Fitness

5 Simple Stretches If WFH Has Your Muscles in Knots

Release the tension from the workday in just five minutes or less.

By: Emily Freeman

WFH seems to be here to stay for those of us who have the luxury of being able to work remotely. Getting to stay in PJs all day and eat out of your own refrigerator is something many of us only dreamed about, but now that we have it, we’re noticing some side effects we could do without. This gives us good reason to implement some at work stretches into our daily routine because let’s just say our kitchen table or, dare we admit it, couch work setup may not be the best for our muscles and joints. It’s becoming somewhat of a pain in the neck (literally).

And we know sitting for long periods of time within itself isn’t great for our health either.

Buzzkill right? The good news, it’s easy to combat stiff muscles by simply standing up and getting some at work stretches in a couple times per day. Pair that with some light walks around the block and to and from your kitchen for water and healthy snacks. 

Other Benefits of Stretching 

There’s nothing quite as effective as stretching to alleviate chronic aches and pains from your WFH “desk” setup. But it’s benefits don’t stop at making you feel more relaxed and limber. Stretching also comes with some other amazing perks like: 

#1 Improves Your Range of Motion to Reduce Risk of Injury

The larger your range of motion, or the amount your muscles and joints can bend and stretch, the less likely you are to get injured during activity. If you’re tight, you run the risk of straining or pulling a muscle even just doing everyday tasks. 

#2 Helps You Recover From Workouts Faster 

Stretching after a workout reduces the amount of shortening and tightening your muscles do after being worked so you’re ready to kick butt in the next one sooner. 

#3 Reduces Stress And Eases Tension 

When our muscles feel tight, so do our minds. Releasing tension in the body removes unnecessary aches, pains, and stiffness, which may help your mind feel at ease. This is also where at work stretches come in handy. When both your mind and body are feeling tense from work, take it as a sign that it’s time to take a quick stretch break. Not only is it good for the body, it’s good for the mind! 

#4 Regulates Circulation, Which Gives More Nutrients to Your Muscles

Flexible muscles get more oxygen and nutrients pumped through them. Not getting enough can result in muscle cramps and fatigue.  

#5 Alleviates Chronic Pain and The Threat of it 

The better your range of motion, the easier it is for you to find and maintain proper posture in your pelvis, hips, spine, shoulders, and neck. Finding a healthy posture is one of the main ingredients to reducing your chance of chronic pain and/or alleviating it. 

#6 Reduces Risk of Injury So You Can Keep Kicking Butt

When your muscles are getting the circulation they need, are less tight, and you have greater range of motion, you’re greatly reducing the chance of getting injured. 

5 Simple At Work Stretches to Alleviate WFH Tension 

We’ve been on a mission to find the best stretches to keep our bodies (and anyone we live with who’s tired of hearing us complain about it) happy, and here’s our top five we know you’re going to love.

#1 Wrist Circles

Your wrists take quite the beating from typing on your computer all day. This is the perfect stretch to release any tension in your wrists and hands. Learn this stretch and many others like it in the Rest Your Wrists stretch routine with trainer Vytas. 

#2 Hip-Flexor Stretch

Your hip flexors are shortened while you’re seated, and if they aren’t released it can cause postural problems leading to lower back pain. So give them some love and a release with this simple and quick stretch. Try this 3-minute Straighten Up stretch routine with trainer Breanna Mitchell

#3 Figure-Four Stretch 

One of our all-time favorites for loosening up your hips, glutes, lower back, and piriformis — a small muscle that can become inflamed from sitting too much. Follow along with trainer Bree Koegel in her 4-minute Short Office Stretch to see how it’s done. 

#4 Triceps Stretch

Having your hands in front of your body all day on the keyboard can create a lot of tightness in your chest, which can also cause tension in your shoulders. Release it with a nice triceps stretch that releases your shoulders, back of your arms, chest, and neck. Trainer Kenta Seki shows you how to properly perform it in his 2-minute Standing Stretch routine. 

#5 Total Body Opener

This amazing stretch opens your hamstrings, chest, and shoulders while lengthening your spine, releasing all the tension you build up while working away at your desk. Try it out in this 2-minute Flex & Relax stretching sequence with trainer Cassey Ho. 

Your Body Deserves a Release 

It can be easy to get caught up in our work and neglect what our bodies need. Setting a timer for every 30 to 60 minutes can help remind you to get up and take care of yourself, with some very simple at work stretches. However, if you tend to just ignore the alarm, a little note reminding yourself that your physical health is just as important as getting your work done can help give you the motivation to get up and give your body some love!