Here's something fun from Iso Fit, the fitness studio in LKF that offer pilates or gyrotonic classes. Stressing that sitting at your desk all day can be harmful to your health as we often develop bad postures leading to back pains, the fitness studio sent out five examples of core strengthening exercises which are easy to do in the office.
1. The “Waitress”
Exercise: Sitting directly on top of your “sitting bones”. Position your arms at right angles with your elbows at the side of your waist and palms facing upwards. Gently move your hands to the side opening up the chest. Try this with a small hand towel or scarf for extra challenge to the external rotators of the shoulder.
Benefit: Strengthens supportive back muscles essential for good posture and opens up the chest.
2. Calf stretch for hellish heels
Exercise: Slip your shoes off and stand on the edge of a step. Release the heel downwards off the step while the toes remain on the edge of the step.
Benefit: Stretches calves and relieves tension. If calf tension is released then muscles along the kinetic chain are also released which could positively impact LB (low back) pain.
3. The chest stretch
Exercise: Place one hand on a wall, no higher than your shoulder. Draw your abdominals up and gently turn your body away from your arm.
Benefit: Open and stretches front muscles, undoes the slouch and tightness and significantly improves overhead reaching.
4. The cross over
Exercise: Sit on your chair a little away from your desk. Remember to sit up on your “sitting bones” (this requires extra deep abdominal support). Cross one leg over the other at a bent angle (make sure you are not wearing a skirt for this one, ladies!). Place your hands on your desk. Position your “sitting bones” behind you, lift up your tummy and move your spine forward over your desk. Feel the stretch in the back of your thighs and glutes (the muscles in your posterior).
Benefits: Releases tightness and tension through the lower back by releasing tension in the glutes which are often the culprit with regard to LB Pain
Exercise: Sit on your “sitting bones”. Cross your arms and hold your elbows. Sit as tall as you can and breathe in. Exhale, draw your abdominals in and twist to one side. Exhale and return to your starting position.
Benefits: Engages and balances the use of oblique abdominal and rotator muscles which are vital "slings" of the body that we often tend to under use when walking due to the bags we carry. This in turn leads to the overworking of outer muscle groups to support mobility.