desk-stretches

When you’re stuck sitting at a desk all day, it’s easy to get lazy and complacent. Plus, it’s not great for your muscles. It shortens your hamstrings and makes your hips and glutes tight, which can lead to lower back pain. When you do get to the gym, you’re working to undo eight-plus hours of sitting, instead of focusing on working out and building muscle. Here are some stretches and exercises you can do at your desk to stay limber. It may feel awkward at first, but your body will thank you.

Stand Up

This is definitely the easiest one. To lessen the effects of sitting, spend some time standing up. Keep your feet hip width apart, engage your abs and keep your shoulders pulled back. Standing burns more calories than sitting and keeps your muscles flexible. You could even get a standing desk that raises your computer monitor to eye level.

Shoulder Stretch

This is an easy one you can do while sitting. Bring one arm across your chest, and hold your forearm or tricep to keep it in place while you stretch. Be sure not to grab your elbow, since it could cause injury. Hold for ten seconds and repeat with your other arm.

Tricep Stretch

Bring your arm up behind your head, bending your elbow. It’s like you’re trying to reach between your shoulder blades. Place your other hand on your elbow and gently stretch your upper arm.

Chest Stretch

This is best done standing up. Clasp your hands behind your back with your elbows straight, interlacing your fingers. Reach your hands down toward the floor to stretch your chest. If you have the space, you can lean over and lift your arms as far toward your head as you can for an extra shoulder stretch.

Toe Touch

You can do this standing up or sitting in a chair. To do the standing stretch, stand with feet hip distance apart, and reach down toward your toes. Try keeping you back flat for as long as you can for an added hamstring stretch. Sitting in your chair, straighten your legs out in front of you. Reach over with a flat back to touch your toes.

Side Stretch

Sitting upright in a chair with your feet flat on the floor, raise one arm into the air. Reach to the opposite side over your head while elongating the other side of your body. Prop your elbow on your thigh for support.

Neck Stretch

With your head facing forward, put your hand on top of your head and gently pull your head to one side to stretch your neck. You can reach the other hand down if you need more of a stretch. Repeat on the other side. Afterwards, slowly roll your head in a circle in one direction, then the other.

Knee-Pump Hip & Glute Stretch

Sitting upright in your chair, place one ankle on top of the opposite knee. Push down on your knee while slowly exhaling to stretch your knee, IT band and glutes.