• The Poise Fam-

2 Minutes To Keep You Energized At Your Desk

WHAT

6 movements (20 seconds each) to reduce sitting-related pain


WHERE

Your desk if you have some privacy. If not, a stairwell, bathroom, break room or anywhere else you have a little room (can you outstretch your arms?), and less of a chance of being interrupted.


WHEN

Figure out 1-3 times during the day where you can set an alarm on your phone to remind you when to start these. Make sure it is a 2-minute time you know you will not be interrupted. Change the alarm time day-to-day if necessary.


WHY

Recent studies have linked sitting for long periods of time with a number of health issues, including obesity, increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormally high cholesterol levels. Too much sitting also seems to increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer. On the other hand, resting is necessary in order for our bodies to repair and recover. So WTF? Like anything, the key is finding balance. Here at Poise, we like to balance things by placing them into neat little intervals, which not only allow us to address a variety of imbalances, but to also utilize their synergy as a whole.


HOW


Winner’s Stretch


1. Stand with your feet shoulder width

2. Belly button drawn in & tailbone tucked

3. Raise arms up and outward at a 45-degree angle (relative to the head)

4. Lift chin slightly so you are looking about a foot above your eye-line

5. Hold for about 20 seconds, or about 3-5 long/full breaths


CAUTION: Lower arms if you ever feel any sharp pain, move to next exercise if pain is too sharp.


Windmill



1. Stand with your feet shoulder width and your arms outstretched at shoulder-level

2. Fold at the waist and bring your opposite hand to your opposite foot, while rotating the other hand to the ceiling

3.After a moment return to your starting position then rotate to the opposite foot

4. Repeat for 20-seconds, or about 5-10 reps on each side


CAUTION: While this is an active stretch, don’t make it too active. All motions should be slow and controlled to avoid strained muscles.


Saggital Arm Circles



1. Stand with your feet hip width and palms facing you

2. Engage your core (see step 2 of Winner’s Stretch)

3. Simultaneously raise one arm to the front of your body and the other to the back, all while keeping both arms as straight as possible (without straining)

4. Hold this position for a second (front hand: thumb up, back hand: thumb down)

5. Then switch positions

6. Repeat for 20-seconds, or about 5-10 reps on each side


CAUTION: Do not force your arms too much higher than they can naturally go. This can cause the shoulders to rise and tightness to form in the neck.


Frontal Arm Circles



1. Stand with your feet hip width, fingers relaxed and palms facing forward

2. Engage your core (see step 2 of Winner’s Stretch)

3. Simultaneously raise both arms to the side, keeping your palms facing forward and both arms as straight as possible (without straining)

4. Lift arms until they are parallel (palms still facing forward), then release

5. Repeat for 20-seconds, or about 5-10 reps on each side


CAUTION: If you have any rotator cuff-related injuries it may be best to simply lift your arms shoulder height, instead of taking them all the way over your head. Progression can be made as the body adapts to the movement.


Active Serratus Stretch



1. Stand with your feet a few inches wider than shoulder width

2. Raise one arm, then bring that palm to your upper back

3. Use your opposite hand to apply leverage to the elbow

4. While maintaining posture, gently lift and pull the elbow towards the opposite side

5. Hold for a full inhale and exhale, then switch sides

6. Repeat for 20-seconds, or about 5-10 reps on each side


CAUTION: If your muscles are too tight to bring your palm to your upper back, modify the exercise by attempting the hold, then leaning your lifted elbow against a wall. Call this the prequel to the active stretch.


Doorway Stretch



1. Find a doorway or corner that you can lean against

2. Lift arms to 90 degree angle, so your palms are forward and your forearms are perpendicular to the ground

3. Place forearms against the frame of the door or against the wall if using a corner, and gently lean forward, stretching your chest and front shoulder

4. Hold for 20 seconds, or about 3-5 long/full breaths


CAUTION: Do not force the stretch forward; this can cause the neck to protrude forward and additional muscle strains. Allow the weight of your body to slowly move forward, allowing for your chest muscles to comfortably stretch as they relax


Modifications


If you feel any sharp (bad) pain during any of these, stop and reset your form. If you continue to feel the pain the second attempt, stop exercise and attempt the next day. If the same thing happens the next day, eliminate the said exercise all together and ask a Poise Trainer (or search Google) for a modification. These are not all, but some of the many stretches you can do throughout your workday to keep you productive and pain-free.


Be on the lookout for Desk Stretches Part 2 coming soon!


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