Try This #Techneck Desk Workout Series

Get your fix of wellness and things that inspire us.

Try This #Techneck Desk Workout Series

New studies show that countless hours spent slumped in your desk chair can have profound effects on your body. This specially designed Pilates desk workout can help with that.

Because our bodies weren’t built to sit, long stints at a desk can cause muscle receptors to become inactive and more resistant to insulin, which can cause blood sugar and triglyceride levels to rise. It can also slow down the metabolic function which leads to weight gain and future health issues including back pain, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and depression. 

Repeat this desk workout series once a day and you’ll be sitting pain-free, taller and stronger in no time.

Head Nods and Neck Stretch 

For creating mobility and releasing tension from neck and shoulders.

  1. Travel your eye gaze up your screen, up the wall, up to the ceiling and then back down again.
  2. Think about sliding the base of your skull down the back of your neck to create length through the front of the neck.
  3. Reverse the movement, down the computer screen, across the desk and down to the floor.
  4. Think about drawing your chin towards your throat to create length through the back of the neck. Repeat 4 times each way
  5. Find a fixed point on the screen in front of you and tilt your head as far as comfortable to the right without your shoulders lifting.
  6. Place your right hand onto your head just above your left temple. Apply gentle pressure to increase the stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat other side. 

TIP – Aim to stay seated tall on your sit bones with your ribcage balanced over your hips. Keep the ribcage and torso stable as your head and neck moves.

Upper Back Mobility & Spinal Rotation

For improving mobility in thoracic spine, opening chest muscles to counteract forward posture from desk sitting, waking and warming up postural muscles in upper back and abdominals.

  1. Sit up tall on your sit bones and place your hands around the back of your head, thumbs running down the neck, elbows in your peripheral vision.
  2. Press your head back into your hands to create pressure and then allow your ribcage to lift away from your hip bones as you lean up and over the back of your chair extending into the upper back.
  3. Nod your chin, allowing the hands to help you as you stack back up to your start position. Think about pulling your ribs to your hips using your abdominals.
  4. Continue to flex forward using your abdominals to pull your bottom ribs towards your hip bones. Scoop your belly button towards your spine, creating length through the upper back. Repeat 4 times each way.
  5. Then, anchor your sit bones to your chair as you rotate the ribcage to the right, keeping the pelvis perfectly still. Think about bringing your bottom left rib to your right hip bone while staying tall and long through the spine. Repeat other way and then repeat both sides 4 times.

TIP – Try to keep the pelvis still and the movement in only the spine. Continue to stay seated tall with the pelvis staying still as the spine moves. 

Lat Stretch

Effective for releasing tension in neck and shoulders through the stretching of the lats (latissimus dorsi), a large, flat muscle that starts at the base of the spine, wraps around the side of the torso, and connects to the upper arm.

  1. Sitting tall, reach your arms overhead allowing your shoulders to glide up your back. Hold your left wrist with your right hand.
  2. Keeping the left sit bone anchored to the chair, lean up and over to the right creating length through the left side.
  3. Repeat other way and then repeat both sides 4 times.

Calf Raises & Calf Stretch

For waking up the lower legs and increasing circulation in the lower limbs.

  1. Standing, place your hands on the desk in front of you, feet parallel (toes facing straight forward) and hip bone distance apart.
  2. Keep equal pressure in all ten toes, lift your heels up off the floor so the weight is over the balls of the feet.
  3. Hold for 1 second and then lower the heels back down with control. Repeat 10 x slow and then 20 x at a slightly faster pace.
  4. Then, step one leg back and anchor the heel to the floor. Keep the front leg bent to stretch the calf. Hold for 30 seconds and then repeat other side.

Desk Hinge

Perfect for waking up glutes and hamstrings whilst opening the hips to counter the effects of sitting with hips flexed and glutes relaxed.

  1. Stand an arm’s length away from your desk with your feet together and then bend/hinge at your hip joints. Fold your forearms onto the desk so you are tipped forward with your spine staying long.
  2. Soften both knees and lift the right foot up off the floor so the knee joint is at a 90 degree angle.
  3. Keep the knee at this angle as you press the right heel up towards the ceiling without your pelvis or spine moving. Return it back to the start position.
  4. Repeat 10 times and then hold the leg at the top. Move leg up and down 1 inch 20 times and then repeat series on other leg.
  5. Then, place your hands on the desk in front of you, keeping your knees together. Bend your right knee and bring your heel towards your bottom.
  6. Hold the right foot with your right hand, creating resistance to stretch the thigh and hip. Hold for 30 seconds and then repeat other side.

Desk Lunge

For waking-up the glutes and quads while opening the hips to counter the effects of sitting with hips flexed and glutes relaxed.

  1. Standing, place your hands on the desk in front of you, feet parallel (toes facing straight forward) and hip bone distance apart.
  2. Take a big step back with one leg and lower your back knee towards the floor so the you are in a lunge position with both knees bent at 90 degrees. Straighten both legs back and then lower back to the lunge position 4 times
  3. Hold at the bottom and lower and lift 1 inch 20 times. Repeat series on the other leg.
  4. Then, place your hands on the desk in front of you, lift your right leg up and cross your right ankle over your left knee.
  5. Hinging forward at the hips, sit slightly back until you find the stretch in your right glute. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat other side.

TIP – Your front knee should be directly on top of your ankle and your back knee directly under your hip bone. Make sure your hip bones are level and square to the desk in front of you. Your shoulders should be stacked on top of your hips so that your spine is straight and upright when lunging. 

Workout created by Pure Moves Pilates Studio.