Spending your day at a desk hunched over a computer causes your upper body to round forward, shoulders, neck and upper back tighten along with your lower back and hamstrings.
A few simple Pilates exercises can help you lengthen your spine and stretch out these tight areas. Pilates is an innovative system of non-impact mind-body exercise evolved from the original principles of Joseph Pilates. Pilates exercises are performed on a Mat or on specialized equipment. Pilates transforms the way your body performs and feels by building strength without bulk. Muscles are simultaneously strengthened and lengthened, thus they become longer and leaner acquiring optimal strength and flexibility. The result is a sleek, toned body that is upright, balanced and free of old tensions.
Breathing Principle – connect with your Core
Chin to chest:
Sit or stand while putting as much space as possible between your ears and shoulders. Then gently nod your chin down towards your chest as if you are trying to hold an orange there. Do not allow the shoulders or upper back to curl forward. You should feel a stretch down your neck and spine. Repeat 3-4x
Sit looking straight ahead. Tilt your right ear toward your right shoulder keeping the left shoulder from creeping up. Once you’ve stretched your head as far to the right as you can, place your right hand just above your left ear and apply a little bit of pressure, as if you are pulling your right ear even closer to that right shoulder. Feel the tension melt out of that left shoulder. Repeat on the other side.
Sitting tall, core engaged and shoulders down, slowly rotate the chin to the right, hold for a second. Return to start then slowly rotate to the left. Repeat for a total of 8 to each side.
Sitting tall, engage the core and shrug your shoulders up toward your ears then release back down. Repeat for a total of 8.
Shoulder Circles Forward and Back:
Sitting in a tall upright position, engaging your core. Circle the shoulders forward for 8 repetitions. Reverse the circles the other way for 8 more repetitions. The slower you go, the more tension you’ll release
Elbows in back pocket:
Sitting tall, lift the hands over the elbows, exhale as you pull your elbows down and back toward your back pocket. Keep the shoulder blades down. Inhale back to start. Repeat for a total of 8.
Shake out the arms.
We’ll be sending out additional exercises you can do at your desk over the next couple of months. Be sure to check back frequently!