Do you experience back or neck pain after sitting in class or at your desk all day? Chances are you said yes because let’s be real, if you’re a student or have a job that involves sitting for extended periods of time, you’ve probably experienced this at one point or another. I’m going to go over 5 stretches that you can do while sitting at or right beside your desk with no equipment that will hopefully bring you some relief!
This stretch will help if your neck is feeling stiff or sore. To do this stretch, begin sitting upright and ensure your back isn’t touching the back of your chair. Inhale and exhale while dropping your right ear to your right shoulder, without lifting your shoulder to your ear. If you want a deeper stretch, you can use your right hand to gently pull your neck down closer to your shoulder. Hold this for a few breaths until you feel a release and then switch to the left side. Repeat this five times on each side.
Open Chest Stretch
This stretch will open your chest and release tightness throughout your middle back. To begin, sit at the edge of your seat and reach your arms behind you, interlacing your fingers with your palms facing your back. Inhale and exhale while lifting your chest and relaxing your shoulders. Hold this for a few breaths and then relax. Repeat three to five times.
Shoulder rolls will help release tension in your upper back and shoulders. To do this movement, sit upright and inhale as you lift your shoulders to your ears. As you exhale, roll your shoulders back. Repeat this three to five times.
Hip 90/90 Stretch
For these next 2 stretches, you’ll need to find some room on the floor beside your desk. The hip 90/90 stretch helps increase mobility in your hips, which in turn reduces pain. To do this stretch, place one leg to place behind you, bending at the knee at a 90-degree angle and the other in front of you in the same position. Reach forward and place your hand on the floor. As you lean in and push away, you should feel a stretch in the side of your lower back. The more you lean forward, the deeper the stretch you will feel. Hold this for a few breaths until you feel it release and then switch sides. Repeat three to five times each side.
Hip Flexor Stretch
For the hip flexor stretch you will begin standing in a lunge position. Brace your core and lean forward until you feel a stretch in your hip flexors. If you want to feel more of a stretch, you can place your hands behind your head and tilt away from the side your knee is down on. Hold this for a few breaths and then release. Switch sides and then repeat three to five times.