(Caption: Dr. Ben Tucker: Double hitch-hiker postural stretch.)
Many of us can find ourselves throughout the day – whether we’re sitting at a desk or sitting for a long period of time – is that we tend to crunch forward like this whenever we’re working on something – writing, typing, reading. What we want to do is give our bodies a break and do the opposite. So instead of being in this position, this is called the Double Hitch-Hiker stretch. So you’ll come to the ends of your seat and take your thumbs – you’ll hitch-hike with the right thumb, you’ll hitch-hike with the left thumb – and you’ll puff out the chest a little bit while kind of lifting that head up towards the ceiling and retracting the head a little bit as well. So this is the ending position, and from here you’ll take two to three deep breaths. (Caption: Key points: “hitch hiker” position with both arms outstretched. Sit up straight at the edge of your chair. Take a deep chest breath to stretch the pectorals. Perform 2-3x per hour when seated.) And after each breath you should feel a nice stretch – kind of when the chest is puffing out – through these muscles here, the pectoral muscles. And feeling some relaxation; a chance for these muscles to take a break. Again, this is called the Double Hitch-Hiker stretch. I really recommend doing this stretch actually about three times an hour, so every 20 minutes or so if you’re seated for a long period of time. Just take that extra ten seconds, come to the edge of your seat, and perform a Double Hitch-Hiker stretch, and give your body the rest it needs.