Flexibility and mobility are essential for keeping our bodies flexible, mobile, and pain-free. Flexibility is the ability of the muscles to lengthen passively through a range of motion. In contrast, mobility is the joint's ability to move through a range of motion. Individuals with sedentary jobs are more prone to inflexibility due to a lack of movement in the body. Sitting most of the day lengthens the glute muscles and shortens the hip flexors. As a result, the hip flexor will adapt to its shortened state and become tight. The shortened hip flexor can cause hyperextension of the low back, leading to an imbalance between these muscles (hip flexor and glutes) and other issues.
In addition to what happens around the hips from sitting most of the day, our posture is also affected. When working at a desk on a computer, we tend to adopt less optimal sitting positions (slouching, leaning to the side, head jutting forward, etc.) when we get tired. We know we should get up, yet we settle for a shift in our position rather than a complete reset. To combat tightness and inflexibility from sitting all day, here are some stretches and mobility exercises during a quick break to stretch and reset during the workday.
Stretches to get you through the workday:
Neck/Upper Trap Stretch
Tuck the chin slightly. Bring the left ear toward the left shoulder. Use the left hand to gently apply pressure.
When you feel the stretch, hold for 15-30 seconds, and then switch sides.
Keep shoulders down and relaxed.
With the head and neck relaxed, clasp the hands behind the back.
Pull the shoulder blades together and lift the hands away from the body.
Hold for 15-30 seconds.
Passive Thoracic Rotation
With the feet planted on the floor with toes facing forward, turn the torso to the right. You may hold the outside of the right thigh or the chair. Hold for 15-30 seconds before switching.
Seated Figure Four
From a seated position, place the left foot on the right thigh.
With the left hand, gently press down on the left thigh near the knee.
Hold the position for 15-30 seconds before switching sides.
Seated HS Stretch
From a seated position, extend the right leg in front of the body.
Keeping the leg in line with the hip and the toes pointing upward, reach forward toward the toes.
When you feel the stretch in the hamstrings, hold for 15-30 seconds before switching sides.
Posterior Deltoid Stretch
With the shoulders down and relaxed, place the left arm across the chest.
Use the right arm to gently pull the arm to stretch the posterior deltoid.
Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds before switching sides.
Extend the left arm overhead and bend at the elbow.
Use the right hand to gently pull on the left elbow.
When you feel the stretch in the left tricep, hold for 15-30 seconds before switching sides.
Keep the ribcage down. The chest should not be lifted,
Try incorporating these daily to ensure that you stay flexible during the day.
Want to learn more about stretching and how to use it to improve your life? Enroll in the Champions Certified Stretch Professional Program today!