By Lane Grosser, STOTT PILATES® Certified Instructor
Let's take a quick stretch break, shall we?
Feeling achy after sitting at your desk working for hours? Yeah, me too. Once I started doing these five at home Pilates exercises during my work day, I started feeling less achy and tense.
Try these Pilates exercises and share this article with a friend who needs them.
Exercise #1 - Side Bend
As shown above in the photo, the Side Bend exercise feels really good.
How To: While sitting at your desk, turn your chair so that your right shoulder is parallel to your desk. Place your right forearm arm on your desk. Reach your left arm up to the ceiling and bend over towards your computer, really focusing on reaching as much as you can.
Repeat 5x on that side then turn your chair to face the opposite way and repeat 5x on the other side.
Exercise #2 - Flex/Extend Torso
Great chest opener!
How To: Sitting on your chair facing your computer, reach behind you with both hands and hold onto the back of your chair. Flex/round your back, reaching your spine into your chair then lengthen up towards your ceiling, allowing your gaze to lift and your ribs to open.
Try to articulate, which means to move your spine sequentially from your tail bone to your cervical spine, and you'll release even more tension.
Repeat as many times as you need.
"A man (woman) is as young as his (her) spinal column.” – Joseph Pilates
Exercise #3 - Seated Figure 4 Glute Stretch
This exercise helps to relieve low back tension.
How To: Sitting tall on your chair, cross your right ankle over your left knee and lean forward from your hips with a straight back. To stretch all around the glute (butt) muscle, use your hand to lift your knee up towards your shoulder a little bit.
Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat each side 3x.
Exercise #4 - Heel Raises
Heel raises help to decrease ankle/foot swelling from sitting for long periods of time.
How To: Standing at the back of your chair with hands lightly touching your chair, lengthen your body as tall as you can by reaching your energy down into the ground and up to the ceiling. With straight legs, push your heels up and off the floor. Lower slowly and lift back up. Repeat as much as you like.
Exercise #5 - Thigh Stretch
The best stretch for tight hip flexors.
How To: Sitting at the corner of your chair with one foot forward (flat foot on ground) and the other foot back (only ball of your foot on the ground with your heel raised), tuck your pelvis under leaning back into your chair. You'll feel a stretch down the thigh muscles of your back leg.
Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat 3x on each side.
Want To See These Exercises In Action?
CLICK HERE to see them in action on Instagram. For best results, repeat these five at home Pilates exercises daily and as often as you need them during your work day.