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7-minute mobility routine to get you moving on your lunch break

7-minute mobility routine to get you moving on your lunch break

Written by Jessica Mason | 20th November 2020

Whether you are in the office or stuck at home in your makeshift office, we all seem to be spending more and more time trapped at our desks, and less time moving. And our bodies are feeling it! We’ve got stiff necks, sore backs, and aching hips. It’s annoying, and distracting, and just overall uncomfortable. Luckily there is an easy solution… Move!

I know that sometimes work gets on top of you, with meetings and phone calls and emails, and before you know it you’ve been sitting at your desk for 4 hours without moving an inch! It happens to all of us. But it is important to that we try and break this habit and move around as often as possible. So here is a quick 7-minute routine you can try on your lunch break, or as a mid-afternoon work break, to help relieve and avoid that aching and stiffness after a long day at the desk. And as an added bonus, getting your blood flowing can help make you feel more energised and increase your productivity so you may not need to spend as long at the desk anyway.

1. Neck mobility exercises x 5 each way (~30 seconds)

Gently nod your head up and down, turn it side to side, and lean it left to right 10 times each way. Feel your neck start to loosen and get a slight stretch at the end of each movement.

1 Neck mobility exercises

2. Shoulder circles x 10 forward, 10 backward (~30 seconds)

Place your hands on your shoulders (of the same side) and then draw big circles in the air with your elbows, 10 times forward and 10 times backward. You should feel your shoulders feeling a bit more mobile.

2 Shoulder circles

3. Upper back stretch x 5 (~30 seconds)

Interlock your fingers and stretch your hands forward while rounding your upper back. Slowly lift your hands up towards the ceiling, keeping your eyes on your hands, feeling your upper back straightening out and even slightly arching if comfortable for you. Unlock your fingers and drop your arms out to either side, coming back to your normal sitting position. Repeat this movement 5 times. Try to make sure your low back is not arching, and the movement is coming from the upper back instead.

3 Upper back stretch

4. Seated twist x 5 each side (~30 seconds)

Sit up as straight as you can. Interlock your fingers and place your hands behind your head. Slowly twist from one side to the other, keeping yourself sitting up tall. Do 5 each way.

4 Seated twist

5. Seated side-bend stretch x 5 each side (~30 seconds)

Gently place one hand on the side of your chair, and reach the other hand up to the ceiling. Stretch that arm up and over, side-bending through your back and feeling a stretch down the side of your body. Hold briefly and move side to side 5 times.

5 Seated sidebend stretch

6. Forearm stretches x 30 seconds each (~1.5 minutes)

Reach one arm forward with your palm facing down. Point your fingers to the floor and lightly press on the back of your hand with the other. You should feel a stretch through the top of your forearm. Hold for 30 seconds on each side.

Then turn both your palms up to the ceiling. Tuck your hands against the edge of your desk, pointing fingers back down to the floor and leaning your wrists forward. You should now feel a stretch through the other side of your forearm.

6 Forearm stretche

7. Piriformis stretch x 30 seconds each side (~1 minute)

Sit on the edge of your chair with your feet flat on the ground. Place one foot up onto the opposite knee and try to bring your lower leg down so it is parallel to the floor (or as close as you can!). You should feel a bit of a stretch in your hip and buttocks. To increase the stretch, gently lean forward over your legs. Hold for 30 seconds and then repeat on the other side.

7 Piriformis stretch

8. Roll down x 10 seconds (~30 seconds)

Time to get up out of your chair! Stand up tall and with a deep breath out slowly tuck your chin to your chest and then roll your body down, reaching towards your toes. Let your upper body hang loose in this position for 10 seconds before rolling all the way back up to standing. You can choose to keep your knees straight or bent. The straighter your legs the more you will feel a stretch in the back of your thighs and calves.

8 Roll down

9. Standing hip flexor stretch x 30 seconds each side (~1 minute)

Stand with one foot forward and one foot back, bending the front knee and trying to keep the back knee straight. Pull up nice and tall through your spine and sink down until you can feel a stretch in the front of your hip. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other leg.

9 Standing hip flexor stretch

10. Squats x 10 (~30 seconds)

Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Start your squat by bending at your hips first, sticking your buttocks out behind you, and then bending your knees to lower down. Go only as low as you feel comfortable before standing back up straight. Repeat 10 times.

10 Squats

If you would like support regarding your exercises, the team at Canterbury Health Hub are here to support you. Book an appointment online today.