How to Fix Poor Posture From Sitting at a Desk – Stretches & Corrective Exercises

I spend too much time sitting on my ass, and I’m sure you do too.

Unfortunately, it’s part of life these days as we spend time sitting in front of the computer, the TV and in the car, train, bus and wherever else.

The problem is the muscles on the front side of the body get shortened and tight and start to cause pain that can even lead to injury.

I spend most of my stretching time addressing the front side of my body and very little on the rest, that’s how influential this sitting issue is.

Here’s what to do about it in 3 steps.

Step # 1 – Use a foam roller.

The main area to use a foam roller is on your thoracic spine, which is your middle to upper back (the curvey bit).

You can roll on it several ways as I demonstrate a bunch in the video below.

 

You can also roll your quads, but stretching them is gonna be enough for most people.

You can roll your pecs, preferably with a ball, right from your sternum to the intersection of your shoulder and chest (you know that divot bit on front of your shoulder) for bonus points here. For some people (me included) this is a must.

You can roll your lats (back muscles) right under the armpit. It’s not comfortable, but it makes you feel better afterwards. Again, not as important for most people, but it can help some.

Step # 2 – Do some stretching, at work and at home.

If you can get up and stretch several times a day at work, your posture will be better and your body will thank you by giving you less pain. Good deal.

If you know your hip flexors tighten up most days, stretch them more.

If it’s your neck that gives you issues, stretch that more often.

But don’t neglect everything else.

‘The hip bone’s connected to the leg bone’ and so on.

So make sure you get a full body stretch or yoga session in at least once a week, or at the very least, stretch your quads, hip flexors, glutes, pecs, shoulders and neck flexors. These are the sitting induced problem areas.

Here’s the office based versions of your stretches.

Click the image to download a pdf copy to your computer for future reference.

 

Neck Stretches

The Neck is a sensitive area so go easy with your neck stretches, especially when starting out.

I highly recommend the scalenes and upper trapezius stretches predominantly,though you may find some relief from others.

Click the image below for a larger size.

Step # 3 – Strengthen your back side muscles

As you loosen up the front side, you equally have to strengthen up the back side.

When the front side muscles are tight, the back side muscles aren’t able to sit in position and hold your posture up tight as they should, so we’ve gotta get em strong again.

You should spend a bunch of time, 2-3 days per week working the upper and mid back, rear shoulders, spinal erectors and glutes.

Upper & Mid Back Exercises

Lower Back & Glute Exercises

 

Now its up to you to do the work on a regular basis.

  • Maybe you stop for some stretches at morning and afternoon tea.
  • Maybe you set a timer to get up from your desk every hour for 5 minutes to move and stretch.
  • Maybe you drop by the gym on the way home from work.

Whatever you do, it’s much easier to do a little bit on a regular basis than to fix the mess further down the line.

Good luck!

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