Eight in 10 Americans will experience some sort of back pain in their lifetime—back pain that could have, in many cases, been prevented by proper exercise and care. If you are one of the countless Americans who spends their days working at a traditional desk job, you may find it difficult to make time or have energy for exercise, despite the knowledge that it will lessen the symptoms you are experiencing.
Celebrity fitness trainer, Ashley Borden, has teamed up with BackJoy to create a few quick and easy exercises to help you get active from the comfort of your own desk! Along with working to prevent and treat back pain, these stretches will help you sit more comfortably—and may even lead to higher levels of energy and efficiency.
Lower Ab Connect
1. Set your chair at the perfect height for optimal posture position – feet firmly planted on the floor, heels in line with knees and knees just below your hip bones.
2. Sit upright, eyes on the horizon, hands interlaced on your ribcage – BackJoy’s Posture+ is an easy-to-use and comfortable seat enhancement to achieve proper posture with less effort.
3. Connect to your lower core by rotating your pelvis in a circular motion 3 times to the right, then 3 times to the left.
4. Don’t let your core go during any of the rotations! You will feel a deep lower ab pull if done right.
Push and Pull
1. Sit upright, on your Posture+ or with proper posture, and tense your core.
2. Bring your hands to your shoulders with your palms facing forward as if you’re holding pretend dumbbells.
3. Press your fists up to the ceiling with strong, fully extended arms all while keeping your core braced and connected.
4. Pull wide, open hands towards the ground on either side of your waist. Visualize your elbows doing the pulling down, and pinch between the lower shoulder blades at the bottom of the move.
5. Repeat 10x.
Cat and Dog
1. Kneel on the floor on all fours with your hands directly beneath your shoulders, your knees under your hipbones, and a straight spine.
2. Inhale and tuck your chin to your throat, rounding your back by hollowing out your stomach and pushing your hands away from the floor.
3. Exhale, rotating your tailbone and heart up towards the ceiling.
4. Repeat 5x.
Seated Shoulder Stretch
1. Sit on the floor with your knees slightly bent and your feet a couple of feet out in front on the floor, and tighten your core.
2. Place your forearms on the ground behind you, with fingertips facing your body.
3. Lift your chest to the ceiling, pushing your shoulders away from your ears.
4. Hold for 2 seconds, then bring to a starting position and repeat.
5. Repeat 5x.
Kneeling Quad Stretch
1. Start in a lunge position – Your front foot should be flat on the floor and your back foot should be flexed, with your first and second toe pushing into the floor.
2. Place your hands on your front leg and actively lift your chest to the ceiling.
3. Squeeze the back of your leg and glute as hard as you can until you feel the stretch in your quad.
4. Hold for 20 seconds on each leg.
5. Repeat 5x.
Click here to watch Ashley’s “Sit Right – Stretch Right” video.