This mobility flow targets parts of the body that can shorten and tighten after sitting for long periods of time. It focuses on the spine, upper back, and hips. Use this as a break from sitting at your desk, a warmup, cool down, or your daily form of movement.
As you’re going through this flow, remember to breathe through each pose. Breath is the foundation to movement; it’s how you can move through restrictions and rewire movement patterns.
Notice your breath in a more restricting pose. Are you shortening your breath when you lengthen your hamstring? Is there more ease to your breath on the right vs. left side? The breath is a good indication of where you’re restricted in the body. Use it as your compass!
Mobility Flow for Desk Jobs
#1 – Seated Thoracic Flexion/Extension (8 reps)
Try to get as much extension as you can through the upper back. As you gaze up, extending and opening up the chest, pull the shoulder blades down. For flexion, press shoulder blades forward, rounding through the upper spine.
Feel how the shoulder blades move along the ribcage, and how the ribcage engages with the upper back. They all work together!
#2 Kneeling Thoracic Rotation (4 reps, each side)
Rotate and extend as you gaze toward the ceiling. This is a good exercise for waking up the upper body and thoracic spine.
#3 – Quadruped Shoulder Circles with Rotation [2 chest rotations] (4 reps, each side)
Visualization: Imagine there’s a wall next to you, and you’re trying to avoid touching it by reaching as far as possible. Focus on reaching the arm as much as you can.
#4 – Ankle Rocks into Modified Side Plank with Rotation [4 ankle rocks] (4 reps each side)
For Ankle Rocks: Rock back and forth with your leg extended, waking up the Achilles heel.
For Modified Side Plank, seal the outer edge of the food onto the mat. Adjust the bottom leg as needed so you have a stable foundation to work off of.
Visualization: As you seal the outer edge of the foot onto the mat, imagine you’re drawing energy from the front body, all the way up and out through the crown of your head. Zip the pubic bone up toward the chest.
#5 – Lunge to Pyramid Flow (4 reps, each side)
Props are optional but recommended. If you don’t have a block, a few stacked bocks, food cans, or anything that has a little height can work here. Adding height underneath your hands will create more space for the hips to square and allow you to ease into the hamstrings.
Inhale and look forward as you lunge. Exhale, straighten the front leg and fold into pyramid pose, head drops, keeping the hips square. Usually, for the first pyramid of my practice, I find it helpful to wiggle my hip bones side to side to ease into the hamstring.
To access the hip flexors in the lunge, it’s helpful to tuck the tailbone so you get an opening across the psoas, instead of dumping forward into the hips.
#6 – Down Dog Hip Opener on Elbow (4 Reps OR as needed)
This one seems more complicated than it really is! It’s great for accessing the hip flexors (which is not just one muscle, it’s a group of muscles). Letting the foot drop toward the seat is a great way to open up the hips. To go even deeper, dropping the forearm to the mat will allow you to leverage a greater rotation, as you press the opposite hand into the mat, rotating away and looking toward the ceiling.