8 Back Exercises for Those Who Sit All Day at Home
The coronavirus pandemic has forced everyone to stay inside their homes. Due to the quarantine, we are inevitably sitting more and don't move around as much. When we work from home, it can be easy to sit in our chair all day and let many hours go by without getting up. This isn't the healthiest routine, because sitting all day may lead to body stiffness and back pain.
With most of us feeling stressed about the pandemic, keeping up with physical activities may slide down our priority list. This lack of exercise only makes our bodies more vulnerable to health problems. As we navigate through our new physiotherapy journeys during COVID-19, we should add regular exercising into our quarantine routines.
Luckily, many of the best back exercises can be performed from the comfort of your home. Once these exercises become a part of your daily routine, they will help to alleviate the stiffness that you experience from sitting too much. Check out these eight easy back exercises for those who sit all day at home.
1. Walking exercises
Walking is one of the simplest exercises that can improve your chiropractic health. This activity helps to increase the stability of the spine, improves flexibility, and corrects your posture. When you walk regularly, this will condition the muscles that keep the body in an upright condition.
If you find yourself sitting all day at home, try to get up and walk around for a few minutes. Instead of going outside for a walk, you can simply climb up and down the stairs to get more steps in. Develop a habit of getting up at least once every hour and move your body around. Even if it's just to go downstairs and grab a glass of water, this will help to keep the blood flowing and prevent stiffness in your back.
2. Sitting exercises
Don't want to get up from your seat? You can also perform some quick stretches within the confines of your chair. A simple exercise involves reclining your back against the chair to stare at the ceiling. Hold this position for five to eight seconds, while letting your body relax as you gently exhale. This easy, practical stretch is helpful to relieve some of the tension from your back.
While you're sitting, it's also important to correct your sitting posture. Poor posture can lead to tension and stiffness in the upper back, neck, and shoulders. While you sit, position your feet flat on the floor and don't cross your knees or ankles. Keep your spine as straight as possible. Relax your shoulders as you type, while keeping your elbows in towards your ribs.
3. Knees-to-chest exercises
The knees-to-chest stretch is great for massaging the lower back, which is likely feeling more tension due to sitting all day. First, lie down on your back on an exercise mat. Bring both knees up towards your chest. Wrap your arms around the shins, while tucking in your chin. Slowly move your knees from side to side. You should feel a great stretch across your lower back.
This stretch is simple and comfortable to do, perfect for beginners who aren't used to strenuous physical exercises. If you want a more intense stretch, you can bring one knee towards the opposite shoulder.
4. Cat-cow exercises
This stretch with the charming name is one of the best back exercises for beginners. It warms up your body and stretches the back torso, which helps to bring flexibility to the spine. Start by kneeling on an exercise mat. Place your hands on the mat, with your hands facing forward. Make sure your spine isn't arching or sagging.
For the 'cat' phase, exhale and push your spine upwards. Hold this position for ten seconds, while letting your head fall towards your chest. Afterwards, you'll perform the 'cow' phase. Let your stomach fall towards the floor, creating an arch in your lower back. Let your shoulder blades fall together, while retaining this position for another ten seconds.
5. Spinal twist exercises
Spinal twists are beneficial for stretching and massaging the back muscles. This back exercise is especially good for lengthening, relaxing, and realigning the spine. Begin this exercise in a seated position on the floor, with your legs extended fully. Next, lift your right leg, placing the heel near your left knee. Slowly rotate your body to one side, planting your fingertips on the floor. Hold for half a minute before release, and then repeat on the other side.
6. Cobra exercises
The cobra is one of the best back exercises to strengthen the lower back. This exercise focuses on stretching out your hip flexors, which tend to tighten from being in a seated position for too long. To perform this stretch, lie facedown on an exercise mat and press your forearms into the floor. Pull your shoulders back as you raise your head up.
7. Forward bend exercises
If you suffer from back pain and soreness, the forward bend is a simple stretching exercise that can provide relief. This particular exercise helps to relieve the lower back pain related to tight hips.
To perform the forward bend, stand with your feet apart. Relax your upper body, and then slowly dip your body towards the ground in a forward bend. Make sure your neck feels comfortable and relaxed. Then, tuck your chin and release your shoulders. Stay in this position for about ten seconds, while letting gravity gently increase the stretch.
8. Downward-facing dog exercises
The downward-facing dog is a classic yoga pose. This exercise focuses on your back extensors, which are the large muscles that make up your lower back. Begin this stretch on your hands and knees. Slowly, bend your knees and lift your hips. Lengthen your tailbone while keeping your head down. You'll feel a lengthening and decompressing sensation in your spine, which should feel great after a long day of sitting.