Posture at your desk Beginner Exercises

Important Note:

These exercises were designed as a place to start to address your symptoms. These exercises should not be performed or continued if they cause or increase your pain in any way. Using these exercises for self-management of your symptoms does not replace the value of being assessed by a Health Professional.

1. Mid back rotation stretch

Start on all fours and push your hips back so your buttocks rest on your heels. You may want to have your knees apart to be more comfortable. If it is sore on the knees, roll up a small towel and place behind your knees. Reach forward with your hands and hold the stretch for 3 deep breaths. Next, reach to one side with both hands and hold the stretch for 3 deep breaths. Then, reach to the other side and hold the stretch for another 3 deep breaths.

2. Cat and dog stretch

Start on all fours with back straight, hands under the shoulders and knees under hips. To do the dog stretch, slowly exhale and let the belly fall toward the floor to arch the back and extend the head in the same time. To do the cat stretch, slowly inhale, round the back and tuck the chin to the chest. Alternate between these two positions slowly. x10 in each direction x1-2 times per day.

3. Arm openers Bow and Arrow

Lie on your side with your hips and knees flexed, head supported with a pillow and arms extended in front of you with your hands together. Imagine drawing a bow, by sliding your top hand along your bottom arm, moving towards your body. Allow the elbow to bend. Then slowly straighten out that top arm as your rotate your head and body toward the arm, opening up into a T position. If it hurts at any point you can stop the movement and return to the starting position. There is value in doing a short arc of movement until your mobility and pain improve. Make sure you look at your fingertips during the entire movement to make sure you are rotating your spine and not only moving your arm. Come back to the starting position by reaching up to the ceiling and rotating back to have both hands resting on top of each other. Your lower back, hips and legs should remain still during the exercise. Move slowly into each position, and as you repeat this exercise, you should be able to move further. Do not push into pain or tingling. If it starts to give you tingling or numbness into your finger tips, don’t stretch as far or straighten your elbow as much or modify to do a ‘clam’ position and not bend your elbow at all. 10reps into each direction, x1-2 times per day.

4. Muscle release with ball

Stand against a wall with a ball (tennis ball or similar) between your tense muscle region and the wall. Apply static pressure or roll the ball on and around the tender point. You can put the ball in a pillow case and keep the other end of the pillow case over your shoulder so the ball does not fall 1-2 minutes per side, followed by heat for 10mins Strive Physiotherapy and Sports.

5. Strengthening Row

Stand and tie elastic in front of you at waist level and hold each end with your hands. Start with good posture. Gently nod your chin and think of growing tall from the top of your head. Your neck muscles should stay relaxed during this exercise. If you need to , reset your neck and shoulder position. First, set your shoulder blades by shrugging them up and together slightly, without moving the arms. Then pull the band bringing your elbows to the sides of your body. Don’t pull your elbows behind your body. Return to starting position and repeat. Perform each exercise 3x12reps, x3 per week You should feel a gentle fatigue between your shoulder blades and the back of your arms.

6. Bird dog

Get on your hands and knees (four point position) with your knees directly under your hips and your hands directly under your shoulders. Your back is in a neutral position (slightly arched) and your chin must be tucked in. Tighten slightly your abdominal muscles then lift one arm and the opposite leg without allowing the trunk or pelvis to move or rotate. Try to grab something far away in front of you with your hand and touch an imaginary wall far behind you with your foot instead of just lifting them up. Lower your leg and arm back to the floor and repeat with the other leg and the opposite arm. x5 times on each side, x3 per week.

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