Given much of modern work is done sitting at a computer, we’re prone to sink into poor posture as we naturally slump over time. You know, being hunched over with your hands on the keyboard.
In this position, you’ve got excessive rounding in your upper back and head forward with your shoulders internally rotated. Being stuck like this for prolonged periods causes stiffness, reduced range of motion, and usually some aches and pains.
You might think you’re doomed to have a stiff back and sore shoulders because you work at a computer for long hours. But you don’t have to accept this as a forever problem. Instead of long stretching routines that are hard to stick with, you need to do something specific about it.
In this article, you’ll learn exactly how to loosen up your back and shoulders in just 5 minutes.
We asked some of our GMB clients how they combat long hours of working at their desks, and here’s what they told us. 👇
The best part is you can do Bear crawl variations and shoulder stretches on the floor where you have a little space. And it only takes about 5 minutes to actively reverse out of this slumped over position.
Here’s exactly what to do. 👇
2 Moves To Release Your Neck And Back
You’ll want to do the following movements when you have a free 5 minutes. It’s best if you can do this sequence 2-3 times throughout the day, especially if you’re working at the computer for the majority of your working hours.
- The Twisting Bear helps decompress your spine, which feels incredible once you experience that release. And it gets you into extension, which is the opposite of you hunching (flexion) over your desk. This movement builds stability and strength in your shoulder rotator muscles, which tend to get stiff and weak from being internally rotated for hours.
- The 3-Point Bridge also moves your shoulders through a wide range of motion and provides light rotation of the spine. You’ll also be lifting the hips and extending the hip flexor muscles that often get tight from prolonged sitting and can pull your upper body forward.
Modern Life Is Great For Some Things, Bad For Others.
Our tech allows us to talk to friends all over the world in an instant, order pizza with a meal-delivery app, and binge on the latest Netflix series.
But with great technological progress, comes a great physical cost. We now spend more time hunched over our phones and computers than ever, and it puts a terrible strain on our bodies.
We share these movements to show you ways you can easily get some relief in just a few minutes per day.
Here are some ideas we know will help:
- ⌚️ Set reminders to get up and move, even if it’s just to the kitchen to grab some water.
- 📅 Schedule specific movement periods on your calendar so you can’t forget about them: go for walks, get a workout in, play sports, whatever you like doing will work.
- 🌊 Make plans with your friends and family for active things away from technology. Go for a hike, hit the gym, or spend a day at the beach.
You’ll be on the right track when you combine one or more of those options with the short routine we just taught you.
Do what you can, when you can. Then do some more and keep going.
Why You Should Adopt A Regular Movement Routine
The movements in this short routine are some of the exercises we include in our fundamental movement program Elements.
The best way to reverse this ‘laptop back’ from long bouts of desk work is through deliberate exercise that strengthens your back and shoulders while improving the mobility.
With Elements, we help you do this through animal movements like the Bear and Monkey. They’re designed to strengthen your back and shoulders, while helping you gain more control over your entire body.
Doing Elements regularly helps counterbalance the repeated strain that comes from sitting too much, and we have plenty of clients who work at a desk to prove it. Here’s what Kamomi had to say. 👇
Over the course of 30 years or so sitting in front of a computer, I realized that it was just really, really wreaking havoc on my shoulders and back. I just wanted to find a way to not be in pain and to move better than I was.
Ever since I started training with Elements my perennial shoulder and lower back pain have subsided. I was able to go into a deep squat more comfortably for the first time. Never in my life could I have imagined doing that and now I constantly do it. It was really easy to follow and I could pause if I needed to, that was really important. I could do it as long as I wanted or as little as I wanted, but I always got something out of it and I felt good after that. Even just 15 minutes a day even helped.
I feel so much better than when I started this program. I’ve never felt more at ease in my body than I do now. This is how I want to feel for the rest of my life.
Build a Consistent Training Habit With a Foundation in the Basics
With Elements, you’ll build a foundation of strength, flexibility, and control, setting yourself up for a successful lifetime of staying fit and active.