Feb 11, 2016

10 important stretches you should do RIGHT NOW!

Tired modern business woman sitting at office desk and working with financial documents

Let’s face it. In a single work week, you’ll probably be spending a minimum of 25 – 35 hours sitting in front of a computer. There’s a high possibility you’re reading this from one right now.

Our lifestyles have not only become sedentary but are posing serious health challenges. Your body sends you more messages than your favorite WhatsApp group and it is very important to pay attention to these.

We have designed a very simple 10 step routine that can be easily implemented into your working day to help boost your health, improve your posture, your confidence levels and reduce your stress.

So why wait, begin right now!

1.) Lateral Head Stretch

Start with head in a comfortable, aligned position. Slowly, tilt your head to left side. This stretches the neck muscles. Hold stretch till you feel a good, even stretch. Do not overstretch. Now tilt head to right side and stretch.

Hold time – 10-20 seconds
Repeat 2-3 times to each side.

Lateral head Stretch

2.) Shoulder Blade Squeeze

Interlace your fingers behind your back, slowly turn your elbows inward and straighten your arms. An excellent stretch for your shoulders and arms. This is good to do when you catch yourself slumping forward from your shoulders, be it over long mails or after heavy meals. This stretch can be done at any time.

Hold time – 5-15 seconds.
Repeat – Twice

Shoulder Blade Squeeze

3.) Arm Cross – Shoulder Stretch

A stretch for your shoulder and central – upper back, you just have to gently pull your elbow across your chest towards your opposite shoulder.

Hold time – 10 to 30 seconds.
Repeat – Twice.

Arm Cross

4.) Raised Arms Stretch

Another exercise for slumping shoulders, Interlace fingers then turn palms upwards above your head as you straighten your arms and feel this stretch through your arms and upper sides of your rib cage.

Hold time – 10-20 seconds.
Repeat – Thrice.
raised arms stretch

5.) Forearm Stretch

Stretch the right arm out and turn the hand down so that the fingers point towards the floor. Use the left hand to gently pull the fingers towards you feeling a stretch in your forearm. Isn’t it relieving and relaxing at the same time?

Hold time – 10-30 Seconds
Repeat – Twice.

 

Forearm stretch

6.) Knee to Opposite Shoulder

Hold on to your lower left leg just below the knee. Gently pull it toward your chest. To isolate a stretch in the side of your upper leg, use the left arm to pull the bent leg across and toward the opposite shoulder.

Hold time – 30 seconds.
Repeat – Both sides.

Knee to opposite shoulder

7.) Seated Hip Stretch

While seated, cross the ankle over the leftknee and sit up tall. Gently lean forward, keeping the back straight and reaching out with the torso until you feel a stretch in the right hip and glute. You can also press down on the right knee for a deeper stretch.

Hold time – 10 – 30 seconds
Repeat – Twice.

 

 seated hip stretch

8.) Inner Thigh Stretch

While seated, take the legs wide, toes out and lean forward with the elbows on the thighs. Keep the back straight and the abs, not necessarily 6 pack, contracted. Gently press forward while using the elbows to push the thighs out until you feel a stretch in your inner thighs.

Hold time – 10-30 Seconds
Repeat – Twice.

inner thigh stretch

9.) Standing shin stretch

Rest the top of one foot on the seat of a chair so that the knee is bent at 90 degree. For a deeper stretch, press on the heel of the back leg with the hand of the same side.

Hold time – 30 seconds.
Breathe deeply.
Repeat – Other leg

 

standing shin stretch

10.) Back arching

Stand up. Support lower back with hands and gently arch back. Place both hands on your hip and Gently arch back.

Hold Time – 5-10 seconds.
Repeat – As often as is needed.

 

Back Arching

 

Incorporating a regular stretching regime, along with some other mild-moderate physical activity into your daily routine will dramatically shift your energy levels and mood throughout the day. These stretches will also help you to improve your fitness and you will feel more relaxed, vibrant and productive during your working hours.

If you have, then your body will thank you tonight, and hopefully every night!

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written by Anoop Sreekanthan Nair

A die - hard Manchester United fan, Anoop worships Sir Alex Ferguson. When he isn't following footballers, he makes them fit. A Sports Physio and a wellness expert, he has published his research in International Journal for Research and Reviews. Anoop has also worked with various Hospitals, Fitness Centres and Footbal clubs, including our very own I-league's Viva Kerala.

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