend your right knee 5 times, extend and bend your left knee 5 times. Lift and lower your knees as in seated marching 10 times total. Keeping your torso upright, inhale and cross your right ankle over your left knee. Exhale and pull your right knee in toward your chest and hold for 10 seconds. Release this stretch. Inhale and place your left ankle over your right knee. Exhale and pull your left knee in toward your chest and hold for 10 seconds. Release. Inhale and lift your right knee straight up toward your chest. Exhale and hold for 10 seconds. Release your right knee back down to the floor. Inhale while pulling your left knee up toward your chest. Exhale and hold this position for 10 seconds. Release this stretch. Drop your chin to your chest and place both hands in your lap. Next inhale and “walk” your hands down your legs toward the floor. Exhale and “walk” your hands back up your legs to your lap to return to your seated upright position with your shoulders down and back.

To ease neck tension:
Inhale and shrug both shoulders up. Exhale and slowly pull your shoulders down and back. Repeat 5 times. Circle both wrists 5 times each direction. Inhale and reach both arms straight up overhead. Exhale and lean to the right, then lean to the left. Repeat 5 times. Inhale and lace your fingers behind your head. Exhale and pull your shoulders down and your elbows wide. Hold for 10 seconds. Release and lower your arms. Keeping your torso upright, inhale and drop your chin down toward your chest. Exhale and reach both arms out wide to the side of your body. Release your arms to the side of your body. Inhale pinch your shoulder blades together, exhale and release; repeat 5 times. Inhale and drop your right ear toward your right shoulder. Exhale and drop your left ear to your left shoulder. Inhale and lace your fingers behind your body, pinch your shoulder blades together and extend your arms. Exhale and push your hands toward the floor; hold for 10 seconds.
 

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