How to relieve sore muscles after a long day of work
Whether you’re tapping away at your WHF set-up or your job is more labour intensive, you’re likely to feel some muscles soreness once you knock off for the day. We’ve asked Aquanation and Aquahub Personal Trainer, Steph Bollaart how to beat your working day muscle woes.
Before attempting to relieve your tender tendons, it’s best to understand why your muscles are sore in the first place.
“Sore muscles from work can be due to a variety of reasons including working in extended positions for a long period of time along with doing a lot of repetitive movements,” Says Bollaart.
Yep, that broken record of movements in your workday is no friend to your limbs. And if you’re in a role that requires a little more physical movement, Bollart recommends using proper lifting techniques to prevent soreness and injury.
“For a proper lifting technique make sure you’re moving up to the object and staying nice and close, have a neutral spine, lift with your legs rather than your back, and keep the object close to your body.”
The personal trainer says it’s important to consider how mentally stressed you are at work too, as this can impact you physiologically.
“If you’re quite stressed at work you can hold a lot of tension in your body, which can lead to sore muscles, that’s another contributing factor,” explains the personal trainer.
How to limber up while you’re at work
To give your mopey muscles a boost, Bollaart says there are some really easy things you can do while you’re at work whether that's at the office or your home office.
Her go-to is static stretching including a door peck stretch and stretching out your hip flexors.
“For the door peck stretch, raise your arms up against the door frame and lean forward,” Bollaart explains.
She adds “When you’re seated for long periods of time at work we can become quite rounded in our spine and that can make our chest quite tight, so this is a good exercise to help with opening up the chest.”
The personal trainer recommends making your hip flexors happy with a simple stretch too as these can shorten and become tighter throughout the day. “For this stretch, have one knee on the ground and the other up on a 45-degree angle (your foot should be underneath your knee), this is a great way to open up the hips.”
For Bollaart, movement is the most important factor for preventing sore muscles and has a really simple method you can easily set your watch to.
“For every 20 minutes you’re sitting, you should stand for eight minutes, followed by two minutes of movement, for each 30-minute block.”
She explains that this ensures you’re not seated for long periods of time and you’re moving in between your work. Sounds like hitting up the office tea room ain’t the worst idea!
Of course that’s not always possible, so if your job requires repetitive movements Bollaart reckons just switching up your posture while you do those activities will work wonders.
What to do when you’ve knocked off
Good deeds for your limbs shouldn’t stop at the workplace. Bollaart is a big fan of massages and foam rolling - and for good reason too.
“This helps bring blood flow to the muscles that have been working hard during the day which helps with repairing the muscles.”
And if your musclesare on the tight side, the personal trainer says this will help unknot the knots and get the blood flowing.
Don’t be afraid of treating yo’ self either, relaxing in the tub is just what the muscles ordered.
“Have a warm bath and add Epsom salts, they contain magnesium, which helps with reducing inflammation, pain, stiffness and swelling,” Bollaart recommends.
Fuelling your muscles is just as important for your workouts as it is for your day to day activities.”
“Make sure after a long day that you’re not starving, because if you’re not getting food and nutrients, your body can’t repair anyway,” advises the personal trainer.
That’s right; don’t get hangry kids and eat up for marvellous muscles!
Steph Bollaart is a trainer at Aquanation and Aquahub.