A trio of Pilates moves to combat the physical effects of a desk job

If your job is predominantly desk based with hours at a time sitting down, here are a trio of great Pilates exercises to do each day. So get up off your seat and try them now!

Pilates exercise 1 – Cat stretch/child pose

A cat stretch can be very effective at releasing tension in the back. Start on all fours with hands under shoulders and knees under hips. Round the back and tuck the pelvis under and then lengthen the spine in the opposite direction, from the crown of your head to the tailbone.  Lastly, gently move the pelvis backwards from the knees, lengthening the spine and arms whilst lowering the chest towards the thighs. Breathe as is comfortable.

Pilates exercise 2 – Back extension

Begin by lying flat on your stomach with both arms by your side, elbows down, hands by your shoulders. Take a few deep breaths to relax the body and gently draw your shoulders together. Press your forearms into the floor and lift your chest off the mat. Breathe as is comfortable for you. Throughout keep movements slow and repeat 5-10 times as is comfortable.

Pilates exercise 3 – Four Point Kneeling Superman

Begin the exercise on all fours by balancing yourself on the mat. Gently raise one leg and the opposite arm. As you lift, think about lengthening, reaching forward and back to stretch and open the front side of your body. Ideally try not to lean to the opposite side as you lift, and stay strong through your centre. You can challenge yourself by working up towards holding for a few seconds each side. Repeat up to six times on each side.

By Kelly Washington

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