With most people now working from home, in less than perfect working positions, I know many of you have been suffering from such things like lower back and neck ache, shoulder and chest pain, weakness, numbness, burning or pins and needles in your arms and fingers.
These are all things that can be improved upon with body work and certain exercises.
I find there is also a common theme that people are spending hours long sitting then jumping up and doing something very energetic for an hour in order to try and compensate for the lack of movement during the rest of the day. This sudden change from stillness to aggressive or intense movement seems to have also been increasing injury rates, so please try and be kind, move more regularly throughout the day, do some stretches such as:
Rotations of your torso (thoracic spine).
Whilst sitting nice and tall on your chair, move your right hand to the outside of your left knee, move the left hand to the back of the chair or place it behind the base of your spine. With shoulders back and down away from your ears, move your body round to the left. Don’t lead the movement with your neck. Instead concentrate on your exhalation, draw your tummy in towards the spine and lead with your belly button moving towards your left hip bone. Inhale and grow taller in your seat, exhale rotate the ribs to the left, inhale grow taller, exhale draw the left shoulder back and at the very last point you could look round to the left. Moving your neck is not necessary, we over use our necks and underuse our thoracic spine and have our shoulder up and forwards towards our ears, which is generally the problem with neck, chest, shoulder and arm pain!
Walking lunges across the room.
Keep your shoulders, back, and chest open. To help with this, have hands resting on your hips, your thumbs at the front and fingers at the back to externally rotate the arms and open the collar bones. Draw your tummy in toward the spine to avoid over extension in the lower back (a big arch) or think about slightly shortening the distance between the front of the hips and bottom of the ribs whilst maintaining shoulders are back and down. Lunge slowly with control, keep feet facing forwards, imagine scissoring both legs together at all times to keep core and stabilising muscles active. Lower the back knee towards the floor to stretch the front of the back thigh and hips, whilst maintaining pressure in the heel of the front foot to activate the back of the front thigh and bottom (hamstring and glute). You may want to do these as single leg squats and then move to walking squats forwards. To add a further balance element, try walking backwards or close your eyes - have fun!
If you want further help with posture and strength exercises don’t hesitate to contact me, similarly if you want a complete plan for nutrition, lifestyle and movement please book a consultation.