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3 Exercises That Will Improve the Life of the Deskbound

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In your average work day, do any of these scenarios sound familiar?

  • Fidgeting in your office chair to find a comfortable position.
  • Propping something behind your low back to get relief.
  • Rubbing your neck and shoulders to ease tension, while slumping over your desk.
  • Feeling like you have a white-hot poker stabbing you in the shoulder blade.
  • Feeling like it’s hard to stand up straight for a few minutes after getting up from your desk.

All of these symptoms are your body’s way of crying out for movement. They are symptoms suffered by many of us who are deskbound.

To answer your body’s cries for help, try this powerful sequence of exercises to realign your body and reintroduce movement. These exercises are quick, effective, and won’t bust your work deadlines.

Sitting in Extension

Your spine should be in the shape of a letter “S.” When you sit, your pelvis rolls back into flexion, which causes your spine to round and make a letter that looks more a “C.” The purpose of this exercise is to retrain the pelvis to sit properly to support the spine in its proper position.

Instructions:

  1. Sit in the middle of a chair seat with your feet pointed straight ahead and four to six inches apart.
  2. Let your arms hang down at your sides.
  3. Roll your hips forward to create an arch in your low back and sit up tall. Use your pelvis (the bony structure that you feel when you place your hands on your hips) to create the arch, don’t lift your chest to create the arch in your low back.
  4. Keep your belly relaxed and maintain the arch in your low back the whole time.
  5. Keep your knees in line with your hips. Do not let your knees fall apart or collapse together.
  6. Hold for 1 minute.

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Standing Gluteal Contractions

When you sit for thirty minutes or more, your butt muscles go to sleep. But the jobs the butt muscles perform are vital – supporting your low back in an upright position, propelling you forward when walking and running, and supporting your body in pretty much every movement and task performed while standing. This exercise will help “wake” your muscles back up and get you moving properly.

Instructions:

  1. Kick off your shoes and stand with your feet pointed straight and hip width apart.
  2. Squeeze and release your butt muscles.
  3. If you are having a hard time getting your butt to contract, point your feet outward at 45 degrees for the first set in order to help the muscles activate, then straighten your feet for subsequent sets.
  4. Keep your stomach and thigh muscles relaxed.
  5. Repeat for 3 sets of 20 reps.

Sitting Elbow Curls

Driving a car to work, sitting, working at a computer, and looking down at electronic devices such as phones or tablets are all behaviors that can lead slumped posture. This exercise activates the muscles between your shoulder blades and along your spine to counteract the slumped posture and bring your upper body back into alignment.

Instructions:

  1. Sit in the middle of a chair with your feet pointed straight ahead and four to six inches apart.
  2. Roll your hips forward to create an arch in your low back and sit up tall. (Use your pelvis to create the arch, don’t lift your chest to create the arch in your low back.)
  3. Place your knuckles against your temples with your thumbs pointing down to your shoulders – bend your fingers at the second knuckles, placing your fingertips into the pad of each hand with your thumbs pointed straight down.
  4. Make sure the back of your hand is straight, not formed into a fist.
  5. Pull your elbows backward to be straight out from your shoulders in line with your ears.
  6. Then bring your elbows forward to touch them together in front of your face. (Keep your elbows at shoulder level. Don’t let them drop down.)
  7. Keep your elbows high and fingers tight.
  8. Keep your belly relaxed and maintain the arch in your low back the whole time.
  9. Repeat for 3 sets of 10 reps.

Integrate all these exercises into your schedule by doing them at least once a day. You can also do them any time your body needs an energy pick-me-up. They won’t take long, and your body and your mind will feel so much better for your efforts.

Maryann Berry
At the age of 27, Maryann Berry suffered from chronic hip pain that left her in a wheelchair, even after consulting with over twenty healthcare professionals and undergoing invasive hip surgery. Today, Maryann is fully recovered and has been wheelchair free for years.

Maryann, who is currently certified as a Posture Alignment Specialist, created Realign as a way to empower others to take responsibility for their own health the same way she did. Maryann works with people one-on-one both digitally and in-person at her studio in San Diego, California.

To learn more about Maryann's programs, visit Realign Therapy. Maryann is also the founder of The Posture Workout a revolutionary online form of Posture Alignment Therapy that makes this method easily accessible for everyone.

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