StretchLAB is a boutique 1-on-1 assisted stretching concept based in Fitzrovia, that aims to assist in recovery from the stressors of modern life. Working personally with a StretchLab practitioner, it’s possible to have your full body stretched; think something between yoga and massage, without you having to lift a finger, and you will be some of the way towards understanding the experience.
Stretching has a huge range of benefits – from the physical (recovery from exercise and prevention of injury), to the mental (encourages relaxation and has stress relieving benefits that can help with tension headaches). However it is often overlooked in favour of more intensive activity, or ignored completely.
During lockdown most of us will be living a more sedentary lifestyle than usual. Working from home at this time means many of us won’t be working from our usual set-ups, and instead working from couches/beds/make shift desks, which is not always the most conducive towards a healthy set up.
So what can we do to make ourselves more comfortable? Adopting the correct sitting position at a desk is essential. Some basic tips to follow would be:
Make sure the top of your computer monitor is at eye level. A pile of books is ideal if you don’t have a computer or laptop stand at home.
Use a chair that allows you to sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor.
If using the phone regularly then try and use hand free devices – a headset, bluetooth device or normal headphones are ideal.
Gently stretching the neck and ensuring you move around on a regular basis is an easy one, but often forgotten. Running up and down the stairs a few times is a good way to get moving and can also help to wake you up if feeling sluggish.
Stay hydrated – often overlooked when we are busy at work.
What are some simple stretches we can do to relieve tension after sat all day hunched over a laptop?
The above chest stretch is a fantastic way to open up the chest. Simply take a band, rope or cord (dressing gown cords are ideal) and hold in this position for around 30 seconds, repeating three times.
Some great options to stretch out the neck include, the Melodrama Stretch, which involves placing your hands on your rib cage and pulling down, as you turn the head away from the hands. You should feel like down the front of your neck. The wonderfully named Armpit Sniffer is another great option; place your hands on the crown of your head and bring your head down towards your shoulder as if you’re sniffing your armpits. Gently apply pressure as you start to feel the stretch. Finally, the Trapezius Stretch is great for the side of the neck. Place in the body into a half nelson position (arms folded behind your grab, with each hand grabbing the other elbow) and bend the neck away from the shoulder.
If you have a foam roller, this move is fantastic for stretching out the back. Lay with the roller between your shoulder blades and running down the middle of your back. Keep your knees bent and outstretch your arms and hands. Try and hold the position for 10 minutes, relaxing into it as much as you can.
Finally, the runners lunge or hip flexor stretch (below), is a fantastic way to loosen up the lower body. Place one leg back with the knee on the floor. You can remain in this position if the stretch feels sufficient, or there’s the option to put your arms straight up in the air to combine with an upper body stretch.
Without being able to experience an assisted stretch session at this time, StretchLAB Stretchologists have created a series of stretches on Rebel TV to support whatever program you might be following and aid your stretching at home.