Hi Ballet Beauties!
I'm Ballet Beautiful LIVE Master Trainer Lucy. If your body is feeling tense after sitting at your desk for many hours during the day, I’m right there with you! There are several stretches I love to do that help release the tension and stiffness from the body, and the best part is - you can do them without leaving your chair! Think of these as 3-minute breaks for your body every 30 minutes -- you can even set a timer for yourself as a reminder.
I want to start off with the position our body is in while we work at the computer. You may have felt stiffness in your wrists after hours of typing away at the keyboard. Here is a simple stretch that will reduce the risk of pain in your wrists:
With one arm extended straight in front of you at shoulder height, use your other hand to gently press the palm down so your fingers point towards the floor. Hold this for 10 seconds before switching sides!
Do you feel like you hold tension in your shoulders and neck? I catch myself doing that sometimes too! Here is a great way to relax the upper trapezius muscle, which helps tilt and rotate the neck:
Make sure you are sitting tall in your chair with shoulders over the hips and abdominals gently engaged. Take your left hand to touch your left shoulder, and take your right hand up and over to touch the left side of your head. Gently bend your head away from your shoulder, taking care to breathe deeply and not go further than your body is telling you. Hold this for 10 seconds before switching sides!
When we sit for many hours in a chair, our hips are in a “flexed” position which can make the hip flexor muscles very tight. The hip flexors allow you to lift your knee off the ground and play a role in bending at the waist. If they are tight, you may also experience some lower back pain. Here is a stretch that will lengthen the hip flexors:
Sit on the edge of your chair and rotate your body 90 degrees to the side, making sure that the shoulders are over the hips with abdominals engaged. Let your outside leg hang off the chair at a 90 degree angle. For an even deeper stretch, let your knee extend slightly past your hip!
Take your outside arm and lift up and over the back of the chair into a side bend. This side bend will also stretch your abdominal and intercostal muscles (which can get tight from a slouched seated position). Hold this and breathe deeply for about 10 seconds before switching sides.
I hope these seated stretches leave you feeling lengthened and refreshed! Try to incorporate all three of these stretches into your daily routine, and let me know if you feel the difference.