Are you a dental practitioner? Do you find yourself sitting for hours at a time? Are you looking for easy, in-office exercises to fend off physical stagnation?
I’m both a writer and a yoga instructor. Which means I spend a lot of time sitting, despite knowing the critical importance of moving often. When I get in a zone, it’s hard to break that streak for a much-needed walk around the block or stretch on the floor.
It’s so essential. The stagnation of sitting for extended periods of time makes my body feel crunchy, my posture hunched and the muscles in my face tight. I make it a point to get up and move as much as I possibly can.
However there are times I cannot get up and out. That’s when I incorporate stretching either on the floor of my office or at my seat.
Here is a list of 7 easy, effective exercises that can be done in your office, between patients. They’re simple, quick and will get your blood flowing in no time.
Useful Prop: Mat/Towel
Lie on back with knees bent to 90 degrees. Feet hip distance apartment, toes turned inward slightly. Fingertips should brush your heels. With gaze at the ceiling, lift the hips upward and breathe.
Stretches front body, chest, back of the neck
Strengthens mid & lower back, glutes, hamstrings
Palms or forearms stack directly under shoulders. Tuck toes, slightly round upper back. Belly in and up. Hold at least 30 seconds at a time and breathe.
Full body strengthener, notably the core
Stretches legs, ankles, feet
From a kneeling position, step one foot forward. Back knee down. Lean into front knee, engage core, lift biceps by ears and pull shoulder tips down the back. Breathe.
Stretches hip flexors, side body, chest
Tip: If your left leg is forward, hold your right wrist with left fingers. Lean to the left for a deeper oblique stretch
From previous position, hinge hips back, straighten front leg and lean forward with a flat back and open chest.
Stretches lower back, hips, hamstrings, calves
Tip: If your right leg is forward, turn your torso to the right and lean forward to access the IT band.
From hands and knees position, bring big toes to touch and widen the knees apart into a diamond shape. Drop torso forward and rest forehead on the ground. Extend your arms forward with fingertips on the floor.
Stretches upper, mid and lower back.
Tip: Walk both hands to right and then to left for side body & outer hip access.
Sit cross legged. Slip right hand under right buttock. Draw left hand to right ear and drop head to the left. Repeat on opposite side. Can be done in a chair. Interlock fingers behind the skull, drop chin to chest.
Stretches all sides of the neck and upper shoulders.
Seated Pigeon Pose
This can be done in a chair. Make a figure 4 with one leg by bringing fully flexed ankle on top of opposite knee. Straighten through spine and lean forward. Breathe. (If you have a recent knee or hip injury, take this very slowly or skip altogether.)
Stretches inner thigh and outer hip, as well as lower back.
Looking for more? Check out this article by Christina Lopez, 8 Safe and Effective Exercises for Dental Professionals
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