When you’re at work, chances are you’re seated for the better part of 8 hours. Unfortunately, the more sedentary we are, the more prone to injury we become. Flexibility leads to a reduction in injury as well as increased performance but it’s a tough skill to develop if you’re stuck at a desk all day. These are three simple stretches that everyone should be able to do, no matter what their activity level is. You can even incorporate them throughout your workday!
1. Seated Figure-4 Stretch
How to: Sit on the edge of chair and cross right ankle to rest on left thigh. Gently press right knee toward ground so shin is parallel to floor. Repeat on the other side.
The goal: Work to get your top shin parallel to the floor.
2. Standing Side Stretch
How to: With feet together, right hand at side, and left hand overhead, inhale deeply. Exhale as you bend to the right, allowing right hand to slide down outside of right thigh. Keep hips square (don’t stick out left hip) and do not tilt forward or back. Repeat on the other side.
The goal: Ideally, your right fingertips should reach down to the outside of the right knee.
3. Forward Fold
How to: With legs straight, fold forward at the hip and try to touch fingertips to ground.
The goal: Ideally, your knees will be completely straight and your hands can lay flat on the floor.
For the most benefits, do these every day and try to hold each stretch (on each side) for 30 to 60 seconds, keeping your breath steady and slow throughout. And remember, these should never be painful. If flexibility isn’t something you do regularly, these will be a little uncomfortable to start, but never push yourself past your pain limits.
If you ever have questions, or something doesn’t feel quite right- reach out to one of our physical therapists for a free consultation.