It’s happening nationwide. Businesses are sending their employees to work from home. Universities are transitioning to an online-only platform for the remainder of the semester. Other institutions and organizations are canceling events all over the country.
Chances are good that you may find yourself working from home too over the coming weeks, and many of you for the first time. With that reality comes some perks, like working in your pajamas. However, it comes with a price.
The increased comfort-level means you’ll be more sedentary than you might otherwise be by going into the office. Longer periods of sitting means less activity, and more potential for aches and pains due to this inactivity.
Below you’ll find a brief, five-minute movement routine you can complete throughout the day to protect against these discomforts. It contains five exercises and is meant to be completed every 60-90 minutes throughout the workday.
Exercise 1: Head Circles
- Slowly rotate your head in circles to help stretch the muscles of the neck. Complete five slow rotations in both directions. (Clockwise and counter-clockwise.)
Exercise 2: Shoulder Reach & Scoop
- Hold your hands in front of you as if trying to explain to someone what 12-inches looks like.
- Raise both arms overhead.
- From the top, rotate your hands outward and scoop the air down toward your sides. (Imagine performing a breaststroke in the pool.)
- From your sides reverse the motion, scooping and lifting back above your head, and then lower your arms back in front of you.
- Perform 5 of these reach & scoops.
Exercise 3: Windmills
- With feet shoulder-width apart, point both toes to your right at a 45-degree angle.
- Hold both arms straight out to either side.
- Bend to your side to touch your right fingertips to your right toes. Repeat 5 times.
- Switch sides, pointing both feet 45-degrees to the left. Complete 5 bends on the left side.
*If you currently suffer from lower back pain or have any disc issues, skip the windmills and go straight to the cat-camels.
Exercise 4: Cat-Camel
- Start on all fours on the ground.
- Round your back toward the ceiling, tucking your hips underneath. (Like a cat hissing.)
- Slowly reverse the direction, arching your back and sticking your butt out.
- You may feel your back crack, this is normal.
- Perform 5 cycles.
Exercise 5: Dynamic Hip Mobility
- Start in a push-up position.
- Bring your right foot forward on the ground next to your right hand. (You should aim to put your foot flat on the ground.)
- Lift your right hand and rotate your torso, reaching your right hand toward the ceiling.
- Return your hand to the floor, and your foot back to push-up position.
- Repeat this sequence on the left side.
- Perform this drill 5 times on each side.
That’s it! Set an alarm to remind yourself to get up from your desk to perform this sequence of movements every 60-90 minutes to avoid tightness, aches, or muscle pains from inactivity. Performing this routine will also get your blood flowing, and can boost creativity and performance levels too!
*This information is for education purposes. Consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. Please follow all current guidelines from the CDC and other healthcare professionals in your area regarding COVID-19.
In an effort to help you stay active I’m providing free home workouts below. If you become inhibited from visiting your gym to complete normal workouts, then click either link below to get a free full-body routine to complete right at home.
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