Today, I will share six postural exercises for desk workers. If you work in the office or you sit a lot, then make sure to check out the exercises below.
I was flipping through my phone gallery when I found this very funny photo I took in Vancouver earlier this month. Check it out:
I was wondering if one could rent this place on Airbnb. I never checked it out, but it would be a funny concept.
CLICK HERE to watch the YouTube video.
I got Jenna to demonstrate the exercises.
#1 – Bent-over Row
Start in a standing position, and bend the knees and hips at a 45-degree angle with your head in line with the rest of the body. Tighten the abdominal area, use weights (dumbbells or kettlebells), and go through the rowing movement, bringing the elbows past the shoulder and then back to the start.
With this exercise, we are working on improving posture, especially if you are an office worker. The rowing movement works on the midback area, which helps counteract the rounded shoulder posture.
Perform one set of 10 reps in a smooth, controlled movement with a quick stop at the start and end positions. You should feel the muscles in the midback and shoulder areas working.
#2 – Tubing Row
Sit nice and upright on the floor with your legs straight. Use resistive tubing to do a rowing exercise.
We are working on the midback area and counteracting the rounded shoulders in this exercise.
Perform one set of 10 reps in a smooth, controlled movement with a good stop of 2 seconds at the end position with a medium intensity.
#3 – Superman’s Exercise
Lie on your stomach with your arms overhead and lift one arm and the opposite leg. Then, do alternate lifting back and forth.
In this exercise, we are working on the muscles in the shoulder blades, glutes, and hamstrings. When lifting the arm, we stretch out the midback area and the front of the shoulder. This reverses the office posture. Often, office workers have poor activation in their glutes and hamstrings, so we are dynamically stretching the hip flexors.
Perform one set of 10 reps, so five on each side, in a smooth, controlled movement with a good stop at the top for 1 to 2 seconds. You should feel the muscles working around the glutes, hamstrings, and shoulder blade area.
#4 – Seated Chest Fly
Bring the weights out in front and then out to the side in a cross-sitting position, keeping your elbows at 90 degrees.
Seated Chest Fly
Another way of making this exercise more challenging is to modify it by sitting toward the front of the chair, then leaning back, feet flat, and knees bent. Bring the weights out in front and then out to tand tilted back, working the abdominal area but also working the midback area ― targeting the core, shoulders, and in between the shoulder blades.
#5 – Behind-the-Back Finger Stretch
In a standing position, reach behind the back, grab the fingers and stretch the arm, the lower shoulder, and the arm above the shoulder.
Modified stretch: If you are not that flexible, you can modify the stretch by using a towel, reaching to whatever level you can behind your back, and then you can either pull up with the top hand to stretch out the bottom shoulder or you can pull down with the bottom hand and stretch the top shoulder. Do the same to the other side as well.
Behind-the-Back Finger Stretch
Perform one set of 2 reps, alternating back and forth with a 10 to 15-second hold. You should feel a light stretch in the top shoulder and bottom shoulder.
#6 – Behind-the-Back Neck Stretch
In a standing position, interlace the fingers behind your back. Lift the arms, stretching out the front of the shoulder, and then drop the head to the side and then to the other side.
Behind-the-Back Neck Stretch
In this exercise, you strengthen the midback area and stretch out the front of the shoulder and neck.
Perform one set of 3 reps on each side, alternating back and forth with a hold of about 5 seconds. Intensity should be light.
Give those six exercises a go if you have a desk job and want to correct your posture.
Rick Kaselj, MS
If you want to learn how to manage neck discomfort and prevent future flare-ups, click here to check out the Neck Pain Solved program!