Posted on November 18, 2020 by Kate Halsall
There’s no denying it, lockdown has had a massive effect on the way that the majority of people work – even the personal trainers here at motive8! The time that was saved on the daily commute, is now spent sat at the computer. Technology such as Teams and Zoom means endless back to back meetings or online sessions.The toll all this sitting takes on a persons body is massive – even if if doesn’t feel like it is. And whilst we may dabble with online workouts or getting outside for a walk or a run in an effort to move more and sit less; we probably neglect simply moving for 1-2 minutes to break up long periods of sitting. So to help, here are 3 movements that you should be doing, regardless of where you are working from!
Sit to Stand
Did you know that this is actually a leg strength and endurance test in older adults? So why not give it a go yourself! Now I appreciate that this will feel more like exercise than simply “a movement”, but we sit and stand everyday – and I would challenge you to consider whether you actually use all the muscles you should be to do it. You simply need a chair without arms (and without wheels!) and a stopwatch. Sit in the middle of the chair with your back straight, abs engaged and arms crossed across the chest. Your feet should be shoulder width apart and slightly behind the angle of the knees. How many times can you sit and stand in 30 seconds without using your arms? Too easy? Try this on a single leg instead. Repeat daily.
Think of this as having the biggest yawn in your life! And to onlookers, that’s exactly how it will look! This simple movement is not only great for shoulder stability, but it also encourages you to stand up tall; stretches out the chest and, encourages movement in those shoulders and upper back. With your hands at your sides, give yourself a thumbs up with both hands (in appreciation of the fact you’re doing this for yourself!). Slowly lift the arms in a Y shape above the head so that your thumbs are pointing behind you. Pause for a couple of seconds and then control the arms down. I would recommend doing at least 3 of these every couple of hours.
Seated Cat Cow
Is there any other kind of movement that you can do seated which helps to increase the flexibility in the neck, shoulders and the spine whilst stretching muscles in the hips, back, chest and abs? It’s like an exaggerated slump combined with a massive stretch! Sit in the middle of your chair with your hands on your thighs. Now slouch – and, I mean go for it. Tuck your head into your chest, round your shoulders, pull your abdominals to the spine rounding your back and tucking your tailbone under. Hold for a couple of seconds and then slowly reverse the move. Pushing your tummy forward, arching your back, lifting the tailbone, bringing the chest out and lastly looking up at the ceiling. Do this a couple of times and enjoy how good it feels!
And there you have it, my 3 go to movements that you should be doing regardless of how or where you work. Do yourself a favour and give them a go. You won’t regret it. Let me know how you feel after a week of doing them!