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Six Subtle Stretches To Do At Your Desk

Feeling a little tense at work? If you've answered yes, then step away from your keyboard, take your eyes off the screen, and spend a few moments focusing on your body! A quick stretching break could be just what you need to feel refreshed and reinvigorated! Taking just 5-10 minutes to stretch it out is a great alternative to downing an extra cup of coffee when the afternoon slump hits. Perform all of the stretches below, or pick one or two, to target any part of your body that feels tight or out of whack.

We want to see you stretch it out! Feel free to tag us @theactiveworkplacellc if you try any of these stretches below!

1. Shoulders

Targets: Stretches the shoulder muscles including the deltoid, teres minor, and supraspinatus.

Directions: Start by sitting tall. Grab one arm above your elbow with your opposite hand, and pull it across your body toward your chest until you feel a stretch in your shoulder. Make sure to keep your elbow below shoulder height. Hold for at least 30 seconds and then repeat on the other side.

2. Triceps

Targets: Stretches the deltoid and triceps

Directions: Start by sitting tall. Bring one arm overhead and drop your forearm behind you, resting your hand on your back between your shoulder blades. With your other hand, grab right above your bent elbow and pull gently, until you feel a stretch in your shoulder and the back of your arm. Make sure you're not pulling on your elbow! Try to keep your bicep close to your ear, and don’t force it past. Hold for at least 30 seconds and then repeat on the other side.

3. Back/Hamstrings

Targets: Stretches the low back, hamstrings, and calves

Directions: While sitting tall at the edge of a chair, straighten both legs in front of the body with the heels on the floor. Then, sit up straight and while you lean forward, think of pushing the navel towards the thigh while making sure to not round the shoulders forwards. Hold for at least 30 seconds. *can also be done one leg at a time.

4. Lower Back

Targets: Stretches the low back and obliques

Directions: Sit tall in your chair as you gently rotate your trunk and shoulders to one side. Grasp the outside of the corresponding leg or handle of the chair to lean deeper into the pose. Hold for 10-20 seconds, then repeat in the opposite direction. Each time, turn until you feel a slight stretch in your trunk.

5. Torso

Targets: Stretches the upper/mid back, as well as the upper body and torso

Directions: Start by sitting tall. Interlace your fingers above your head. Turn your palms upward as you push your arms back and up. Hold for 5-10 seconds, then relax and repeat as desired.

6. Upper Back

Targets: Stretches the upper/mid back, latissimus dorsi, hamstrings, and calves.

Directions: Stand a few feet behind your chair, then slowly lean forward and place your hands on the back of the chair. While lengthening your back and arms, lower your weight until your chest is parallel to the floor. Keep your chin tucked in, vision to the floor, and knees bent slightly.

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