SOS Stretches are designed to be done in the moment—when you need them most. These super quick routines will relieve tension and tightness, and ease sore muscles from whatever activity you’re taking part in. In today’s going into a big work meeting routine, you’ll be:
Stretching your: Chest, neck, shoulders, inner thighs, and armsYou can do this: Wearing whatever you have on for your big meeting, including form-fitting outfits and high heels. These stretches don’t require a lot of space or big movements, so you can do them from really any location you feel comfortable, like your office, the elevator, parking lot, etc.
Feeling stressed before a big work happening—say, a meeting, interview, or presentation—is a pretty universal experience. When stakes seem high, it’s only natural to morph into a ball of nerves. And when your mind is on edge, your muscles often follow suit and tense up in response.
But taking a few minutes beforehand to do some calming stretches can help release tension in key areas of your body and maybe even boost your confidence for what lies ahead.
“I believe in the power of posture,” physical therapist Brando Lakes, DPT, cofounder of Kinesadelic in NYC, tells SELF. By putting yourself into positions that open up certain areas of your body—like your chest, neck, and shoulders, for instance—you can counteract some of the tension that occurs when you’re stressed.
Such positions may also help foster a good mindset: The authors of a meta-analysis of 88 studies published in Psychological Bulletin concluded that when people held certain poses—like standing or sitting in an expansive way, or standing and sitting up straight instead of slouching—they felt more powerful, confident, and positive.
So before your next big meeting, try the following four-move sequence that Lakes created for SELF. These moves are designed to open up tight areas of your body and instill a sense of calm confidence so you can crush whatever comes next.
Do the following four moves for the amount of time listed below.You can do these in any order and skip over any stretches if you don’t feel like they’re needed. If you do the sequence one time as is, it will take about three to four minutes, but you can also choose to repeat it several times if you’d like.