Best exercises for a desk job. For many, many years I had jobs where I was either teaching Pilates (this meant I was walking around a lot or demonstrating exercises) or working in shops (again lots of walking around), then over time, my work started getting more and more sedentary and I realized that I was spending hours on my butt, hunched over a computer. Even though I was still going to the gym, the hours spent sitting down were starting to add up and worst of all, starting to outweigh the hours I was spending working out. This seems to be a problem for a lot of us.
Issues you will have over time. When you spend a lot of time hunched over a table or computer screen, your head eventually shifts forward and your shoulders round. While this is happening, the muscles in your chest get tighter and shorter while the muscles in your back (as well as the back of your neck) get longer and weaker. There are some exercises and stretches you can do right at your desk or at home to counteract some of the negative effects of your job.
BEST EXERCISES FOR A DESK JOB
Chest stretch. Standing in a lunge position (toes pointing forward) with your right leg forward widen your hands and place them high up on both sides of a door frame. Now, without moving your hands, bend both knees. You should feel a great stretch in your chest and upper body and if you push your weight forward even in your hips. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Shoulder stretch. Sitting down, clasp your hands together and lift them up, palms facing the ceiling. Press your hands away from you and slightly arch your back. You should feel relief in your your shoulders and upper back. Hold for 15-20 seconds. Another great option for this stretch is to place your hands on a table or chair, then take a few steps back and lean forward keeping a flat back.
Dynamic hug. Wrap an exercise band around your mid back and hold one end in each hand. There should be some tension on the band. Now reach your hands forward as if you are hugging someone and release. Repeat 20x.
Rowing. This one is a two-parter as you will have the resistance coming from different heights. 1. Sitting upright on the floor with your legs out in front you (or prop yourself up on a small stool or yoga block), wrap the band under the balls of your feet while holding the ends. Your arms are bent at a 90 degree angle. Exhale and pull your elbows back while gently squeezing your shoulder blades together. Hold for a count of 5 and release. Repeat 20x.
2. Start standing upright on the band, cross it in front of you and pull your hands up to your chin, elbows pointing up to the ceiling. Repeat 20x.
In addition to these exercises, make sure that you are getting up and walking around every hour or two. Of course, you shouldn’t give up on your regular workouts, but think about incorporating more back strengthening exercises while stretching out your chest muscles. Just like with all of the finer things in life, it’s all about balance! If all else fails, drop to the ground and sneak in some push ups whenever you can.
How do you relieve tense muscles from a desk job?