5 Important Full Body Stretches You Can Do Now
Wonder throat? Aching back? If you spend leaning against a desk all day, here are 5 essential full body stretches you need to try
Long hours at your makeshift work table or desk can strain your body and muscles.
For this reason, it is important to schedule a ten-minute stretch session at least once a day to promote blood circulation.
Not only that, participating in a workout can help release tension and give you a boost in endorphins – the chemicals in your brain that act as pain relievers – which can also help you sleep better and reduce stress.
Cristina Chan, face of F45 recovery, shares some tips for stretching your muscles after sitting on a deak all day …
# 1 Inchworm / work stoppages
Target areas: shoulders, torso, hamstrings
With this first stretch, break away from the incessant crouching over a screen or device that takes the strain off your lower back.
Start standing with your feet hip-width apart. Hanging from your hips, reach down and place your hands flat on the floor in front of your feet.
Next, put your weight on your hands and begin moving forward into a high plank position.
Engage your core and keep your hands right under your shoulders.
Step back with your hands and return to the starting position. Repeat two or three rounds of 45 seconds.
# 2 Standing alternating foursome
Target areas: buttocks, hips, quad, back, shoulders
Take a break from sitting and get your blood circulating every hour or so with this figure foursome stretch.
Stand at arm’s length in front of a chair, table, handrail, railing or other similarly stable object.
Cross your right foot over your left thigh, just above the knee. Bend your hip and bend your left knee into a one-legged squat position. You will feel a stretch in your right buttock and left ankle.
Extend your arms straight in front of you and hold onto the chair. Let your chest sag while you look at the floor.
You will feel a stretch along your shoulders and upper back. Hold for at least 5 seconds and then switch to the other leg, repeat for the time.
# 3 arm circles
Target areas: shoulders, chest, back
This is good even when you are in the office. Give your arms and back a break from typing and scrolling with some arm circles.
To relax your upper body, simply stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and stretch your arms out to the sides parallel to the floor.
Circle your arms forward in small, controlled movements. Gradually enlarge the circles until you feel a stretch.
Then reverse the direction of your circles for an equal number.
# 4 Standing windmill toe touch stretch
Target areas: hamstrings, back
Get the classic standing toe touch going and twist your upper body for additional core strength and decompression of the spine.
Stand shoulder width apart with arms outstretched at shoulder level. Rotate your body and use your other hand to touch your opposite toes. Alternate both sides for an equal number.
This dynamic stretch introduces active movements to maintain smooth joint movement while working on the stability of the entire body.
# 5 Alternating quad stretching while standing
Target areas: quads, hips
This simple stretch is suitable for warming up anytime and anywhere and can be done standing or lying on the side. The latter is recommended for those with knee pain as it reduces the weight on the other knee.
To do this stretch, stand on your left leg with one knee touching the other. You can hold onto a chair or the wall if necessary.
Grab your right foot with your right hand and pull it toward your buttocks. Hold the position for 5-10 seconds, then repeat switching from your left leg to your right.
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