Almost every day newspaper and online articles are informing us about the dangers of prolonged sitting. We read statements like “sitting is the new smoking” and “your desk job is killing you”. People are more and more aware that not moving (sitting and standing) is not what our body is designed to do. Standing desk are becoming more easily available and more common in the workplace.
But what if you can’t or don’t want to switch to a standing desk? And is working out 2 to 3 times per week in the local gym really enough to correct 8 hours of daily sitting in a forward slouched position?
A very easy and time efficient solution is to move the joints through a full range of motion every day as part of a morning routine before work.
Here is a collection of some of my favorite dynamic stretching and activation exercises for people who sit for a long stretches of time regularly. This routine focuses on hips, shoulder and upper back, the three areas which are in a bad position in most of the people.
A few of my clients (and my mum!) are following this routine on a daily basis after the morning coffee and the feedback is overwhelming. I am sure it will help you as well.
The whole workout is done in 5 to 7 minutes, a very short amount of your time and you will feel and move better instantly.
Do all the exercises back to back, move slowly and through a full range of motion.
Squat to Stand (10 – 15 reps)
1. Stand hip width apart with legs as straight as possible.
2. Grab your toes while keeping your back as flat as possible.
3. Squat straight down as deep as you can, knees out, chest up.
4. Stand back up (with straight legs) and repeat.
Deep Squat (30 seconds)
Squat down as deep as you can, pressing the knees out and holding your chest up.
Spiderman Lunge with Thoracic Rotation (10 reps per side)
1. Drop down into a Spiderman lunge position, aligning your feet with your hands.
2. Rotate your chest upwards (towards the same side as the front leg) as far as you can. Look at your hand.
3. Down to the starting position and repeat.
Single Leg Glute Bridge (10 reps per side)
1. Lie on your back, arms on your side, knees bent, and feet flat on the floor.
2. Lift one leg up and push through the heel from the other leg as high as possible (without arching your lower back).
3. At the top your hips form a straight line from the knees to the shoulder.
4. Drop your hips down to the floor and repeat.
Back Extension with Shoulder Rotation (10 reps)
1. Lie on the floor facedown with arms on your side (palms up).
2. Simultaneously raise your chest of the floor and turn your arms (palms down).
3. Hold this position for two seconds (squeeze shoulder blades together and butt).
4. Back to the starting position (palms up) and repeat.
Scap Wall Slides (10 reps)
1. Stand with your hips, upper back and head against a wall. Feet a few centimeters away.
2. Form a W with your arms (palms facing away from the wall).
3. Slide your arms up to a Y position. Keep contact with wall and try to straighten your elbows. Try to squeeze your butt and abs to not arch your lower back and keep the forearms as close as possible to the wall.
4. Slide the arms back to the W position and repeat.
I hope this routine works for you and please leave a comment what you liked or didn’t like.
All the amazing photos done by Neha Gulati