Although they’re totally unrelated, sitting for prolonged periods can be as bad as smoking. If your work entails sitting for prolonged periods – between 3- 4 hours every day – there’s every chance your body is taking a quiet beating.
We’ve compiled 7 exercises to help you counter the effects of prolonged sitting.
1. Lunge and rotate
This exercise addresses a number of things that are directly related to sitting all for long periods. Doing this exercise will help desk workers due to the great benefits they’ll derive from it.
The deep lunge position requires you to open up as you stretch the hip flexors located in the back leg. It helps stretch the front leg adductors and it also promotes rotation and extension through the upper back or thoracic spine.
These movements go a long way in countering the seated desk posture. Ensure you optimise this position by taking both wide and long stride so your hips can open up well. For good alignment, ensure you keep a straight shin with the front leg.
Go for a minimum of 5 rotations on both sides.
2. Half-Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch
Always remember to start with simple exercises before you move to more complex ones. This stretch works a great deal on your front hip which is greatly shortened with prolonged sitting.
Align your legs to a 90o angle by having the first knee on the floor while the other foot is flat on the floor. Place your hands on your hips to engage your abs and squeeze your knees glute.
Next, push your hips a few inches forward and ensure your low back does not arch. Go back to the starting position and repeat the process on each side for 8 to 10 times.
3. Deep Squat
This is good for those that are experiencing stiffness. Your body lifts your heels off the ground while it will cave in your knees and round your back as a compensation for the stiffness.
At the start of this stretch, you may need some sort of support. Do this by holding anything that won’t make your fall backwards. It should also help you go down to a point that you can tolerate.
Get down on all fours as you reach one hand out above your head with your thumb moving in the direction of the ceiling and you simultaneously lift the other leg. Replace the foot and hand and repeat the same process on the opposite side.
Don’t stop alternating the sides as you reach out towards the ceiling as far as you can go. Do this for about 10 – 12 reps on each side.
5. T Push-Ups
Adopt the pushup plank position. Next, spread your feet six inches apart. Do the regular push up and make sure your hips don’t sag.
Follow up by rotating to one side while raising your hand towards the roof. Go back to your original position and repeat the process on the opposite side. Alternate sides for a minimum of 8 – 10 times.