You’re researching, you’re writing, you’re showing that spreadsheet who’s boss. You’re in the zone and you’re… whoa, really stiff. You’re so good at your job, so into that assignment or reading that chapter, that you haven’t moved in two hours.
Our friends from Textbooks.com chatted with Jessica Thiefels, an ACE-certified personal trainer based in San Diego, and got her input on five essential desk stretches. Take a look at what she recommends.
1. Wrist Stretch
“Typing is unnatural for our hands, straining the many tendons. This is one of those key desk stretches that can help increase flexibility and mobility in your wrist and can even help ease joint pain in the area,” says Thiefels.
• Straighten both hands out in front of you.
• Flex your right hand so your fingers face the ceiling and your palm is facing away from you.
• Take your left hand and gently pull your right hand back toward your body. Hold for 30 seconds.
• Repeat on the other side.
2. Neck Stretch
“We tend to strain our neck when looking at a computer screen. This stretch helps you move your neck through a full range of motion to return normal blood flow and position.”
• Sit up straight.
• Reach the top of your head toward the wall to your right. Hold for 30 seconds.
• Repeat on the left side.
3. Hamstring and Quad Stretch
“When sitting at a desk, your legs get little movement and your knees are at a consistent 90-degree angle. This stretch returns blood flow to your leg muscles and knees.”
• Sit up straight, hands on your hips or quadriceps.
• Kick your right leg out in front of you and straighten. Hold for 30 seconds.
• Return to start and repeat with left leg.
4. Spinal Twist
“Your body needs movement and stretching with a spinal twist reawakens your whole upper body, including core and lower back. According to My Yoga Tribe, spinal twists are great for working your abs, shoulders, the neck, and obliques and can help improve your strength and flexibility.”
• Sit up straight, place your left hand on the chair below you and your right hand on your quadriceps.
• Twist to the left and hold, then breathe out and in. Hold for 30 seconds.
• Return to center and repeat on right side.
5. Shoulder Stretch
“We tend to hunch forward and round our shoulders when sitting at a desk. This stretch pulls your muscles back and returns blood flow to your shoulders, biceps and chest.”
• Sit up straight and clasp hands together behind your back.
• Pull your hands down and away from your body, so your chest pulls open and shoulders pull back.
• Hold here for 30 seconds.