The Desk Jockey’s 15min Stretching Routine
Straddling your office chair and jockeying your desk is a practice all of us are unfortunately too used to in this day and age.
Doing this for more hours than we actually sleep definitely has its consequences…
Your neck gets tight, your shoulders round over, your hips seize up, your back gets sore, and your hamstrings become steel cables.
Although you may not be able to change your work requirements, you definitely CAN do things in your free time to counter this gnarled over restrictive posture – a posture that will lead to many many problems (if it hasn’t done so already).
Limited movement and shortened muscles in static chair postures will wreak havoc on your other daily movements, your exercises routine, and even your down time – heck it has already been proven that people live 10 years less due to sitting at a desk each day….and no it’s not your work role (though the stress levels can definitely add to your demise).
As your boss might say – you need “a can do” attitude… although they are giving you a very “can’t do” body in the process.
It’s time to unravel your body and stop looking like the desk chair you sit at.
To do this, we have put together a very “can do” program to get rid of your “can’t do” lifestyle – a 15min quick and dirty routine designed specifically for desk jockeys like yourself.
Below are the specific stretches targeting your tightest desk-riding, and chair-bound muscles along with the specific reasons for their inclusion.
The >>program sheet is also included thereafter for your reference:
1) Thoracic Extensions:
Peering at a computer screen, a phone, and a tablet all day makes your upper spine round over in order for you to get closer to the information in front of you – getting worse as you get more tired with your work, your boss, and those silly emails the people in the cubicle next door keep sending you.
Mobilising your upper back is the first step to un-do your desk-jockey posture. This thoracic mobility exercise should be a staple for you daily. To execute it correctly, keep your hips pinned down to the floor and seek to extend over the roller (or a chair backing) through your upper spine vertebrae at each segment along the foam roller. Extend back, curl up, roll up a little and repeat until you do your entire upper spine.
2) Straddle Stretch + Forward Lean:
Keeping your legs in a narrow and closed stance in a chair tightens up your inner thighs (adductor muscles) and restricts the mobility of your hips over time. Sitting with your knees at 90 degrees also shortens your hamstrings. This straddle stretch is a double-whammy for both of these areas – simply straighten your legs on the floor, spread them as wide as possible, and lean forward with a flat back to feel the stretch in the aforementioned tight areas.
3) Forward Lunge Stretch:
Having your hips flexed and jammed up at 90 degrees in a chair is one of the biggest causes of lower back pain – which is highly prevalent for people who sit all day (coincidence?). Not only do tight hip flexor muscle cause problems at the hips and back, they also cause trouble down chain at the knees and hamstrings. This kneeling hip flexor stretch is an absolute MUST if you sit at all during your day.
To do this stretch, get into a forward lunge position and make sure you have something soft under your knee. From this position, push your hips forward until you feel a stretch in the front of your hips and even down the thigh of the trailing leg. Be sure to keep your shoulders directly above your hips the entire stretch.
4) Neck Back + Down Stretch:
Looking at screens and devices all day long is one of the major causes of migraines, headaches, and a plethora of problems surrounding the neck and shoulders. This stretch helps to undo that forward head posture and stretches out the neck flexor muscles that are constantly shortened in these bad postural positions.
Simply lay at the end of a bed or bench with your shoulders at the edge, then proceed to gently let your neck hangover the edge. Gravity will take care of the rest and you will feel an incredibly good stretch in the front of your neck. Make sure to be slow coming in and out of this stretch.
5) German Hang Stretch:
Having your arms in front of you all day typing at a keyboard or driving in a car can cause a lot of tightness in the front of your shoulders. The main muscle that is affected in the process is your biceps – which crosses both the elbow AND shoulder joint. Your biceps help you raise your arms in front of your body as well as flex your elbow joint (and guns 😉). In fact, it’s believed that over 75% of the population has bicep tendonitis due to the constant shortening and tightening of this area.
The German Hang stretch is one of the best (if not the best) stretches for remedying this issue for good! To execute this stretch, interlock your fingers together behind you and raise your straight arms behind you onto an elevated surface (look to increase this over time). You should feel a big stretch through the front of your shoulders, arms, and even forearms and elbows. As you relax into the stretch, scoot your hips further forward until you feel the stretch increase more.
6) Doorway Chest Stretch:
Tight pecs are not just caused by too many push-ups and bench presses in the gym. The rounded forward shoulders of the typical desk worker is a massive contributor to tightness in this muscle group. Tight pecs are the direct cause of many shoulder aches and pains, and the indirect cause of many other problems in the upper body.
This stretch is great for releasing this area – simply put your arms up in a ‘Y’ position on a doorway, and gently lean your body weight forwards to stretch and open up your chest and shoulders. Place one foot forward if leaning in with both feet behind your shoulders is too intense.
The 15min Desk Jockey Stretching Routine:
There you have it – a quick and highly effective routine for unravelling your tightest and most precarious postural positions. Do this routine daily (even more frequently the better) and you will begin to feel better, function better, and look better!
…In fact, the next time someone asks you what you do, they can immediately not assume you have a desk job and that you’re rotting away in a chair somewhere each day.
Getting a lot of pains and injuries to your body even though you don’t use it that much?
Are you getting hurt doing exercises that used to be fine but nothing about your daily activity has changed?
Chances are that you have tightened your body over time simply by sitting. If you’re serious about getting some help and getting your body back to an acceptable place of functionality and pain, then reach out to one of our expert coaches today.
Get clarity around where you’re going wrong, get a routine to fix it, and start moving and feeling free again.
Or you can choose to remain inflexible, rigid, and ultimately frustrated with your lack of functionality – the choice is all yours.
To get in touch with us and fast-track your flexibility, body, and health, simply fill in your details below and one of our expert coaches will get in touch with you about your specific problems and how might to best solve them.