Moves to help you relax, breathe better and speed up post-workout recovery.
Perhaps you’re like me. I train pretty consistently but never really treated stretching seriously. For the past few weeks, however, I’ve been dedicating some quality time to loosening up my body. And this discovery couldn’t have come at a better time. Because all this working (and working out) from home has done a number on me. I’m guessing you can relate.
It’s no surprise that computer based jobs can wreak havoc on your body. You tighten your hip flexors while slumping your shoulders and your posture pays the price. Maybe it’s time you start pushing back.
According to Dan Oberneder, a physical therapist with tours of duty on the PGA and Champions Tours, a lot of men wake up with stiff or sore muscles, depending on their amount of activity (or inactivity) from the previous day. "Stretching increases the circulation of blood and oxygen to the muscles, releases tension and improves flexibility," says Oberneder, "which definitely sets the stage for a successful physical day."
Not only will a few moves wake up your body and relieve stiffness, your new tension-free body pays you back by allowing you to sit a bit straighter, walk a little taller and breathe deeper. Below, you’ll find a few simple, pro-recommended stretches you can do at home before (or throughout) your day.
This can be done standing or sitting at your desk or the edge of your bed. Clasp your hands behind your head and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Hold for five seconds while breathing in deeply. Lower your arms and release the breath. Repeat as needed.
First, hold the arm with the elbow straight and the palm facing up. Grasp the involved hand at the fingers and stretch the wrist backward, until a stretch is felt on the inside of the forearm. Then, flip your hand over with the palm facing down. Push downward on the back of the involved hand until a stretch is felt in the muscles on the outside of the forearm.
Start by kneeling on the floor. Bring your right foot forward by bending the right knee so that your body stays in a lunge position. Rest your hands on your right knee and push your hip forward so that you feel a stretch in your back. Stay in that position for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
This can be done standing or sitting at your desk. Extend one arm out and with your opposite hand, pull the arm across your body toward your chest until you feel a nice stretch in your shoulder. Hold for 30 seconds, return to the starting position and repeat with the opposite arm.* Best Practices: Slow and steady is key. Don’t rush in and out of your stretches. Remember to exhale as you go into the stretch, inhale when you come out.