People who spend many hours sitting each day should pay attention to their back. If the muscles are not stretched correctly, discomfort may rear its ugly head. That’s why it’s essential to stop, breathe deeply, and take a few minutes to practice some simple exercises. After doing so, you’ll feel much better.
Here at Fit Body Media, we know how annoying pain in the neck or lower back can be, so we practice these exercises to help us relieve tension after a hard day of sitting in front of a screen, gently working our core muscles to improve stability.
1. Cow-face pose
Sit on the floor, and after a long breath, bring your left foot toward your right glute with your left knee pointing straight in front of you.
Now bring your right leg on top of your left so that your knees line up as close as possible and both face straight ahead. Your feet should be on either side of you, toes pointing behind you.
Stretch your spine as much as possible as if an invisible string is pulling your head toward the ceiling.
2. Child stretch
Begin this exercise in a position on all fours with your wrists, elbows, and shoulders stacked, placing your palms flat on the floor.
Then, slowly push your bottom back as close to your heels as you can, comfortably.
Drop your head and chest downward as your arms extend further — as far as they’ll go.
Hold this pose for 20 to 30 seconds or even longer. Then slowly return to the starting position.
3. Seated lower back rotational stretch
The seated lower back rotational stretch helps relieve pain, even while sitting in the chair you sit on while you work. Keep the feet flat on the floor while sitting in the chair.
Twist at the core to the right, keeping the hips square and the spine tall.
Place the left hand on the right knee to support the stretch, keeping your shoulders parallel.
Hold the position for 10 seconds and repeat the exercise on the left side.
4. Shoulder blade squeeze
Sit or stand up tall with your arms at your sides.
Rotate your palms out maintaining this position throughout the exercise. Keep your shoulders relaxed and down, not shrugged.
Squeeze your shoulder blades together. Keep your ears, shoulders, and hips aligned.
Hold for 6 seconds, then relax.
5. Chest to knees stretch
Begin by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
Bring your hands below your knees.
Slowly bring both knees toward your chest, using your hands to gently squeeze your knees.
Roll your hips off the floor so that you feel the stretch while you massage your lower back. Count to 5 and return to the starting position.
6. Lower back rotational stretch
To perform the lower back rotational stretch, lie back on the floor with bent knees and feet flat on the ground.
Keeping the shoulders firmly on the floor, gently roll both bent knees over to one side.
Hold the position for 5 to 10 seconds. Return to the starting position.
Gently roll the bent knees over to the opposite side, hold, and then return to the starting position.
7. Triceps stretch
Start by raising your left arm in a straight line, then bend it and bring your hand behind your head.
Place your right hand between the shoulder blades, stretching the neck. Lift your right elbow, holding it with your left hand.
Hold this position for 10 seconds, then relax your arms down and repeat on the other side.
8. Lateral bending stretch
Sit down and cross your legs.
Lift your arms as high up as you can, then tilt to the right side until you feel a nice little stretch through the abdomen and the ribs.
You can bend your arms comfortably over your head. Take a nice deep breath as you do this. Bring the arms back down.
9. Seated back twist
Sit on the floor with your legs straight.
Bend your right knee and place your right foot over your left leg.
Put your right hand on the floor, fingers pointing outward for support.
Bend your left elbow and turn to the right, placing the back of your arm against your right knee. Inhale as you sit tall.
Breathe out as you twist, pressing your arm into your leg and looking over your right shoulder. Hold for 5 breaths, then slowly return to the center. Switch sides.
10. Side bending
Side bending is a movement that is rarely used in our day-to-day activities, yet it plays a central role in activating and releasing muscles responsible for all sorts of back problems.
To do this exercise, sit down, and open your legs as much you can.
Bring your arms up to your right foot and tilt your head to try to touch your knee. Hold for a few seconds and sit straight again.
Do you usually practice stretching to help your spine after a day in front of the computer? What other exercises are useful to relax you? Share them in the comments.