Desk side stretch workout

Peta Serras

by Peta Serras

A Pilates-based desk side stretch routine you can do sitting at your desk to relieve office aches and pains.

It’s a well-known fact that sitting for prolonged periods of time isn’t good for anyone. Well, I didn’t need to tell you that, I bet your body already has!

Our bodies are designed to move on a regular basis. Aches and pains often creep up when we become sedentary. Moving makes us feel so good! It’s why we feel on top of the world after our Pilates class. Everything is aligned and we’ve got everything moving.

The unfortunate thing is these days most of us have jobs that require sitting in front of a computer or long commutes in our car. And most of us wouldn’t be working in places with on-site lunch time Pilates classes (however if you’re looking, call me!) to stretch us out.

It’s important to keep your body moving to relieve aches and pains associated with the affects of sitting. But how can we do this when we have a desk full of deadlines and no chance of a lunch break?

Desk side Pilates of course!

This Pilates based stretching routine is specifically designed for the busy girl who is either jetting around the country, sitting at a desk for long periods of time or driving to and from meetings. I don’t need to tell you sitting is a pain in the ass because your tight glutes are already protesting!

Don’t worry glutes, we’ll fix you right up.

You’re too busy to have to look for a last minute massage or physio appointment to iron out the kinks or injuries you have from sitting. Well babe, prevention is better than looking for a cure.

The well-balanced routine looks at relieving the tight areas created by sitting. It also features strengthening exercises to help you sit up tall and proud.

Do this routine in your car, office chair or even whilst flying!

“Take five minutes to stretch so you can power through the day. These simple desk side stretches are perfect to do with the help of your office chair, delivering maximum results to relieve tension in the body. They’re endorphin boosting making it the perfect way to re-focus and re-energise yourself throughout your day.”

desk side pilates stretch workout | Professional babe

Shoulder Shrugs

Sometimes you’ve just gotta shake it off

Releases tension through the shoulders  

Sit tall with your arms relaxed. Inhale to lift the shoulders up towards the ears. Exhale to drop the shoulders and feel the jaw and chest relax. Complete this 3-5 times any time you are feeling tension in your shoulders.

desk side pilates stretch workout | Professional babe

Neck Release

Because holding your head high is hard work

Stretches the muscles through the sides of the neck and shoulders

Sitting tall and place your hands on your shoulders. Breathe out and lower the head to one side stretching the muscles through the side of the neck. Inhale to return the head to centre and exhale to repeat to the other side. Repeat this stretch 2-3 times each side.

desk side stretches | Professional BabeTricep and Side Stretch

The perfect energising stretch and a way to subtly ‘bump’ into the cute man next to you

Stretches through the triceps, obliques and sides of the body

Bend the left arm and place the left hand on the left shoulder blade. With the right arm, grab the left elbow and pull it towards the right. You should feel a stretch from the elbow all the way down the side of the body. Hold, focusing on the breath for 30 seconds. Repeat both sides once.

desk side stretches | Professional Babe

Arm Pretzel 

Because holding the weight of the world on your shoulders is tiring

Stretches the muscles of the upper back, shoulders and neck

Bend one arm and bring the forearm and elbow in line with the nose. Bend the other arm and place it underneath until the elbows lock into place. Press the forearms and elbows together. You should feel a stretch across the shoulders and back. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds breathing throughout and repeat both sides once.

desk side stretches | Professional BabeSpine Twist

This stretch is just the excuse you use to perve on the cutie in the cubicle behind you…

Releases tension through the spine. Stretches muscles of the back and the obliques

Exhale and begin to twist towards the right, allowing the left hand to slide onto the inside of the left knee and the right hand to come to the outside of the right leg. Keep the arm straight and press the hand into the knee and notice how you twist further. As you inhale, return the hands back to the tops of the thighs and exhale repeat to the other side. Repeat the movement 6-8 times each side.


desk side stretches | Professional Babe

Glute Stretch

The only tight butt you want is the one you can bounce a coin off

Releases through the glutes and hips 

Lift one leg up and place the ankle to the opposite knee. Turn the leg out aiming the knee down towards the floor so the shin becomes parallel to the floor. Hinge forward from the hip keeping the back straight. Hold for 30 seconds each side.

desk side stretches | Professional BabeCalf Stretch

Because walking in 5 inch heels is hard work

Stretches through the calf muscle and Achilles tendon

Step one leg behind you making sure the toes are pointing forward. Bend the front leg, keeping the back heel firmly pressed down into the ground as you lean forward. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds before switching sides.

desk side stretches | Professional BabeHip Flexor Stretch

Because it also doubles as a way to show off your new shoes

Opens through the front of the hip and hip flexor

Bend the leg and place the foot on your chair or desk (make sure you’re wearing underwear!). Tuck your pelvis under feeling the pubic bone draw towards the belly button and lunge forward until you feel a stretch through the front of the leg you are standing on. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and repeat both sides.

desk side stretch workout | Professional BabeStanding Rolldown Release

Sometimes you just want to let your hair hang down

Stretches through the hamstrings and calves. Releases any tension through the head, neck and shoulders.

Roll forward with the spine until you are relaxed over the legs. When fully relaxed, bend the arms and grab the elbows, allowing the shoulders and head to relax. If needed bend the knees. Hold this for 30 seconds breathing throughout. When finished, let go of the elbows and slowly roll back to a standing position.

“The well-balanced routine focuses tight areas created by sitting. It’s short, sweet & easy to do. The perfect routine for the Professional Babe.”


Peta Serras

Editor of Professional Babe, Peta has a penchant for pretty things, Tom Hardy and ginger kittens. You can find her sipping a long black, creating killer content or making sure her winged eyeliner is even. Peta is a writer, model & Pilates Instructor based out of the Hunter Valley.

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