NEWS FLASH:

Seated Stretches

  • Why do I need to Stretch?

    Sitting in front of a desk 5 – 6 days a week, running after the kids and daily home chores, light and heavy physical labour – all in their own way can wreak havoc on your body.

    This is even more especially so because the majority of us do not have and are not particularly careful or knowledgeable about our posture.

    Taking time to do some basic stretches to suit your particular needs will not only help increase your flexibility, they will also reduce tension and stress whilst allowing you to do your tasks more efficiently, with more safety against injury and discomfort.

    The stretch should be done until you feel a slight pulling of the muscle, but not pain. As you hold the stretch the muscle will begin to relax. Then as you feel the tension easing, you can increase the stretch again until you feel the same slight pulling. Hold this position until you feel no further increase.

Instructions

  • 1 - Shoulder, Arms and Upper Back.

    Posture: Sit upright preferably in an upright firm chair.

    Breathing: In through nose. Exhale from mouth.

    Relax: Concentrate on muscles being stretched.

    Muscle Groups: Shoulders, Arms & Upper Back.

    Interlace the fingers and slowly raise the arms to shoulder height and stretched in front of your body. Maintain a “tall” posture at all times and relax the whole body except for the muscles being stretched. Hold the stretch for 20 seconds. Don’t arch the lower back. Try to keep the abdominal muscles tucked in.

  • 2 a - Shoulders, Arms and Upper Back – Side View

    Posture: Sit upright preferably in an upright firm chair.

    Breathing: In through nose. Exhale from mouth.

    Relax: Concentrate on muscles being stretched.

    Muscle Groups: Shoulders, Arms & Upper Back.

    Interlace the fingers and slowly raise the arms above your head. Once you have reached the maximum then stretch the hands upwards as high as possible.Maintain a “tall” posture at all times and relax the whole body except for the muscles being stretched.Hold the stretch for 20 seconds. Don’t arch the lower back. Try to keep the abdominal muscles tucked in.

  • 2 b - Shoulders, Arms and Upper Back – Front View

    Posture: Sit upright preferably in an upright firm chair.

    Breathing: In through nose. Exhale from mouth.

    Relax: Concentrate on muscles being stretched.

    Muscle Groups: Shoulders, Arms & Upper Back.

    Interlace the fingers and slowly raise the arms above your head. Once you have reached the maximum then stretch the hands upwards as high as possible.Maintain a “tall” posture at all times and relax the whole body except for the muscles being stretched.Hold the stretch for 20 seconds. Don’t arch the lower back. Try to keep the abdominal muscles tucked in.

  • 3 - Shoulders, Arms and Upper Back.

    Posture: Sit upright preferably in an upright firm chair.

    Breathing: In through nose. Exhale from mouth.

    Relax: Concentrate on muscles being stretched.

    Muscle Groups: Shoulders, Arms & Upper Back.

    Hold on to the wrist of the left hand with the right hand and slowly raise the arms above your head. Once you have reached the maximum then pull the left wrist to your right with the right hand and hold for at least 5 seconds. Stretch the arms as high as possible. Return to the upright start position and repeat the stretch 4 times. Then change over the grip to the left hand holding on to the right wrist and repeat the stretch to the left side.

    Maintain a “tall” posture at all times and relax the whole body except for the muscles being stretched.Try to keep the abdominal muscles tucked in.

  • 4 - Shoulders & Triceps.

    Posture: Sit upright preferably in an upright firm chair.

    Breathing: In through nose. Exhale from mouth.

    Relax: Concentrate on muscles being stretched.

    Muscle Groups: Shoulders, Arms & Upper Back.

    Lift the left elbow and drop the left hand behind your back. Take hold of the left elbow with the right hand and slowly pull the elbow in a backwards and upwards direction.

    Hold the stretch or 20 seconds and repeat on the other side.Try to keep the abdominal muscles tucked in.

    It is also possible to do the stretch whilst walking slowly, which often helps to relax the body.

  • 5 – Shoulders, Upper Back & Arms.

    Posture: Sit upright preferably in an upright firm chair.

    Breathing: In through nose. Exhale from mouth.

    Relax: Concentrate on muscles being stretched.

    Muscle Groups: Shoulders, Arms & Upper Back.

    Interlock the fingers and place the hands behind your neck. Without arching the lower back, pull the elbows back to a comfortable stretch position and hold for at least 10 seconds. Release and repeat.

  • 6 - Shoulders, Upper Back & Arms.

    Posture: Sit upright preferably in an upright firm chair.

    Breathing: In through nose. Exhale from mouth.

    Relax: Concentrate on muscles being stretched.

    Muscle Groups: Shoulders, Arms & Upper Back.

    Bring the left arm across your upper chest and with the right hand on the left elbow, slowly push the left elbow backwards. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat the stretch on the other side over the left shoulder.

  • 7 – Forearms & Wrists

    Posture: Sit upright preferably in an upright firm chair.

    Breathing: In through nose. Exhale from mouth.

    Relax: Concentrate on muscles being stretched.

    Muscle Groups: Forearms & Wrists.

    Sit upright and towards the front of the chair. Place your hands on the chair in line with your hips. Your fingers must face the back of the chair. Keeping the body upright, lean slowly backwards and feel the stretch along the forearms. Hold at your comfortable limit for 15 seconds.

  • 8 – Sides of the Hips, Buttocks and Knees

    Posture: Sit upright preferably in an upright firm chair.

    Breathing: In through nose. Exhale from mouth.

    Relax: Concentrate on muscles being stretched.

    Muscle Groups: Sides of the Hips, Buttocks and Knees.

    Lift the one leg and grip the ankle with both hands. Slowly pull the foot towards you and hold the stretch at your maximum for 10 seconds. Repeat with the other leg.

  • 9 – Hamstrings

    Posture: Sit upright preferably in an upright firm chair.

    Breathing: In through nose. Exhale from mouth.

    Relax: Concentrate on muscles being stretched.

    Muscle Groups: Hamstrings.

    Lift the one leg and grip under the knee with both hands. Slowly pull the knee towards your chest and hold the stretch at your maximum for 10 seconds. Repeat with the other leg.

  • 10 – Lower Back.

    Posture: Sit upright preferably in an upright firm chair.

    Breathing: In through nose. Exhale from mouth.

    Relax: Concentrate on muscles being stretched.

    Muscle Groups: Lower Back.

    Slowly lean forward keeping the whole upper body relaxed. Try to get your head to your knees without forcing it down. Relax the arms. Tuck in the abdominal section and hold the stretch for 15 seconds. Breathe naturally with shorter breaths in & out.

  • 11 a & b – Ankles Stretch.

    Posture: Sit upright.

    Breathing: In through nose. Exhale from mouth.

    Relax: Concentrate on muscles being stretched.

    Muscle Groups: Ankles.

    Sit upright in a chair and cross one leg over the other with the knee extended to the side – see photo.Now extend the toe of the crossed foot and then flex it up & back. Hold each position for a few seconds. Do 8 – 10 repetitions and change legs.

    The second photo illustrates the ankle being inwards & outwards (side to side).

  • 12 - Hip & Lower Back Stretch.

    Posture: Sit upright in a chair with feet shoulder width apart.

    Breathing: In through nose. Exhale from mouth.

    Relax: Concentrate on muscles being stretched.

    Muscle Groups: Hips and Lower Back.

    Place the right hand on your right knee. Inhale before turning the upper body and head to the left whilst exhaling. Don’t bend the shoulders forward. Keep the upper body upright and relaxed. Hold the extended position for 5 to 8 seconds before turning the body to face forward and repeat to the right side with the right arm now behind the chair.

  • 13 - Calves & Hamstrings Stretch.

    Posture: Sit upright on the edge of a chair.

    Breathing: In through nose. Exhale from mouth.

    Relax: Concentrate on muscles being stretched.

    Muscle Groups: Calves & Hamstrings.

    Sitting on the edge of a chair, body supported by the hands placed at your sides as stabilizers, extend the legs out front with the knees slightly bent.

    Extend the toes as far forward as possible, hold for 5 – 8 seconds and then flex the toes as far back as possible for the same 5 – 8 seconds. Breathe normally by inhaling through the nose & exhaling through the mouth.