Lets face it, you spend most of your day sitting. You drive to work where you sit at your desk all day long, only to drive home, and sit at the dinner table, or on the couch. No judgment here, my couch is comfy too, but did you know that all that sitting is a big factor in bad posture, and subsequently back and neck pain?
Sitting all day, especially if you’re slumped forward reaching for your keyboard or steering wheel, leads to a handful of muscular imbalances. Specifically, tight muscles in your chest, neck, and hips. An important step to improving posture is stretching out these tight muscles. So without further ado, here are my favourite stretches for improved posture.
Doorway pectoralis stretch:
Place your palms and forearms in either side of a door frame. Gently step forward just enough that you feel a stretch across your chest. You want to feel mild discomfort, but not pain, so if it hurts, ease off! Hold this stretch for about 30 seconds.
Upper trapezius stretch:
Put one arm behind your back. Place your other hand gently on the side of you head and pull to one side as if to bring your ear to your shoulder. Make sure that your chin and nose are still pointed straight ahead. Again, hold for 30 seconds, and remember that you are only aiming to feel mild discomfort. Repeat on the other side
Levator scapulae stretch:
Similar to the previous stretch, place one hand behind your back. Your other hand will then reach for the back of your head, and gently pull downward and to the side as if you were trying to look into your armpit. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side
Hip flexor stretch:
Place one knee on the floor, and bring your other foot out in front of you in a lunge position. Once you feel stable, think about tilting your pelvis as if to tuck your bum under your spine. Then gently push your hips forward, keeping your chest tall. If this feels okay, you may also raise your arm on the same side as the hip being stretched. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
You can perform these stretches daily to help improve posture and reduce pain. Combine these stretches with a strengthening routine and you’re well on your way!
Pro-tip: To further reduce the negative effects of sitting, take stretch breaks during your work day. Just two minutes up and out of your seat every hour can make a difference!
Post a comment if you have any questions!