The Best Stretches to do If You Work From Home
As the UK gears up for ways to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, more and more of us are working from home. The bright side: no commuting around possibly-infected strangers. The downside: absolutely no ergonomic office set up in the home.
Without your streamlined screen, standing desk and lunchtime walks, you might find yourself feeling a little bit stiff. Not to mention the fact that, if you’re self-isolating or avoiding public places, you might not be able to get to your usual yoga class or complete your gym routine.
"We need flexibility to maintain a range of motion in our joints,” and “Without that, we’re at a high risk of joint pain, muscle strains and muscle damage, especially if you’re going to be sedentary, sitting at a desk for a long period of time, not able to move and be active.”
THE BEST STRETCHES TO DO IF YOU WORK FROM HOME
If you don’t have a mat and don’t want to complete a full-blown yoga sequence on your hardwood floor, I get it. You can start with the stretches that you can do at your desk…
Neck and scalene stretch
Tilt the head to one side. Using the hand of the side you’re tilting towards, pull down from the opposite side of the neck. Be sure you’re doing it gently because in the neck there’s a lot of sensitive muscles. If you’re pulling too hard, you’ll do more harm than good. Do both sides, holding for 10 to 15 seconds. This is good for tension relief, headaches, shoulder pain, and people who spend a lot of time at the desk.
Take the arm across the body. Wrap your other arm up over it and pull in towards your body and hold for around 15 seconds again. This releases the shoulders, the rear delts and the rotator cuff area. Again, this is good for people who spend a lot of time hunched over their desk, providing relief for the affected area.
Standing side bend stretch
Standing up, put your arms above your head and then lean over to one side. For this stretch, rather than holding it for a certain time, hold for a few deep breaths. This is because it’s an intense stretch, so you don’t want to force it. This standing side bend is a great stretch for your lats and quadratus lumborum muscles, which are the muscles that run either side of your back.
With this, posture is really important – you don’t want to be slumped or slouched. Stay seated and lift the ankle of one leg to rest on the thigh of the other. Lean forward, with good posture, until you start to feel that stretch in your glute. Hold that for 15 to 20 seconds per side.
The world’s greatest stretch
Yes, it’s really called that. Start in a plank position. This will activate the core, our shoulder and our chest muscles. We’re then going to lean in to the world’s greatest stretch, so bring the right foot forward into a low lunge, but keep that back left knee elevated off the floor. Hold that position, make sure that the chin and the chest are up, both hands are inside the front leg and flat on the floor if possible. Hold that position.
Congratulations and well-done!!!