Long ago (aka 2014), we at Brit HQ had a team-wide 5-minute stretching routine every day at 3 pm.
It forced us to pry our eyes from our computer screens, pull our butts out of our seats and get a refresh. As our team got bigger and busier, we let this crucial breather fall by the wayside.
Sitting stretches release pent-up tension.
Torso Twist Reps: 10 seconds for each side Why: Releases tension in the upper body How: Cross one leg over the other, then place your opposite elbow on your top thigh, right behind the knee.
Take a deep breath and sit up nice and tall. Then, slowly twist your back and look over your shoulder as you exhale. After 10 seconds, slowly come back to resting position and repeat on the other side.
Finger Lace And Raise Time: 30 seconds for each position Why: Helps prevent carpal tunnel syndrome How: Plant your feet squarely on the ground and sit up straight in your chair. If your feet don't touch, move to the edge of the chair until they do.
As you extend your arms in front of you, interlace your fingers and turn your hands so that the backs face you. Stop when your arms are fully extended and hold for 30 seconds. This stretch also releases tension from the shoulders.
Back Arch Reps: 15 seconds for 2 reps Why: Releases tension in your back How: Plant your feet on the ground hip-width apart. Rest your hands on the back of your hips, lengthen your spine, then slowly arch your back as you gently tilt your head back.
For some, tilting the head back is uncomfortable. If that's you, do this stretch without the tilt. Hold for 15 seconds, then return to resting and repeat.
Standing stretches to get your blood moving.
Shoulder Roll Reps: 3 times in each direction Why: Releases tension in your neck and back; increases range of motion How: Plant your feet squarely on the ground with your feet hip-width apart.
Keeping your arms relaxed, slowly roll your shoulders in a backwards circle three times. Repeat the same motion going forwards.
Shrug And Release Reps: 5-seconds for 3 reps Why: Releases tension in neck and shoulders How: Shrug your shoulders straight up to your ears, then slowly bring them down again.
Upper Arm Stretch Time: 15 seconds for each arm Why: Stretches the back of the upper arm and shoulder How: Bring your right elbow behind your head, then carefully pull the elbow toward the left with your free hand.
Behind The Back Stretch Time: 10 seconds for each arm Why: Works shoulders and neck muscles How: Place your arm behind your back, then gently pull it toward your opposite side with your free hand. Carefully tilt your head toward the opposite shoulder, then return your head to resting position.
Wrist Extensor Stretch Reps: 20 seconds for 3 reps Why: Helps prevent carpal tunnel syndrome How: Reach your arm out with your palm facing out and down, then grab your fingers with your other hand. Gently pull your facing hand back toward your body as you keep your elbow locked. Then do the same stretch with your palm facing your body.
Prayer Palms Stretch Reps: 20 seconds for each position Why: Helps prevent carpal tunnel syndrome How: Bring your palms together just above your chin, then slowly moved them down to your chest as you press inward. After 20 seconds, slowly rotate your palms out and over until they face downward as you continue to push.
That's it! Easy, huh? Happy stretching!