I just returned from a two-week visit to Seattle, where I met up with Nikki Naab-Levy of Indigo Kinetics and Healthy Photographers. I’ve known Nikki since 2008. In addition to Pilates and massage, she focuses on movement. In 2013, she helped me solve the riddle of my tight neck muscles.
Since most of us these days are spending more and more time at a desk staring at a monitor, I wanted to find a set of general fixes that one could benefit from and perform on their own at their desk. Nikki was happy to help with this post. Below are 5 desk stretch exercises we can do throughout the day. I’ll am calling this routine the IK5.
#1 Neck Stretch
- Sit tall in your chair with knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
- Gently drop your chin towards your chest until you feel a slight stretch in the back of your neck.
- Hold and breathe for 10-30 seconds. Repeat up to 3 times.
#2 Head Turn (Arm/Shoulder Stretch)
- Sit tall in your chair with knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Reach your arms out long by your sides.
- Keeping length and energy in the right arm and right fingertips, slowly and gently turn your head to the left. Lift your chin slightly up to the left hand corner of the room. Hold for a focused breath. You should feel a tug down the right arm.
- Repeat on left side. You can do 2-3 sets of this stretch.
#3 Mid Back Stretch
- Stand on the back side of your chair and place your hands on the chair. Walk your feet back.
- Sit your hips back so they are over your feet and feel length through your mid and upper back. Let your neck relax. Breathe into the stretch for 20-30 seconds.
- You can perform this stretch up to 3 times.
#4 Hip Flexor Stretch
- Stand to the side of your chair with your right hand on the chair. Step your left leg back and reach your left arm in the air.
- Tuck the pelvis and bend both knees so you start to feel a tug in your left hip flexor.
- Gently lean to the right to increase the stretch. Hold for 20-30 seconds.
- Repeat second side.
#5 Glute Stretch
- Sit in chair with knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Bend your right leg in and rest your right ankle across your left knee.
- Keeping the right foot flexed and the spine long, slowly lean over your legs. Stop when you feel a tug in the back of your right hip. Hold position for 20-30 seconds.
- Repeat second side.
I will be setting up a link to this post in my calendar and doing these exercises twice a day.
Thank you Nikki! If you are in the Seattle area and are interested in fixing movement problems, visit her at Indigo Kinetics.