Posts Tagged ‘stretches’

Five Wats

Posted: September 14, 2018 in Exercise, Fitness, Health
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In an office environment, most people spend hours in a seated position in front of a computer screen. Repetitive activities, such as typing for long periods of time in a slouched position, may negatively impact posture and mobility, potentially leading to pain. One approach for improving back health and reducing the discomfort associated with repetitive workplace activities is to promote mobility, muscular balance and strength for optimal movement, posture and wellness.

The following five exercises can be easily incorporated into your workday, require little time and target common problems seen in the workplace. Get up and start moving!

Scapular Wall-Slides for Back, Shoulder and Neck Pain

Recommendation: 1-3 sets of 10 repetitions, twice per day

Starting position: Stand with your feet hip-to-shoulder width apart in a quarter squat while pressing your back and head flat against a wall. Attempt to place the arms against (or as close to as possible on) the wall at a 90-degree angle while keeping the back against the wall.

Upward phase:  While maintaining the starting position, actively slide the arms directly up the wall without shrugging.

Downward phase: While maintaining the starting position, actively slide the arms directly down the wall to the arm starting position, without shrugging the shoulders. Tuck your chin while maintaining your head on the wall to prevent shrugging. This movement should be felt in the middle of the back.

Half-kneeling Hip-flexor Stretch

Recommendation: One set of 30 seconds to two minutes on each leg, three times per day

Starting position: Place the left knee down (on a pad) at a 90-degree angle, directly underneath the left hip and shoulder. Step forward with the left foot and position the knee at 90-degree angle. Place the hands on the hips or continue to perform work tasks, such as typing.

Static phase: Actively squeeze the right glutes to create a static contraction and hold it for up to two minutes without arching the lower back.

Release phase: Stop contracting and release. This stretch should be felt in the right hip flexors (the anterior segment of the right leg). Repeat the stretch on the opposite leg

Lacrosse Ball Myofascial Release of the Forearms for Hand, Wrist, and Elbow Pain

Recommendation: 1-2 sets of 30 seconds on each forearm, twice per day

Starting position: While seated, reach one arm in front of you with the palm up. Place a lacrosse ball on the desk underneath the arm, directly below the elbow.

Upward and downward phases: While applying tolerable pressure, slowly roll the ball upward and downward along the forearm extensors in a slow-paced fashion. Make sure to roll out the entire length of the forearm before concentrating on the area(s) that appear to be the most sensitive. Repeat on the other arm.

External Rotation of the Shoulder

Recommendation: 1-3 sets of 10 repetitions, twice per day

Starting position: Stand with feet hip-to-shoulder width apart. Bring the elbows against the sides of the body with the arms at a 90-degree angle.

Concentric phase: Slowly externally rotate both shoulders, while maintaining contact of the elbows with the sides of the body and squeezing the shoulder blades toward each other and slightly down.

Eccentric phase: Return to the starting position with control.

Banded (Seated) Hip Abduction

Recommendation: 1-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions, twice per day

Starting position: While seated upright, place the feet on the floor, hip-width apart, and place a mini band around the knees and the hands on the sides of the chair.

Concentric phase: Push both knees outward (as if you’re trying to break the mini band), while keeping your feet on the floor.

Eccentric phase: Allow the knees to return to the starting position with control, keeping tension on the band the entire time.

Remember, whether you’re in the office or at home, get up and move often! Use these strategies throughout the workday to improve posture and mobility, while decreasing the discomfort associated with sitting.

AUTHOR

Matthew Cain

Contributor

Matthew Cain is an Assistant Professor of Exercise Science at San Diego Miramar College. He is currently working towards his PhD in Exercise Science – Health and Human Performance at Concordia University Chicago. Matthew has a MS in Exercise Science and Sports Management from California Baptist University. Prior to San Diego Miramar College, Matthew was a full-time faculty member at CSUDH in the Department of Kinesiology and an adjunct professor at El Camino College. He has been published in the Strength and Conditioning Journal, International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, and Journal of Canadian Chiropractic Association. He is an ACE Fitness Nutrition Specialist.

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 Anyone who’s ever suffered from sciatic nerve pain knows it’s a real pain in the butt—literally. And If you’re dealing with a flare up, these simple moves can help by targeting one of the most common causes: Piriformis Syndrome. “This happens when the piriformis, a small muscle deep in your hips, becomes tight and compresses the sciatic nerve, often leading to burning pain and numbness on one side of your butt and down the back of your leg,” says Chicago-based physical therapist David Reavy. And it’s not just the piriformis that needs a little TLC: Tight hip flexors compound the problem by making the piriformis muscles work harder, causing it to tighten and pinch the sciatic nerve. “That’s why it’s so important to stretch, stretch, stretch the hips—once you release the piriformis muscle, you take the pressure off the nerve, which can lessen the pain and keep it from coming back. Foam rolling the hip rotator can also help to release some of that tension and minimize pain.”sciatic nerve pain

Start by doing these moves at least 3 times a week. Once you’ve gotten rid of the pain, keep doing the exercises at least once a week to keep it from coming back.Reclined Pigeon With Prep Stretch

 Lie face-down and bend your knees so your heels are right under your knees. Take your hands to the front of your thighs, slide them to the root of the leg where it meets your pelvis, and push the heel of each hand into the bottom of the leg bone. Lift your right leg up and cross over the left. With a small curve in your back, grab the back of your thighs and push your legs into your hands, away from your face. Hold for several deep breaths and then repeat on the other side.

Reclining Cow’s Face Pose

 Lie face-up and cross your left leg over your right. Raise both legs off the floor, flex both feet, and reach up for the outer ankles, hugging your legs toward your belly. Spread your toes, keep your feet flexed, and hold your legs in for several breaths. Slowly switch to the other side and repeat.

Low Lunge

Start in a runner’s lunge, right leg forward with knee over ankle and left knee on ground with top of your foot flat on the mat. Slowly lift torso and rest hands lightly on right thigh. Lean hips forward slightly, keeping right knee behind toes, and feel the stretch in the left hip flexor. Hold here, or for a deeper stretch, raise arms overhead, biceps by ears. Hold for at least 30 seconds, then repeat on opposite side.

Pigeon

Start in a runner’s lunge with right leg forward, right knee over right ankle and back leg straight. Walk right foot over toward left hand, then drop right shin and thigh to the floor, making sure to keep right knee in line with right hip. Allow left leg to rest on the floor with top of left foot facing down. Take a moment to square your hips to the front of the room. Hold here, or hinge at hips and lower torso toward floor, allowing head to rest on forearms. Hold for at least 30 seconds, then repeat on opposite side. You want to feel a moderate stretch in the outside of the right thigh, but if this pose hurts your knees or feels too uncomfortable, stick with thread the needle.

Frog Pose

If most inner-thigh openers feel too easy (and your ankles and knees are injury-free), try Frog Pose. Get down on all fours, with palms on the floor and your knees on blankets or a mat (roll your mat lengthwise, like a tortilla, and place it under your knees for more comfort). Slowly widen your knees until you feel a comfortable stretch in your inner thighs, keeping the inside of each calf and foot in contact with the floor.  Make sure to keep your ankles in line with your knees. Lower down to your forearms. Stay here for at least 30 seconds.

Foam Roll for Hip Rotator

Sit on the foam roller with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Lean your torso back and place right hand on the floor, shifting weight into right hip and crossing right ankle over left thigh. Place your left hand on your left thigh. Use your supporting foot and hand to roll from the bottom of the glutes to the pelvic bone. Continue rolling back and forth for 30 to 60 seconds.

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http://www.prevention.com/fitness/yoga/stretches-sciatic-nerve-pain?sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiky8zKtOPPAhXIyyYKHU39B8wQ9QEIDjAA