We clearly hold our bodies in some interesting positions at the workplace…and consequently throw our bodies waaaay out of structural balance. It’s no wonder we have tight backs, hips, shoulders, etc.
I believe that our bodies will balance out on it’s own. But modern day desk sitting is NOT natural. Therefore, we must move in particular ways to remedy this.
Here are some movements to do while sitting at the desk. I’d do these 3 or 4 times throughout an 8 hour shift:
- 25 reps Seated Tibialis Raise (shoes off if possible) — By staying seated, this exercise becomes easier than standing. Start with your feet flat on the floor, then lift your toes to the sky keeping your heels down. Aim for a 45 degree angle with the foot. Hold in the top position for 1 second . This works the front of the shin, and the tibialis muscle is the ‘decelerator’ muscle of the legs. If weak here, the rest of the body takes more impact than it should.
- 25 reps Seated Calf Raise (shoes off for this too!) — Bring your feet back a little bit under your chair so that there’s a slight stretch on the heel. Then simply stand up on the toes while staying seated. This focuses on the soleus (one of the calf muscles), which is connected to the achilles tendon. Often overlooked, this is a great way to strengthen that tendon, which has the strongest pull of any in the body. Also huge with this movement is strengthening the feet which we neglect. By focusing on going up on that big toe, we do wonderful things for those dogs that carry us around all day.
- 15 reps Seated Cat Cow — Similar to the yoga movement performed on your hands and knees, but stay seated in the chair. Start by simply hunching forward slowly, curling your back and getting to that posture that looks poor. It helps to exhale while moving into this. Roll the shoulders forward when going here. Then, roll the shoulders back and slowly move that stretched and arched position. Sit up tall. Chest out, and proud as hell! Inhale during this movement. Smile and hold for a second. Repeat 14 more times!
- 20 reps External Rotations — Still seated at the desk and pretending to work…lift elbows out so that upper arms are parallel to the floor. Forearms are hanging directly down toward the floor with palms facing behind you. Keeping those upper arms stable and parallel to floor, roll the shoulders back so that fingers point in front of you and eventually all the way so that fingers are pointed to ceiling. Then roll shoulders and arms back to original position. Repeat 19 more times! This does incredible things for reversing out shoulder pain (ROSP), and creates that ‘opening up’ effect of the upper body. This paired with the Cat Cow can help to balance out our poor posture from the desk sitting all day.