By Hadley McClellan, Founder, EvConFitness
EvConFitness founder, conference manager and previous The Exposure podcast guest Hadley McClellan has put together some stretching exercises to help all of us alleviate those additional aches and pains that pop up while you’ve been working from home. So sit up straight, grab a mat and discover your zen with these stretches.
The following three stretches are ways that can help you reverse the effects of slouching over a computer in front of a virtual meeting, from sitting for too long while on the back to back video conferences, and to ease any anxiety you may be facing due to the current situation.
First is the hip opener. It helps to sit on the floor to do this pose.
- Stretch one leg out straight and place the other foot inside the thigh of the stretched-out leg.
- Slowly bringing your knee up and down in a steady motion to get the fluidity back in your outer hips.
- After about 10 – 20 movements, take the knee that has been moving up and down and place it in your corresponding elbow, then place the foot in the opposite elbow.
The key is to keep your back straight. For help with this pose you can sit against the wall. Your flexibility may be limited, at which case, hold the knee with your hand and cup the foot with your hand. Keep your back straight. Rock side to side keeping your hips on the ground. Keeping mobility in your hips helps prevent stiffness and encourages flexibility and movement.
Second stretch is to open your shoulders and reverse the effects of slouching day in and day out.
- Interlock your fingers at the base of your spine.
- Drop your shoulders, bring your shoulder blades closer to your spine, shift your hips slightly forward, tuck your chin into your chest and then drop your head back.
This posture opens your shoulders, your chest and takes the weight out of the top of your neck. This releases fresh oxygenated blood into areas that are normally cut off during our everyday posture.
The final stretch I want to recommend is side facing, wide legged forward fold. This position stretches the hamstrings and shoulder blades as well as calms anxiety by dropping your head below your heart.
- Stand with your feet 2 – 3 slightly more than shoulder width a part with your heels on the outside of your toes (like pigeon-toed).
- Slowly fold down, grabbing the outside of your calves or heels and pulling on them to drop the crown of your head closer to the ground.
- Pull your lower belly in toward your spine.
- Pull your hips forward so your weight balances in between your feet and in between the heels and toes.
If you want help, you can lean against a wall as you fold forward, bend your knees so you can place your hands on the ground and then walk your feet back to get your legs against the wall and your hips will align more steady. Take easy breaths in this pose, letting gravity slow down and calm your heart rate. Before standing back up, make sure the lower belly is still pulled up and in and then stand in place for a few breaths before walking away.
Hadley McClellan is the Founder of EvCon FITNESS, which matches event organizers with local certified fitness instructors to make it easier for event attendees to keep up with their fitness goals while at conferences at events. A certified RYT200 Yoga Teacher and the Senior Manager of the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, Texas, Hadley has combined her two passions and expertise in yoga and conference management to connect events with wellness across the U.S.