Monthly Archives: February 2013

illustration of woman stretching on a chair

Seated side stretch – easy and effective office stretch

illustration of woman stretching on a chair
Nel is doing a seated side stretch to loosen some tension she has built up after having been stuck in an office chair all day.

The purpose of the side stretch is to target the muscles between the ribs and the hip, which can get tensed after having spent a lot of time sitting down, or slept on a too soft madras. Another reason can be that one of your legs are slightly shorter than the other. This is an easy stretch exercise you can do both standing up and sitting down.

Sit straight and tense your abs slightly. Raise your right arm above your head and slowly lean to the left until you feel tension on your side. It’s ok to bend your arm to get deeper into the stretch. Don’t lift your butt from the chair or lean forward or backward. Hold the position for the desired amount of time and then switch to the other side.

You can also do this the side stretch while standing up. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and raise your right arm above your left and slowly lean into the stretch. Hold the position for the desired amount of time and then switch to the other side.

Leg raises in the kitchen

workout illustration of woman doing lateral leg raises in a kitchen
Lateral leg raises, or hip abductions as they are also called, helps with shaping your ass, hips and thighs. They also prevents injuries in your hip and lower back. Leg raises is a good exercise you can do in the kitchen when waiting for something to finish. Lateral means a movement away from the plane of the body.

Stand with your side to the kitchen counter and place your left hand on the edge for support. Shift your weight to your left leg and slowly lift your right leg as high as you can (often about 45 degrees) before lowering again. Don’t tilt your upper body to compensate for the lift. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions and then switch to the other side. Don’t let your foot touch the floor between reps.

Alternative 1 – Backwards leg lift
With the leg extended straight, lift it back about 90 degrees while bending forward, then lower it again. When your leg is at the highest it should be parallel to the ground. This is easiest done if facing the counter.

Alternative 2 – Forward leg lift
Lift your leg forward as high as you can and then lower it back down again. Keep you abs tensed during the movement and don’t arch your back. This version targets your abs and hip flexors.