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4 Must Do Stretches After Sitting All Day

You may be sitting for up to 8 hours or more a day, but taking as little as 10 minutes per day can leave you feeling better.

Chances are you spend a lot of your day sitting. Tied to our computers, we can get so much done, but at what cost? Hour after hour, day after day, week after week our muscles get short and tight from sitting so long. Then, when we stand up, everything is creaky, uncomfortable or downright painful. However, you can start feeling better by just spending 10 minutes a day stretching out those muscles.

The American College of Sports Medicine advises stretching exercises be done at least two to three times per week to be effective. But you sit a lot, so if you can, try to do these every day. Hold each stretch to the point where you feel discomfort, not pain, and stay there for at least 30 seconds. You can repeat each stretch up to three times. Go by how you're feeling.

Reach for the Sky

Stand up straight with your feet hip to shoulder-width apart, head up and shoulders back. Take a deep breath in as you bring your arms up to the ceiling. Interlock your fingers and press your palms up towards the ceiling as you exhale getting a good full body stretch. You can hold the stretch, or repeat it three to five times moving with your breaths.

Touch Your Toes

From the same standing position, take a deep breath in. As you begin to exhale slowly lower your torso and let your hands dangle to the floor so you're folded in half. Keep your arms and head relaxed and knees straight, but not locked. You'll feel this through your back, glutes, hamstrings, calves, and shoulders. To get back up, inhale and slowly roll up back to standing.

A Little Balance

This next stretch will help you lengthen your quadriceps muscles along the front of your thighs. It requires balance, so stand next to a sturdy chair or a wall if needed. Shift your weight to your left leg, using your left-hand hold on to the wall or chair. Bend your right leg, reach back with your right hand and grab your foot. Bring your heel towards your glute, stopping when you feel a pulling sensation in the front of your thigh. Hold for at least 30 seconds then switch sides.

Open it Up

Using a doorway, you can open up your chest and shoulders after a long day over the keyboard. Stand in the doorway and put your arms out in a T or goal post position — depending on how wide the doorway is. Your upper arms should be parallel to the floor. Taking small steps, walk forward until you feel a stretch across the front of your chest and shoulders. Keep your feet staggered to avoid arching back. Hold for at least 30 seconds.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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