If you are one of the millions of people who work a 9-to-5 desk job, you probably already know some of the ways that your body is affected by stress in tension. Use these effective exercise techniques that strengthen the neck, hips and back to avoid stress and tension.
Do you ever wake up with a stiff neck? Or maybe your back is tight from sitting all day? Or are your hips tense after your indoor-cycling class? You need a way to loosen up those tight spots pronto. Properly stretching the involved muscles or using a foam roller a few minutes a day are both great ways to loosen up all of those tight spots.
A Stretch for What Ails You
Before stretching, it’s a good idea to warm up your muscles. Stretching a cold muscle is not only ineffective, but it could also cause injury. Warming up is pretty simple and doesn’t require any fancy equipment. If you’re fitting a quick stretch break into your workday you can jog in place, take a quick walk around the office or do some dynamic stretches.
The key to a good stretch is how long it’s held. To get the most out of a stretch, it should be held for at least 30 seconds and be repeated at least two or three times. Holding a stretch for less than 20 seconds doesn’t let your muscle fully lengthen or provide much relief to your tense spots. But holding a stretch for too long may lead to injury.
Some of the most common areas of our body that end up feeling tight are the neck, shoulders, back and buttocks. Here are four stretches — one for each of those trouble spots: