Not wanting to leave you in the lurch having spread doom with our Tech related injuries page we wanted to help you to help yourself avoid such problems. We’ve already given you our Physio / Sports Therapy take on how to help yourself. We’ve also enlisted the help of expert Pilates instructor Ellie Priest of Brighton Pilates. Her advice below will give you a great Pilates workout to help restore mobility and function and avoid the dreaded tech injuries.

Swiper’s Thumb

Exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles in the surrounding area are great to help with De Quervain’s Syndrome as it takes the strain away from the inflamed sore tendons and offers them some support.

Here’s some strengthening exercises which can be done at your desk.

1. Resisted Wrist Workout with a Pilates stretch band, 8-12 x

Ellie - Resisted Wrist Workout

How to:

  1. Sit on a chair with your legs apart with a resistance band under your foot.
  2. Hold the band with your opposite hand so there is some resistance. Rest you elbows on your knee so it doesn’t move.
  3. Grip the resistance band and move your wrist up and down up to 12 times.
  4. Repeat this exercise on your other hand.

2. Finger springs with an elastic band or hair bobble, 2 sets of 15

Ellie-Finger springs

How to:

  1. Place a rubber band or hair tie around your fingers and thumb so that it offers some resistance.
  2. Open your thumb to stretch the band open as far as you can and resist back in.
  3. With your palm facing down, slowly bend your wrist right and left up to 12 times.
  4. Repeat up to 12 times then swap hands.

Desk Restitis

Tricep extensions are good to keep the arm moving and keep the bursa and nerves around the elbow nourished and happy. For this you can use water bottles or light arm weight 1-2kg. Heavy weights is not the goal here as this could irritate structures around the elbow. Increase the weight steadily if it is too easy. We are working on mobility and stability. Not looking to bulk up the triceps!

Monkey Triceps

Ellie-Monkey Triceps 2
Ellie-Monkey Triceps 1

How to:

  1. Hold onto a hand weight in each hand (between 1-2kg or water bottles).
  2. Bend your knees with your back straight as if you are sitting back onto a chair.
  3. Hug your upper arm bones into the side of your ribs.
  4. Bend and straighten your elbows to the maximum range keeping the tops of your arms hugging the midline.
  5. Repeat up to 12 times then swap sides.

Tablet Bicep

Tight biceps and pecs are a predisposing factor in any person struggling with this so let us try some lovely twists and chest openers.

Chalk Circles

Ellie-Chalk Circles 1
Ellie-Chalk Circles 2

How to:

  1. Lie on your side with a head cushion to support your head and your arms out straight. Stack your shoulder, hips and feet one on top of the other.
  2. Lift the top arm up above your head and continue to circle the arm all the way around back to the start position. Allow your spine to rotate and follow your fingertips with your eyes as much as possible on the way round to encourage full rotation of the spine.
  3. Repeat up to 5 times then swap sides.

Note: if you are in the office and you can’t lie on the floor. This exercise can be performed standing with the side of your body up against the wall for support and to encourage a long lifted spine.

Gorilla Back/Rounded Shoulder syndrome

A good one for this person is upper back extension. Swan prep is a good one. It is also good because not only does it work the upper back muscles but it opens the chest, the abdominals and hip flexors. Typically hip flexors get very tight in people who sit down for a living.

Swan Prep

Ellie-Swan Prep 1
Ellie-Swan Prep 2

How to:

  1. Lie on your tummy, with your forehead on the mat, your hands directly underneath your shoulders and your shoulders rolled back and down.
  2. Lift your abdominals in and up, maintain that whilst your lift your head and chest and gaze forward. Keep the tops of your arms hugging the midline and keep your shoulders back and down.
  3. Hold at the top and then lower back down with control.
  4. Repeat 5-8 times

Note: If you are in the office and you can’t lie on the floor. This exercise can be performed standing with your forehead on the wall instead and with a little press of the hands, like a standing press up. However, if some floor space is available I would recommend the lying version as then you are lifting your upper back against gravity giving you some force to work against.

Mouse Wrist

For this one let us look at another exercise that opens the wrists, pecs and chest. Importantly is also helps with the alignment of the upper body to better support the movement of the shoulders, elbows, wrists and hands.

1. Shave

Ellie-Shave 1
Ellie-Shave 2

How to:

  1. For the start position: come to seated with your small hand weights in each hand. Hold the weights behind your head with your elbows bent. Pitch forward so that your collarbones are in front of your hips and your back’s straight.
  2. Work on straightening your arms from this position without the trapezius (top of your shoulders into your neck muscle) turning on. If you feel it turn on even a small amount, stop and relax your trapezius and think about straightening your arms from your upper back muscles. We are learning to straighten the arms without engaging the top of the trapezius muscle.
  3. Do 5 honest mindful attempts.

2. Serratus press up

Ellie-Serratus press up 1
Ellie-Serratus press up 2

How to:

  1. Come to 4 point kneeling, wrists directly under the shoulders, knees under your hips and gaze forward.
  2. Keeping your arms straight, allow the ribs to lower between the arms and the shoulder blades draw together. Then press your hands into the floor as if trying to push the floor away so the upper rounds and the shoulder blades spread wide on the back of the ribs.
  3. Move through these positions with control 8 times.

Note: if you are in the office and you can’t lie on the floor. This exercise can be performed standing against a wall.

Laptop Neck

Laptop neck can make the tops of our backs and necks feel very uncomfortable and tight. Mobilising and lengthening the entire spine with this exercise will help greatly.

Round the World Cat Stretch

Ellie-Round the World Cat Stretch 1
Ellie-Round the World Cat Stretch 2
Ellie-Round the World Cat Stretch 3

How to:

  1. Come to 4 point kneeling, wrists directly under the shoulders, knees under your hips and gaze forward.
  2. Start by rounding the entire spine. Then continue your spine moving around in circles. Reach your right ear to your right hip, look forward and extend the spine continue round, left ear to left hip and back to your cat shape. Reverse.
  3. Move through these positions with control 4 times in each direction getting as much movement as possible.

Kindle Strain

To help release tension in and around the neck and shoulders from reading your kindle for too long I would highly recommend getting a spiky ball. They are brilliant for releasing localised muscle tension, stimulating blood flow and keeping you feel refreshed and invigorated during your working day.

Spiky Ball Trigger Point Release

Ellie-Kindle strain

Stand against the wall and place the ball where you feel the tension (around neck and shoulders typically) and roll on the ball until your muscles start to feel better. Do this at the beginning and end of your day and if you get chance in your lunch break.

Standing Desk Wonky Pelvis Syndrome

Lengthening the sides, working the side muscles and gluteus medius to support the pelvis.

Side lying leg lifts

Ellie-Side lying leg lifts 1
Ellie-Side lying leg lifts 2

How to:

  1. Lie on your side, use the back of a mat to line up your spine and then stretch your legs forward to the front corner of the mat.
  2. Reach through both heels and make sure the heels are lined up, therefore the hips are stacked and the waist evenly lengthened.
  3. Lift and lower the legs keeping the reach, do small pulses and circles.
  4. Do 8 of each and then change sides.

Fit Bit OCD

If people are using their legs more their quads will naturally get tight and start causing problems. Potentially into the knee. I would recommend an exercise that helps with leg alignment, stretches the thighs, opens the hips AND lengthens the spine…

Shoulder Bridge

Ellie-Shoulder Bridge 1
Ellie-Shoulder Bridge 2

How to:

  1. Lie on your back, make sure your heels are in line with your seat bones and your knees stay directly above the ankles.
  2. Lift the hips by initiating the movement from a reach of the tail bone towards the back of the knees. Keep lifting until you have a diagonal straight line from your shoulders out through your knees.
  3. Lower back down with control
  4. Practice 6-8 times.
  5. Once this can be done with control and if it doesn’t hurt at all then the full shoulder bridge can be practiced.

Gamers Rage Tension

A nice twist rotation to stretch the trapezius, open the chest and move the spine. More importantly help you relax all those tense muscles.

Threading the needle

Ellie-Threading the needle 1
Ellie-Threading the needle 2

How to:

  1. Come to 4 point kneeling, wrists directly under the shoulders, knees under your hips and gaze forward.
  2. Lift your right arm out to the side, feel your obliques working as you work to keep the chest square to the floor.
  3. Continue the reach of the arm up to the ceiling as you open the chest and rotate the spine from the waist.
  4. Twist the other way, thread your top arm under you simultaneously bending the supporting arm (like a 1 armed press up) and twist right through so your ear is just floating of the floor.
  5. Come back to all 4s
  6. Repeat on the other side.
  7. Repeat 3x each side.

There you have it. We hope you enjoy these exercises and they help you feel aligned and get you away from your gadgets for a while. If you have any thoughts please contact us and if you like what you see please share using the social media buttons below.