Breaking up long hours of sitting with stretching or walking breaks sounds very nice in theory, but putting it into practice is easier said than done. Well, here's a yoga routine that takes you only three minutes to complete. (Plus, you don't even have to leave your desk!)
This yoga routine from DAREBEE suggests a total of six poses that you hold for 30 seconds each. The graphic doesn't provide any further instructions, so here are a couple of my own tips for you to get on the right track:
- Body fold: This is similar to the seated forward bend, except you're sitting in your chair. Bend slightly at the hips, not at your waist. Your aim is to avoid simply hunching over, and try reaching your shoulders forward.
- Stretch up: Reach both hands up toward the ceiling and feel the stretch in your abs, back, and arms.
- Side stretch: When you do this, be cognisant of whether you're leaning too far forward or back. You should feel a nice stretch in your obliques and lats.
- Lotus twist: Place one of your elbows over the crease of the opposite elbow and have your forearms both pointing up and touching. Your arms should be kind of interlocked, allowing you to push against your own arms and feel a stretch in your shoulder blades, deltoids, and triceps. Switch arms after 15 seconds.
- Lift and reach: Raise one knee above waist height and raise the opposite arm to shoulder height. This helps you work your otherwise inactive and tight hip flexors. Switch after 15 seconds.
- Half lotus: A simple stretch for your piriformis. Keep your back straight as you do this, and if you want a deeper stretch, apply a bit of pressure by pushing down gently on your top leg. Switch after 15 seconds.
Make sure you emphasise your breathing while you're in these poses. Altogether these exercises stretch your quads, chest, shoulders, triceps, and many of those muscles that get notoriously wound up from sitting for too long.