4 Conditioning Exercises for Desk Athletes By Jen Young

Businesswoman typing on a keyboard against digital security hand print scanToday we welcome a new guest writer to Writer’s Fun Zone, Jen Young who is stopping by to chat with us today about “4 Conditioning Exercises for Desk Athletes.”  Enjoy!

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When it’s time to get up from your desk after a long or intense writing session, what do you experience in your body?

Sore lower back? Stiffness in the neck and/or hips?  Maybe even a headache?

Your body has worked hard to keep you upright and in your chair.   Your chest muscles, shoulders and arms work hard to type with your arms in front of you.  If your head is forward of your shoulders, your neck works hard to hold it in place.  Your hip flexors tighten and your glute muscles weaken as you keep the front of your hips bent.  Your back works hard to hold whatever posture you have taken.

As physical demanding as sitting for long periods is, we do little or nothing to prepare for this work.

Here are some movements that you can do to prepare for or recover from long periods of sitting:

Head Press

This exercise lengthens and strengthens the muscles of the back of the neck as it aligns the head with the spine.

  • Stand with your back and head against a wall, floor or even the headrest of the car seat.
  • Tuck your chin down slightly to lengthen the back of the neck.
  • Relax your face, jaw and tongue.
  • Take a deep inhale.
  • As you exhale, press the back of your skull gently into the wall.
  • Inhale and feel your neck lengthening and shoulders relaxing.
  • Exhale and slowly increase the pressure against the wall.
  • Practice for about 10 breaths.

Squats

Squats are fundamental movement patterns that strengthen our entire body and ground our energy.

  • Stand with feet hip-distance apart and parallel to each other.
  • Contract your glute muscles as you draw the lower belly in toward your spine and imagine your are trying to screw your feet into the ground.
  • Release the glutes slightly as you bring your hips back.
  • Inhale and raise your arms to chest level as you bend your knees.
  • Track your knees over the second toe and keep your shins perpendicular to the ground.
  • Continue lowering your body until the hips drop just below the knees.
  • Exhale, contract the glutes and draw the lower belly toward the spine as you come up to standing.
  • Repeat 8-15 times.

Clock Lunges

Clock lunges strengthen the legs and  create greater range of motion in the hips and ankles.

  • Imagine you are standing in the center of a clock facing 12:00.
  • Bring your hands to your hips.
  • Inhale and step the right foot forward to 12:00.
  • Keep feet parallel as you bend both knees.
  • Keep front knee behind the toes as you lower to a 90 degree angle in the front knee.
  • Exhale and push off the right foot to bring it back to original position.
  • Inhale as you step the right foot into a side lunge to 3:00.
  • Keep the feet parallel and the left leg straight.
  • Draw the right hip back slightly as you bend the right knee.
  • Exhale to return to starting position.
  • Inhale and step right foot behind you to 6 o’
  • Keep feet parallel as you bend both knees.
  • Keep front knee behind the toes as you lower to a 90 degree angle in the front knee.
  • Exhale to return to start.
  • Repeat on the left side using 12:00, 9:00, and 6:00 positions.
  • Go around the clock twice.

Hip Thrusts

Hip Thrusts open the chest and shoulders while strengthening the whole body, especially the glutes and upper back.

  • Sit at the end of a chair.
  • Bring your hands next to your hips with your fingers over the front edge of the seat.
  • Lift your hips off the chair by pressing into your hands and straightening your arms.
  • Walk your feet forward slightly and take them hip distance apart.
  • Keep your feet parallel l to each other.
  • Draw your shoulder blades together.
  • Bend the knees and let your hips move back toward the front edge of the seat of chair.
  • Inhale and push the hips forward as you squeeze your glute muscles.
  • Squeeze your shoulder blade together.
  • Exhale, draw the belly in as the hips return down toward the seat.
  • Repeat 5-12 times.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jen Young, Running & Fitness

Jen Young, Running & Fitness

Jen Young is founder of Spitfire Fitness Arts, which provides fitness education to creatives and spiritual warriors.  Jen spins together her passions for dance, physical acting, yoga, martial arts with personal training. Ultimately, her work is about getting to, as the Greek Oracle says, “Know Thyself.” Because when people have the tools to heal and express themselves, they bring healing to the planet.

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