Exercises and stretches help us feel physically fit, but we’re often too busy to do them. Our fast-paced lifestyles often make exercising difficult. Here are a few simple upper back stretches that you can execute right from your office desk.
Why It’s Important to Work Out and Stretch Your Upper Back
Physical exercise keeps us energized and feeling in top form. Of course, there are other reasons to stretch your upper back.
1. Strong upper back muscles improve your posture
Your upper back muscles, such as the rhomboids, lower trapezius, and dorsi help your posture. Poor posture will compress the spine later in life.
2. They improve your muscle mass
Since your back muscles form one of the major muscle groups, it’s essential for you to maintain a healthy amount of muscle mass on your back. It fights some of the bone and muscle loss that happens with aging.
3. You exercise additional muscles
Your upper back muscles aren’t the only ones who benefit from stretches. You work others like the shoulders, biceps, and forearms as well.
4. A balanced body
Since stretches work for many muscle groups, they develop all areas of the upper body. Neglecting your upper back muscles leads to injury and pain.
For example, you may work your abdominal muscles because you want to develop a healthy six-pack. If you don’t work out the back muscles at the same time, you’re likely to suffer from lower back pain.
8 Simple Upper Back Stretches To Perform While You Are At Work
We live fast-paced lifestyles, which can make doing exercises difficult. Thankfully, it doesn’t take a lot to do them. Here are a few you can do right from your office desk. They help to build your upper back, body, and posture.
1. Targeted Breathing
First of all, concentrate on your breathing. Sit upright in your chair, with your head tilted back. Exhale with force, as much as possible. To breathe from either side of your body, push the corresponding hand against it, e.g., your right hand against your right side and your left hand against your left. Make it expand as you breathe. Do about 5 to 10 repetitions on each side.
2. Isometric Shrug
This shoulder muscle workout also stretches your spinal muscles. Sit upright and grab the side of your chair, almost as if you’re trying to lift yourself. Do a contraction as if you are trying to raise the seat while sitting on it.
3. Triceps Pushdown
Exercise your triceps and back while at work. To do this, push your chair close to your desk. Keep your back straight. Make a fist, with your elbow at a 90-degree angle. Do a hammer curl. Then, push down on your table and lift your triceps. Repeat the exercise six times.
4. Single-Arm Lateral Lift
This upper back stretch works your arm and spinal muscles. Place your chair against the side of a wall. Put your left arm out at shoulder height. Keep your spine upright and push against the surface with your palm against it. Repeat the exercise six times for each side.
5. Horizontal Shoulder Abduction
Do you need a quick workout for your upper back and shoulders? Try this exercise. Place your chair against a surface. Make sure that your back faces it. Extend your arm in front. Then, bring it all the way back to the surface, with the back of your palm facing it. Repeat the exercise six times on each side.
6. Biceps Curl
This workout works your spinal erectors and your biceps. Start this exercise as you might a triceps pushdown. Move your chair close to your desk and make a fist. Keep your elbow at a 90-degree angle. Then, push against the table with your hand. If you can adjust the height of your chair, do so to get different strength levels.
7. Wall Slides
All you need for this exercise is an office wall. Stand with your back against one, with your feet and shoulders a shoulder’s width apart. Keep your heels a stride’s length away from the wall.
Then, slide down and crouch, still keeping your knees at a 90-degree angle. Stay in this position for five seconds. Slide back up the wall until your body’s straight. Repeat this exercise six times.
8. Hip Hinges
Besides working your spinal erectors, this workout benefits your glutes. Stand straight with your feet a little more than a shoulder’s width apart. Press your shoulders back a little to tighten your back muscles.
Bend forward at your waist, aligning your shoulders with your hips as you do so. Do this movement until you are parallel to the ground, then pull back up. Contract your muscles. Repeat this exercise about 10 to 15 times.
These upper back stretches and exercises keep your body fit. Why do them at a gym when you have an office?
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