Most of us live pretty sedentary lifestyles. We’re working long hours in a chair by a desk, slaving over a computer screen. Most of the time we’re losing the fight for good posture.
Sure, we workout 3-4 times a week but you can’t expect those 4-8 hours of exercise and/or posture work to make up for the 100+ hours of our week. If you want to start winning this battle against the sedentary lifestyle, you’re going to take use of reinforcements. Check them out:
Glute Bridges are great! Do them. They are the squats of desk jockey strength and conditioning. While I was at the Form and Function Clinic, there were countless patients with lower back pain and weak glute control.
It was glute bridges that were often prescribed to help activate the glutes of patients for mitigating pain. Wake up those sleeping giants. They’re suffocating under your shitty office chair and your sedentary lifestyle.
Planks against the sedentary life
Bracing and breathing. We’ve done a post on bracing and loaded carries, but let’s get horizontal here to challenge core stabilization. Create full hip extension, pack the upper back by externally rotating the shoulders, and create total body tension via pressing ankles together and flexing the quads.
Our hip flexors are the Samuel L. Jackson of our lower body. What do we mean? They are Big Bad Mother Effers; very powerful, very thick, and for YOU, very tight. The sedentary lifestyle pisses off the hip flexors like no tomorrow, and can be one of the causes of lower back pain. With long periods of sitting, we get these guys super tight and it sucks.
Prop up on a couch (as the name suggests) or stand staggered. Bend one leg back so that the lower leg is propped against the backrest of the couch. If you’re standing, your rear leg in the staggered stance is the one that you will be stretching. Flex your glutes, lean forward, and release the Kraken.
We will be talking in a future post about the Cossack squat and its benefit in improving hip mobility and being less sedentary. It’s a great way of keeping your hips limber by moving in the not-often used coronal plane (sideways).
Groin and adductor stretching ensues and you get the chance to work on some ankle mobility with the weight-bearing leg. These are all areas that get very tight when your sitting a lot.
3rd world squats
You know barbell squatting but can you third world squat? Just hang out in a deep squat, chilling. Use a pole to hold on to if staying that deep is uncomfortable. While you’re down there, test your ankle ROM, shifting weight from one foot to the other for a few moments. Bounce in the hole. Also try to move into some pistol squat positions to add more emphasis on one leg.
Thoracic extensions on foam roller
A lot of sedentary people are constantly in front of a computer or smart phone. This leaves us in a hunched back position with a tight neck. Open up your thoracic spine and be able to put your arms straight overhead with some thoracic extensions on a foam roller. Just don’t extend with your lower back. Make sure the lower back stays on the floor while you extend your arms overhead.
Time to Roll out
There you have it; your basic starter kit in the fight against a sedentary slouch-fest. Doing these exercises on a daily basis or after periods of extended sitting can go a long way in maintaining posture and mobility.
Also, the more you try to maintain your mobility outside of the gym the less mobility work you’ll have to do when you warm up. It’s a win-win situation.
Call in your reinforcements and use them to stay limber for the long haul.