Sitting hunched over your laptop for 8 hours or more a day, craning our neck to look at the monitor – that can’t be good, can it? The constant creaks and aches from our lower backs, tense neck, rounded shoulders and general fatigue is a constant reminder that this is not natural on a daily basis. 

Recharge your day and reverse the effects of long sitting with these easy stretches that will get the blood flowing to those stiff joints. We’ve split these simple movements into what you can do at office and in the comforts of your own home – give them a shot for a juicy release! 

Stretching in Office

1. Shoulder and Chest Opener 

Those fast and furious emails you are firing away builds up tension in the shoulders, and the tendency to hunch forward doesn’t help the pectoral muscles either. Here’s how to release them:

  1. Clasp your hands behind your back.
  2. Lift your arms away from your tailbone while keeping your arms straight. Try to draw the shoulder blades together
  3. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat 3 times.


2. Neck Rotation and with Upper Traps Stretch

Our upper trapezius or traps is constantly working, especially when it comes to stabilizing our neck and heads in a forward position, which essentially takes place all day if you have a screen in front of you. Say hello to sweet relief with these steps:  

  1. Slowly rotate your neck in a clockwise direction 
  2. When your head is tilted to the right side, use your right hand to gently pull it further downwards towards the shoulder. Hold for 5 seconds
  3. Continue the neck rotation to the other side.
  4. When your head is tilted to the left side, use your left hand to gently pull it further downwards towards the shoulder. Hold for 5 seconds.
  5. Repeat steps 1-4 in an anti-clockwise direction


3. Upper Thoracic Extension

Sedentary workers have reduced thoracic mobility because of we often sit with a flexed upper back for long hours. Counter that rounded posture with this extension:

  1. Move about half a metre away from your desk and place your elbows near the edge of your desk, with your palms touching behind your head.
  2. Press your chest towards the ground and try to get your biceps by your ears.
  3. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat 3 times.


Stretching at Home

1. Bent Arm Wall Stretch

Undo the full-day seated slouching by deepening the stretch on the pectoral and shoulder muscles – here’s how:

  1. Stand sideways to a wall on your left side. Bend your left arm 90 degrees and place it against the wall such that your left palm aligns with the top of your head, and both your shoulder and hip are in contact with the wall. 
  2. Rotate your right shoulder outwards until you feel a stretch in your chest and shoulders. Your right toes should be pivoted outwards as well. 
  3. Hold for 20 seconds. Gently untwist and repeat on the other side. 


2. Down Dog to Low Lunge

That aching lower back that has been haunting you for years? It might just be due to tight hip flexors from an extended sitting position. Our hip flexors are connected to the anterior section of our lumbar spine, so their tightness leads to a strain in our lower back. Take a leaf from yogis and stretch out those hip flexors:


  1. Get down onto all fours, with knees hip distance apart, and shoulders stacked above your wrists.
    2. Raise the knees off the mat, moving and looking towards your stomach, while keeping the arms straight. 
  2. Raise your right leg up and set it down in between your palms. You can wriggle your foot forward if you need to. 
  3. Push off your right knee with your hands to get into an upright position. Keep your tailbone tucked while sinking your hips down. You should feel a stretch in your left hip flexor. 
  4. Hold the pose for 15 seconds and repeat on the other side.  


3. Rag Doll Fold

While hanging upside down is not accessible to most of us, here’s an alternative and breezy way to release all the back, neck and shoulder tension from a stressful day at work:

  1. Stand with feet hip-width apart, and knees slightly bent or straight (if you are flexible)
  2. Bend forwards from the hips and grab opposite elbows, allowing your head to hang between your arms. Let it all go and relax in this pose.
  3. You can gently sway side to side or just hold stationary for 30 seconds. 


Love our little series of stretches? Improve your mobility and flexibility even further by attending one of our private or group sessions at The District Training! 


5/5 (1 Review)

Leave a Comment