Let’s face it, most of us sit at a desk for 8 hours or more a day. Our bodies were meant to move, so incorporating the right stretches into our day can help us alleviate the results of sitting too long. MYX Coaches Dan Lawrence and Lauren Sambatoro explain how consistently adding a few simple stretches to your day can help.
“Sitting all day compresses the spine which can ultimately lead to pain and weakness in the spine and the surrounding muscle tissue,” Dan says. “When we sit all day, the hamstrings are shortened, while the quads are lengthened. This can result in super tight hamstring muscles.” These physiological changes can lead to poor posture and limited movement during exercise and everyday activity.
Desk stretches can help relax tight muscles and realign muscular imbalances. Dan suggests neck stretches that address forward head position and tightness in the sternocleidomastoid, a muscle at the base of the neck. He also recommends shoulder-opening moves. Such movements address range of motion and strengthen the scapula. Here are a few of our coaches go-to back and shoulder office stretches.
- Cat/Cow - spinal mobilization
- Leg Hanging - low back release and inflammation reduction
- Spinx-Upward Dog- low back strengthening and shoulder opening
- Child's Pose- low back release and meditation
- Spinal Rocks- spinal decompression
- Hanging- shoulder mobility, grip strength, spinal decompression
- Wall W's - scapula strengthening
“It could be a quick break from your workday, or it could be your day’s entire workout if you want to do a mobility workout on recovery days,” she says. “It’s still active movement, and it's going to reset all those muscles.”
Coach Lauen offers another good reminder that setting up your desk ergonomically can help as well. “Set up your office space just like you set up your bike. Your bike is adjusted to fit your body, your height, and your overall size. You want to do the same thing with your office space.”
It’s all about being intentional. Sitting is a part of our modern lifestyle, so actively incorporate breaks and stretches to feel the best you can after a day behind the computer.