Focusing on your arms when stretching at your desk
The following is a microbreak stretching routine that you can do at your desk. It focuses on your hands and arms. It is meant to help relax the muscles that may lead to carpal tunnel disorders. It should take less than 5 minutes, and it’ll do a world of good for you if done regularly!
- Prayer stretch: While seated put your palms together in front of your chest just below your chin. Slowly lower your hands toward the floor until you feel the stretch in you wrists.
- Wrist extension: While sitting, stretch one hand palm down out in front of you (elbow straight). With the other hand press the back of your outstretched hand down so that your fingers point at the floor until you feel a stretch on the top of your forearm. Repeat for other hand.
- Wrist flexion: While sitting, stretch one hand palm down out in front of you (elbow straight). Use your other hand to grasp under the fingers and pull up. Slowly pull your fingers upward and back towards your body until you feel a stretch on the bottom of your forearm. Repeat for other hand.
- Seated extension: While sitting, interlock your fingers and stretch your hands, palms up, above your head. Try to reach to the ceiling with your arms and lean back slightly. Bring your head to your back and hold when you feel slight discomfort.
- Bruegger’s stretch: While sitting bring your chest up and tuck your chin. Be sure you are looking forward still. Bring your shoulder blades together with arms outstretched and as far behind you as you can. Be sure your palms are facing up. You should feel a stretch in your pectoral muscles, the back of your neck, and between your shoulder blades.
- Standing wrist flexion stretch: Stand up and place your hands palm down on a desk. With your fingers flat and your elbows straight begin to lean forward bringing your chest over your hands. Hold when you begin to feel a stretch in your wrists.
Remember to hold stretches at tension for 30 seconds. This is the time needed for the muscle and tissue to relax and lengthen. Do not stretch into a painful range, this can cause injury. Hold the stretches where you start to feel the muscle tension (mild discomfort).
This post is for education purposes only. Be sure you are healthy enough before starting any stretching or exercise regiment.