Exercises to do while you commute

The commute between work and home can be a long stretch for some. Most of us spend this time reading from our phones, others think or plan while the odd person uses this time for quick nap. Many of these postures can be strenuous on the neck and shoulders especially when carrying a heavy bag or craning your neck to read from your phone. Many office workers sit during their commute and then spend hours at the office sitting at a desk only to sit on the way home again and mostly likely won’t have much time to fit in any form of exercise for that day. What better time to fit in a few stretches and exercises and help relieve the tension in your achy muscles. Some exercises are discreet and others are more obvious therefore if it’s rush hour and the space is limited then perhaps stick with the more discreet ones.

Neck stretch

  • Sit on your hands with your palms facing up
  • Tilt your head to the side bringing your ear closer to your shoulder
  • Now tilt your head down as if looking underneath your arm
  • Feel the stretch on the opposite side and hold for 30 seconds
  • Repeat twice each side

Chin tuck

  • Sit straight and keep your eyes parallel with an object directly in front of you
  • Keep your chin parallel with the floor as you tuck your chin backwards (imagine the back of your head is being pulled by a piece of string)
  • Feel the stretch at the base of your skull and at the back of your neck
  • Hold for a few seconds and relax
  • Repeat five times

Neck roll down

  • Lengthen your spine by imagining you are “growing taller”
  • Start by gently tucking in your chin and rolling each vertebra down one at a time
  • Feel the stretch at the back of your neck and shoulders
  • Roll the spine back up one vertebra at a time

Shoulder blade setting

  • Imagine your are gently squeezing an orange between the bottom of your shoulder blades. Feel the muscle between your shoulder blades working
  • Keep your back from arching
  • Hold a few seconds and relax,
  • Repeat five times

Hamstring stretch

  • Ensure there is enough space to do this exercise when seated
  • Keep your back from slouching
  • Straighten one leg out in front of you with the heel on the floor
  • Keep the knee and back straight as you lean forward form the hips to feel a stretch at the back of your thigh
  • Hold a few seconds and repeat twice each side

Heel raises

  • Stand with feet hip width apart and toes facing forward
  • Lift the heels up to go onto the balls of your feet and lower back down
  • Feel the calf muscles working
  • Repeat ten times

Modified calf stretch

  • Find a spot close to a wall
  • Place your forefoot on the wall, keeping your heel on the floor
  • Keep your knee straight and move your body closer to the wall to feel a stretch at the back of you calf
  • Hold 30 seconds and repeat twice each side

If you have had a long day sitting down at the desk, why not stand for the commute instead. These exercises should always feel beneficial even though you might feel an intense stretch. If you feel any pain or have a pre-existing injury then consult your physiotherapist before continuing.
Happy commuting!