Today we are going to talk about some strengthening exercises that you can do after a long day sitting down. These will be especially helpful if you work long hours at your desk! If this is the case, it is important to activate your body regularly and move around as many of the injuries we see are related to holding the same posture for a long period. But, what exercises can you do? Here you’ll find some tips!
- Bridge exercises
This is a very well-known and simple exercise that can be extremely helpful for different reasons. Firstly, when we have been sitting down for a long period of time, we end up slumping and closing our chest in and bringing the head forwards. This bridge exercise activates the body in a completely different posture, as you can see from the picture:
- Placing the hands facing the ceiling will open up the chest.
- Bringing the chin back will correct the cervical spine posture.
- We will use our glut and hamstrings, muscles that are completely inhibited when we are sitting!
- Furthermore, we use our core muscles and we can work on the spine mobility if we lower ourselves very slowly towards the floor (imagine that your spine is a zipper!)
But, maybe this is too easy for you! If that’s the case, there are several ways to progress the difficulty of the exercise. As we’re talking about exercises to do after sitting, you can use the chair as a way to make it harder on your leg muscles!
- Bulgarian squats
What about the quad muscles and other hip flexors? Due to the position of your legs on the chair, these muscles are shortened. The best way to work on their mobility is to activate the muscles through the whole length. Hence these types of squats can be very beneficial as we place the hip flexors and quads in a stretched position. These squats can be very intense and if you have any kind of knee condition you should seek further advice!
- Upper limb: push-ups and child pose!
Of course, we cannot forget about the upper limbs! As you can see in the video, this exercise is a combination of a stretch and a quite intense strengthening exercise (the push-ups). As this video shows, the elbows are quite close to the body, so that we are primarily engaging the arm muscles rather than the chest muscles.
How can I do these exercises?
In order to consider the number of sets/repetitions you should be doing, you need to think about your objectives. If your goal is to activate your body after a long day sitting down, you can just do each exercise for a couple of minutes. If you want to work a bit more intensely on your strength, you could do them in a circuit, so that you do each exercise 3 times in total but you alternate them!
In my next post I will talk about some stretches which you can include, so that you can add them at the end of your training session!
I hope you have found this helpful. If you’d like to build on these exercises, you can always book a PhysioFit session with us and we’ll be more than happy to help you with different kinds of exercise programmes oriented to your specific sports activities or goals!
Our Physiotherapists are specialised in Posture assessment & correction and can give you ergonomics advice for your desk setting at your office or home.
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