From stay-at-home parents to executives, we all have certain movements that we perform over and over again throughout the day. These daily, repetitive movements can cause tightness, aches and pains. Aches, pains and tightness can be signs that your body is in need of some simple ‘stress relief’. Below are some stretches to relieve the stress that every day life puts on our bodies.
Stretches to Relieve Stress from Daily Activities
Seated lumbar flexion
This stretch is great for anyone because it stretches out the low back. Spending any length of time standing or sitting per day will cause compression through the spine and the muscles in the back to tighten. The way to counteract these forces on the back are then to lengthen it. Spine neutral abdominal exercises are also recommended.
Doorway pec stretch
Most of our activities in our daily lives are in the forward direction, which causes an overdevelopment of the muscles on the front of our chest and shoulders. For example: cooking, lifting, and typing all require you to use the muscles on the front of the chest and shoulders causing them to become tighter. They will become even more tight if you do biceps curls and pushups. So, to put your muscles in better balance, you need to stretch the pecs and biceps and strengthen the muscles on the backs of the shoulders.
Lunge hip flexor stretch
When sitting for any length of time – in the car or at work, the front of our hips can become tight. These muscles attach from the front of our hips, travel through the pelvis, and then attach onto the spine. Therefore, if they are tight then they can put added stress onto your spine, so you can reduce this by stretching them.
Sidelying hip abduction
Our glute muscles need to be strong so that the muscles supporting the spine do not have to do as much work. By strengthening our gluteal muscles, it can reduce lower back pain and also make activities such as squatting, getting up from a chair, and getting up from the floor, easier.
Please remember that these exercises may cause soreness or a stretching feeling. But they should never causes a sharp pain. If you experience a sharp pain, please stop. If you have further questions, please see your local Landmark physical therapist to help you.