As I was googling Sixpence None the Richer discography this morning (yes, they apparently do still exist) I felt myself slumping into my chair and my body didn’t really want to be in any other position. Kind of like how you’re sitting right now. We’ve all been there, but never really know what to do about it. I feel like when a full body foam roll/stretch/ warmup routine isn’t in the works, the least you can do is just hammer out a couple important stretches to get your body back into proper alignment (or at least give it the option!) Here are my top 4 stretches that should be done daily to help improve our sitting and standing positions.
1) Doorway Chest Stretch. This is a great stretch to open up the upper chest and shoulder area. This is usually the first area to collapse when we start to slouch so you better believe it’s important to loosen this area up. Try it for between 30 seconds and two minutes depending on how tight you feel and how much time you have to devote to stretching. And use a timer of some sort, my experience tells me most people’s idea of 30 seconds comes out to around 12 (hint:not enough to make a change!).
2) Hip Flexor Stretch. As we sit our hips are put into a flexed position. Do this for 8 hours a day and these muscles are going to get tight. The negative effects are pulling our hips into an anterior tilt which increases our risk for low back pain. Let’s work on those anterior hips and give our back a break. Let’s give these some time, at least 60-120 seconds on each leg!3) Hip External Rotation Stretch. This is one for people whose lives are completely sagittal. Ie, everything is done straight forward (think walking, jogging, and biking). We just don’t rotate our hips enough in every possible direction. Internal and External rotation suffer if they are not used. If we lose them, the effects show up everywhere else! Use this great stretch to help improve both ranges of motion (just keep your back flat and do a better job than the guy in the picture!). At least 30 seconds, but try two minutes and tell me your hips don’t feel instantly better! 4) Upper Trap Stretch. Who carries some tension in their upper traps, right by the base of your neck? That makes all of us. Let’s work on relieving some of that by working to give those upper traps some length. Between 30 seconds and minute per side. Do this one multiple times per day as it doesn’t even require getting up from your computer! So there you have four great stretches to try to work into your daily routine. Try these out and you won’t be disappointed in how you feel and are able to position yourself.