How to Release Muscle Tightness and Tension
Have you been noticing more tension and tightness lately? What about more frequent headaches and back or shoulder pain? How does your neck feel right now?
Due to the current state of events, we all find ourselves spending enormous amounts of time at home, and whether your living room became your private office in a matter of 24 hours or not, it’s likely that a good chunk of your time throughout the week is spent sitting. Unfortunately, sitting in front of your computer or television every day can prove to be very disadvantageous for your body.
On the bright side, studies show that frequent stretching and taking regular breaks from continuous sitting can have long lasting effects on the health of your body.
If you responded “yes” to our questions, it may be worthwhile to keep reading on and learn a few simple stretches that will vastly alleviate the pressure you, often subconsciously, put on your body day after day.
Join us for a Full Body Stretch
What do I do?
- Set an alarm every 60-65 minutes to take a break from what you’re doing. You can use the below stretches as a guide but are welcome to let your body move as it pleases.
- Make sure to hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds!
- If you start to feel discomfort or pain, back off. You don’t want to push it!
Better known as the “touch-your-toes” exercise.
- Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, and arms by your side.
- Take a big inhale, raising your arms to the sky and then exhale as you bend forward at the hips and use your hands to reach for your toes. Make sure to keep your upper body relaxed.
- Shake your head “no” and nod your head “yes.” You can even hold your elbows and sway back and forth, loosening up your lower back even more in the rag doll position.
- Hold for at least 30 seconds.
- First, lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor.
- Cross your left foot over your right quad. Lift your right leg off the floor.
- Grab onto the back of your right leg and gently pull it toward your chest until you feel a nice stretch.
- 30 seconds on each leg!
You can perform this stretch either sitting or standing.
- Clasp your hands behind your lower back. Straighten and extend your arms and squeeze your shoulder blades together.
- Hold for 30 seconds.
- Lie on your back with both legs extended.
- Pull your right knee into your chest, while keeping the left leg straight and your lower back pressed into the floor.
- 30 seconds for each leg.
You can either sit or stand for this one.
- Slowly and gently use your neck to move your head in circular motions.
- After a few circles in one direction, change and roll your neck towards the opposite direction.
- Lie on your stomach with your legs straight out behind you.
- Place your elbows under your shoulders and your forearms on the floor as you lift your chest up off the floor. Make sure your hips and thighs remain glued to the floor and focus on lengthening the spine.
- Think of elongating every vertebra as you lengthen outward, versus focusing too much on the arch upward. Do not push yourself if you start to feel any pain!
- Hold for 30 seconds.
- Kneel on your left knee.
- Place your right foot flat on the floor in front of you, knee bent. Lean forward with your hips, stretching your left hip toward the floor.
- Tuck or squeeze your butt underneath you; this will allow you to stretch your hip flexor even more.
- Hold for 30 seconds then switch sides.
- Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart.
- Stretch your hands up and out as far as you can. Too add a little more to the stretch, you can pulse with your tippy toes or lean to the right and left for added oblique stretches.
- Make sure to keep the neck and face relaxed as you push for that full body stretch. Hold for 30 seconds.
- Extend your arm in front of you with your palm up. Bend your wrist, pointing your hand toward the floor.
- With your other hand, gently bend your wrist farther until you feel a mild to moderate stretch in your forearm.
** For a more intense wrist stretch, start by getting into table top position on the floor. Twist your left hand to the left and the right hand to the right and position all fingers to be pointed towards you. Shift your body slowly away from your hands until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds!
All of these practices can be done in the comfort of your own home, and the majority of them can even be practiced at your place of work. Start developing these healthy habits now and you’ll find yourself continuing the practices right back in the office!