Want to become a supple leopard? Read this..
Web designers and developer spend too much time working on their computers.
This could mean sitting down the whole day at your Wework Hotdesk (for example) and sometimes late into the night if you have an urgent project to complete. The problem with being in this sitting position for extended periods is that it’s very unhealthy for your body. Since you are barely moving a muscle or exercising your body, chances are you are growing less flexible by the day and you may start getting hounded by a host of health conditions.
If your desk job is keeping you stuck on the chair all day long, it’s time you find something to keep you supple & flexible.
According to some fitness practitioners, sitting for long periods causes your hip muscles to physically shorten. But this just a tip of the iceberg; there is a possibility of developing conditions like gluteal amnesia, diabetes 2, and even worse heart disease.
Fortunately, you can keep all these unwanted ailments at bay, and this doesn’t even mean hitting the gym. There are a number of simple exercises that you can indulge in inside your workspace or at home to ensure that you remain in shape.
Consider the following best stretches for designers to undo the damage of endless sitting:
This exercise works on the stabiliser muscles in your core. Usually, most postures you take start with your core before moving to the other parts of your body. This stretch helps you to use your muscles properly and align your body.
Get down and lie flat on your back then raise your arms towards the ceiling
Pull your legs inwards and bend your knees at a right angle so that your feet remain dangling in the air
Gradually extend the right leg forward so that it’s parallel to the floor while simultaneously dropping down your left arm over the head. Hold the arm and leg just a couple of inches from the floor.
Bring the straightened leg and dropped arm to their initial position.
Repeat the same process with the opposite arm and leg
Keep on alternating these cycles until you complete twenty reps.
Planking is one of the best stretches for designers that you can comfortably execute at work during your tea break.
This workout engages the whole body and especially the muscles of your core. It is crucial to focus on achieving proper pelvic alignment. Planking is a great stretch that enhances your pelvic orientation while strengthening your core. Not only is this one of the best stretches for designers, but its also good for the whole family to try out! Great for overall core strength.
Get down on all fours with your toes touching the ground and feet shoulder-distance apart. Lay your forearms flat on the ground and maintain your elbows in a straight line with your shoulders above.
Tighten your core so that your body assumes a straight line from the head to the toes.
Squeeze your butt and thighs.
While facing the floor, try to keep your spine and neck in a neutral and comfortable position.
Maintain this position for thirty seconds, and try repeating the stretch twice or thrice.
These stretches help to work the largest gluteal muscle, as well as the hamstring and core. Ensure that you control the bridges and execute them slowly when you start performing this exercise. You want to allow your glutes to perform the movements.
Lie on your back and bend your knees so that your feet are flat on the ground approximately one foot from your behind. Bring down your arms and rest them flat on the sides.
Raise your right leg towards the ceiling while ensuring your foot remains flexed.
Use your left foot to push up your back, hips, and glutes off the ground. Do this by stepping with the front part of your sole.
Back down slowly while maintaining the right leg in its position.
Try to complete 12 of such cycles before switching to the other side.
This is basically a progression from the planking position mentioned above. It is an advanced core exercise that works the core, as well as the biceps and triceps.
Starting from the plank position, stretch out your feet until they are approximately 6 inches wider than your hips.
Perform a normal push-up and while preventing your hips from coming down, rotate your body to one side then raise that hand up towards the ceiling.
Switch to the other hand and do another simple push-up then repeat the process on the opposite side. Keep on alternating until you have managed at least six cycles on each side.
This exercise is meant for the lower body and seeks to achieve the highest hip extension you can manage. Hip extension is the opposite of hip flexion (the position of your hip when sitting down). A glute bridge is an ideal way of counteracting this.
The idea here is to engage the core and work the hip and leg muscles. A fantastic exercise and certainly one of the best stretches for designers.
Lie down on your back and bend your knees at a 45-degree angle, then engage the core until you start tilting your hips.
You will feel that your lower back is flat on the ground.
With your feet apart, drive through with your heels as your glutes contract and lift your hips from the ground.
Your body should be aligned straight from the shoulders to the hips and knees. Meanwhile, try to prevent your lower back from arching.
Slowly lower your hips and repeat this process 10 times.
This is a dynamic stretch that helps to loosen up your hips, the glutes, and hamstrings.
Find a wall that you can hold for balance or any other stable item in the room.
Stand a few inches from the wall and start swinging your right leg back and forth. While holding the wall with your right hand for support, try to raise your swings as high as you can comfortably manage.
Repeat this cycle 20 times before switching to the other leg.
Once you have finished that, change the direction of leg swing from front to back to side to side, then complete the 20 cycles.
If you feel you can still continue with the leg swings, start over.
Seated Spinal Twist
This exercise is very helpful for your spine and functions to ease the stress and tightness felt along the spine while maintaining body flexibility, and a range of other motions.
Sit tall in your chair with your feet flatly planted on the ground approximately hip-width apart.
Your knees should be bending at a right angle.
Maintaining the posture, tilt your spine as far as you can to the right while holding on to the back of your seat using your right hand.
Meanwhile, your left hand should be grasping the right armrest.
Hold for at least five seconds before releasing and switch to the opposite side.
Do this three times for each side.
Hunched shoulders can result in shortened muscles via the chest, which may be the cause of the neck and upper back pain you are feeling when you get back home. This exercise stretches the shoulders to restore proper posture, while also stretching your chest. This is single handedly one of the best stretches for designers you’ll find out there.
Stand tall against a wall and hold your hands behind the back so that your palms press against each other with your arms extended.
Breathing in deeply, look up into the ceiling and as you exhale, push your arms down as far as possible. Pull your shoulder backward so that your chest widens.
Maintain this position for 10 seconds before releasing then repeat the process a couple of times.
Table Pigeon Pause
If you’ve been to a yoga class before, this stretch should be familiar. It helps to work your lower leg muscles, hamstrings, and quads.
Find a table and place your left leg on top with your knee bent at a right angle.
Place your left hand on the table and grasp your foot with the right hand for support.
Lean to the front and hold for about one minute, then lean right to the ten o’clock position before holding for another one minute.
Repeat this process with the other leg.
If your knees are bad, you can tilt your body to have your ankles hanging off the table then place a cushion under the knee. Try to complete the pigeon pose twice in a day.
A wall sit helps to reactivate your lower body when it has grown sluggish and make it more mobile and flexible.
With your back pressed against the wall, slowly slide down until your hips are parallel to the ground. This will engage the leg muscles.
Maintain this position for as long as you can. You may want to look for a magazine to read or catch up with a friend on the phone as a distraction.
Try raising your calf or marching your feet to make the exercise more challenging.
These are just some of the best stretches for designers you can do at home or in the office when you aren’t preoccupied. Try them at your earliest convenience and witness your body restoring the agility and flexibility you once had. Your job is inevitable, but it need not be the reason for your physical health struggles.