Stretches for office workers
The best stretches to relieve tension and stiffness after a long day at the desk.
- Child's Pose
- Neck Stretch
- Thoracic Rotation
- Up-Facing Dog
- Thoracic Extension
1. Child's Pose
- The shape of the leg position can vary depending on the mobility within your hip and knee joints. Aiming for a 90° angle at the knee and hip will open up the short adductor muscles in the front of the groin. Making an ‘M’ shape with the legs will take the stretch more to the adductor magnus, down the back of the inside thigh.
- Reach your arms forward, allowing your head to rest between them. Feel your spine lengthening and a sense of traction as you ease into the stretch.
2. Neck Stretch
- Begin by taking a few deep breaths in and out to centre your energy and calm your thoughts.
- Place one hand behind your back to anchor that shoulder in place.
- Allow your head to tilt gradually to the opposite side, guiding your ear to your shoulder. You’ll feel a stretch down the side of the neck.
- Intensify the stretch by placing your free hand on your head and applying a comfortable pressure. If you rotate your nose down to your shoulder you’ll notice the stretch creeps a little further around to the back of the neck.
3. Thoracic Rotation
- Lying on your side with your head and neck supported, begin with your arms reaching forward.
- Slide your top hand along the bottom arm, across your chest, and eventually unfold the elbow to stretch the arm out long. You should feel a full rotation of your waist and trunk and a stretch from fingertip to fingertip.
- Aim to one day have your arms and upper back flat on the ground.
4. Up-Facing Dog
- Lying face down with your hands tucked in next to your chest and your elbows pointing up, inhale to prepare.
- Exhale and press through the hands to lift your chest upwards and forwards into upward facing dog.
- Feel a stretch through your abdominals and lengthening up the spine, visualising yourself as a cobra. Carefully allow the head to tilt backwards to open the front of the neck and throat.
- Begin kneeling with your legs parallel, shins and feet pressing firmly into the floor. For the initial stretch, place your palms on your bottom, gaze up to the sky, project your chest upwards and extend the upper back.
- Find stability in this pose by encouraging your pelvis to press forwards and your thighs to push backwards.
- To deepen the stretch, reach your hands for your heels. You will notice that your spine extends further, but the demand on your abdominals and gluteals is greater.
6. Thoracic Extension
- Stand with your feet hip width apart and firmly ground your heels into the floor. Lean forward and place your hands on the wall at chest height, shoulder width apart. Inhale to prepare.
- As you exhale, sink your chest towards your toes with your head between your arms, as though you’ve been folded in half at the hip.
- Breathe deeply and continue to sink into the pose, feeling your upper back release and a deep pull down the back of your legs. Taking the elbows to the wall and interlacing your fingers behind your head will focus the stretch to the back of the arms.