Yoga for the office: Standing Quad Stretch

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Standing Quadricep Stretch

or as we lovingly call it, The Flamingo

THE DESK.
A necessary evil of modern life.

Most of us sit at a desk at some point and the majority of us sit at desks for a prolonged period of time every day. This can contribute to a “schlumped posture”, which not only compresses the spine and wreaks havoc on your quads, there have also been studies that conclusively link poor sitting posture to bad mood and even depression.

Conversely, it is pretty well documented that when we are feeling low energy, under the weather, or depressed, we adopt a curled-in or “schlumped” posture. So if we are habitually in this position during the work day, we can start to feel low… even if we start the day feeling like a superstar.

To add more fervour for the need to straighten up, researchers have found that when deliberately placed into a slumped position, participants tend to feel more stressed, are more likely to give up in a test of skill and even feel less proud when told of a positive achievement, than those who had been sitting up straight prior to the tests. A further study found that sitting more than 7 hours per day meant a higher likelihood of experiencing depressive symptoms than sitting less than 4 hours.

 


Oooch! We have three tips to help you send your schlump packing:

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  1. Set a timer and get up from your desk for a little movement time at least once an hour.

  2. Hire us to come to your office and take you through a 30 minute movement break!!! 👈🏾shameless promotion.

  3. Do the flamingo often.

 
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First, The Anatomy

Your quadricep muscle is actually a group of four muscles (hence the prefix - quad) that are responsible for straightening the knee and flexing/hinging at the hip. In addition to stretching these four muscles, the Flamingo also has a secondary chest opening effect, which happens when reaching back to grasp your foot - effectively stretching your pectoralis major muscles and anterior deltoid muscle of the shoulder. Good things!!

 
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The Movement

  1. Stand tall with the spine lifting. Have a chair or tabletop nearby for extra balance.

  2. Bend your right knee, catching hold of your foot in your right hand.

  3. Use your hand to bring your heel closer to your glutes.

  4. Do your best to bring the knees together, square your hips to face forward, and allow the right shoulder to be broad

  5. Squeeze your bum a little to keep the hips forward - you should feel a little extra with that activation!