Complete 1 rounds of each of the circuits below. (If you have time or feel really tight, do two rounds of the second circuit.)
8-12 reps each side Wrist, Forearm and Bicep Stretch
5-10 reps each side Standing Chest Stretch
5-10 reps each side 3-Way Neck Stretch
5-10 reps each side Standing Quad Stretch and Reach
5-10 reps each side Standing Hamstring Stretch and Reach
30 seconds – 1 minute Crescent Hold
30 seconds – 1 minute Scapular Hold
30 seconds – 1 minute Warrior III Hold
There is no cool down for this workout. It is basically just meant to stretch out all the muscles that are tight from you sitting hunched over a computer desk all day.
You can even do this workout at work, if you have the space and are dressed in clothes that allow you to move a little.
Also, if you want to save time, you can do the Kneeling Bridge instead of the quad stretch and the chest stretch.
Wrist, Forearm and Bicep Stretch – Stretch one arm straight out in front of you. Point your finger tips down toward the ground. You can do one stretch with your palm facing away and one with your palm facing toward you. Take the other hand and press down on the fingertips, pushing them back toward your body As you press down, you should straighten your arm more so you feel a stretch down your forearm and up into your bicep.
Standing Chest Stretch – Using a door or wall, place one hand back on the wall or doorway and turn away from the hand on the wall or door. You should feel a nice stretch on that side of your chest.
3-Way Neck Stretch – Reach one hand behind your back and then grab that wrist with the other hand. Pull the arm behind your back toward the opposite side. Then lean your head to the side you are pulling to. Do not tense your shoulders and bring them up toward you ears. Relax into the stretch. Then change the direction of your gaze. Look up and hold for a second or two. Then look straight ahead. And then look down. Move your chin as you look and not just your eyes. Changing the direction of where you look, will change exactly which muscles in your necks and upper back that you stretch.
Standing Quad Stretch and Reach – Standing on the right foot, grab the left ankle with the left hand. Pull the left heel in to your butt while keeping the leg close to the standing leg and the knee pointing toward the ground. As you stretch the quad, reach the right hand up and back toward the ceiling. You should feel a nice stretch not only down your quad but also across your entire body. This will even open up your chest and lat after sitting all day at a computer. Hold for 1-2 seconds and then step forward and do the stretch on the other side.
Standing Hamstring Stretch and Reach – Standing, cross your left leg over your right leg. Bring the left foot over and across until the big toe is even with the big toe of the right foot. You want your feet even so that your front leg (the left leg) is pressing the back leg (right leg) straight during the stretch. Clasp your hands together and reach up overhead. Get a nice big stretch. Then bend forward, reaching the hands down to the ground. Hold for 1-2 seconds. Then relax and step forward to repeat on the other side. If your hips/glutes are tight, you can also reach toward the instep of the back foot to stretch your IT Band.
Crescent Hold – Step one foot forward into a lunge position. Bend the front knee and keep the back leg out straight behind you, driving your back heel down toward the ground. Your front heel will be down while your back heel will be up. Lift your hands up off the ground and reach them back and overhead as you stay in a low lunge. Keep your front heel down as you sit back into the lunge. As you hold the lunge, your back heel will stay up and the back leg will stay straight. Feel a nice stretch down the hip and quad of the back leg. Hold then switch to the other side.
Scapular Hold – Stand with your back to the wall. Step a couple of inches away and bend your arms to 90 degrees. Keep your elbows in by your sides and drive them back toward the wall. Lean onto your elbows on the wall. Do not let your upper arms or back touch the wall. Relax your head back. Pinch your shoulder blades down and back while keeping your core tight as you lean into the wall. You should feel this move low between your shoulder blades. To advance the move, move your feet a bit further from the wall.
Warrior III Hold – Balance on one leg with the knee slightly bent. Hinge over lifting your back leg toward the wall behind you. Lean your torso over, keeping your back flat and your core tight. Reach your hands overhead in front of you. Hold in this position. Do not let your back round or your other foot touch down. Keep your arms in line with your body. You want a nice straight line from the bottom of your lifted heel to the end of your finger tips. Make sure you do not lock the standing leg out as you hold. Beginners may need to reach back toward their foot instead of out in front of them. Using a wall can also help beginners. Stand with a wall behind you and when you hinge over have the lifted foot lightly touch the wall to help you balance.