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Getting Over Your Post-Vacation Blues: Fit For Your Job With Functional Training

It’s fall again, days are slowly getting shorter, and since we’re already past the end of summer, our motivation to exercise is decreasing more and more each day. Once we’re back at work we already start dreaming and secretly planning our next trip, especially if the only way we get a glimpse of the sun is through the Instagram filters of our friends, who seem to be eternally traveling the Caribbean.  But escapism is not a viable solution, exercise is. If we move and especially if we workout, our body produces endorphins, which ultimately transforms our post-vacation-blues into post-vacation happiness.

However, people who’ve spent their summer lounging at the beach rather than doing lunges should start slowly. Running a marathon might not be the ideal way to start out. Especially people who work in front of computers and who suffer from pain in their back, neck and shoulders can begin with simple exercises that relieve tension.

A good way to start is to get up every half an hour and take two minutes to simply straighten your spine, do some stretching or just walk around the office. But there are many more helpful mini-workouts that can improve your general well being. Functional training especially offers a multitude of exercises that are not only easy to integrate into your daily routine but also efficiently target the areas of your body that need improvement (insert link to functional training). You don’t even need professional equipment. In order to show this we’ve put together some easy and small functional training exercises, which you can practice at home or during your office lunch break. They’re not only reenergizing but also spark motivation as they interrupt your daily routine and thereby allow you to put things into perspective.

 

VWTU

This exercise allows you to relieve tension from your shoulders. Through mobilization, the area around the rib cage opens up which allows you to breathe more freely. Also your neck muscles are more relaxed if you perform this exercise regularly.

Exercise Execution

  1. Raise your arms above your head in order to form a “V”.
  2. Keep moving your arms in a uniform and synchronous fashion.
  3. Make sure your keep your head straight.
  4. Bring your elbows parallel to your body and raise your arms at an angle, in order to form a “W” in the end position.
  5. Reach out your arms to the side until they form a horizontal line and your body is in a  “T” shape.
  6. Keep your upper arms in this position and bend your lower arms in order to form a “U”.

Initial Position

  1. Place feet in line with your hips.
  2. Hold your upper body upright (lift your sternum, keep your shoulders down and back).
  3. Your abdominal and gluteal muscles should be tense.
  4. The head is aligned with the spine.
  5. Your arms and shoulders are relaxed.
  6. Make sure that your knee joints are stable.

Standing Dumbbell Cobra: Two Arms (Instead of Dumbbells you can use two 1l bottles of water)

This exercise strengthens the muscles between your shoulder blades, which trains your thoracic spine and helps your upper body to stay balanced.

This is what you should pay attention to:

  1. Your legs are in line with your hips.
  2. Your knees are slightly bent.
  3. Your trunk muscles are contracted.
  4. Straighten your upper body (lift your sternum, keep your shoulder down and back).
  5. Bend your upper body 45° to the front.
  6. Your arms are slightly bent.
  7. The back of your hand is faced toward the front.

Execution

  1. Lift your hands slowly and synchronously. Try to raise them as far as possible but keep in mind to perform slow and controlled movements.
  2. Rotate your arms in order to bring your thumbs into a position in which they point towards the sky.
  3. Pull your shoulders together.
  4. Your arms should move until they are aligned at shoulder level, while always remaining slightly bent.
  5. Bring your arms slowly back into the starting position.

Standing Dumbbell Narrow Grip Row: Two Arms

This is what you should pay attention to:

  1. Align your legs with your hips.
  2. Your knees are slightly bent.
  3. Your trunk muscles are contracted.
  4. Your upper body is straightened (lift you sternum, keep your shoulder down and back).
  5. Bend your upper body 45° to the front.
  6. Your arms are slightly bent.
  7. The backs of your hands are facing down.

Execution

  1. Pull both elbows slowly and synchronously upward as high as possible, while keeping them close to your body.
  2. The upper body remains firm
  3. Move both arms slowly and synchronously back into the starting position.

These exercises will not only help you to relieve pain from your back, shoulders and neck. They will also allow you to spice up your workday and let’s be honest, who doesn’t feel energized after exercising?

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