WHY WE MUST UNDO THE DESK WORKING POSITIONS….
We are the creations of the postures we allow for or that we are forced to be in for the majority of our existence. If you work out 1 hour a day (which is way more than what the average person works out) you still have 23 hours of the day to continue to adding to your health.
A normal day consists of mostly seated postures. These postures consist of forward head poking, rounded shoulders, shortened hip flexors, and lack of mobility and strength at the glutes and ankles.
Some things you can do to undo these devastating postures and prevent gravity from winning its battle of pulling us down can be found and put to use in this blog.
TIP #1 INCREASE MOVEMENT
For starters, Try to walk for 20 to 30 minutes a day. If you are busy and on the go, perfect! Use what I call active transportation via walking to your destination to your advantage. Make phone calls on your walks etc.
TIP #2 CHANGE THE POSITIONS YOU DO YOUR WORK UP
Sit on the floor Indian Style for spurts of time, with your head and back supported on a wall for sometime, or my favorite laying belly down on the ground, while typing on my lap top and feet spread out for a few minutes. Think downward dog in yoga. (This position basically stretches the front side of our body, which is what grows doormat and tight over time, due to the desk.)
This is my friend and longtime client Mary below. She plays therapeutic music for patients in hospitals and makes paintings for hours on end. So we are constantly working on these positions with her.
TIP #3 STRETCH 1 DIFFERENT MUSCLE GROUP FOR 2 MINUTES EVERY HOUR.
Taking 10 to 15 minutes to set out to stretch can be highly boring to most people and frankly will lead to lack for consistency in most cases. If you break it down to a stretch for 2 minutes, every hour will more than likely help you to be able to accomplish 5 or 6 bang for buck stretches in the most problematic areas you have. Two of our go to stretches for the hip complex is shown below.
(The Pigeon and the Half Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch)
TIP #4 ACTIVATE YOUR HIPS
Buy a mini band and activate those hips! The glutes are the engine of the body! If they don’t know to work you can expect dysfunction throughout your body! Place the band below your knees and use the outside part of your hips to open and close your legs. This will activate your hips just fine!
Another activation drill to wake up and strengthen the hip flexors, hamstring, and glutes is to simply sit in a deep squat stance for about 5 minutes.
TIP #5 POSTERIOR CHAIN STRENGTH TRAINING
The premise of your strength training should be back side of your body oriented. Exercises, that work the upper back, rotator cuff, posterior delts, glutes, hamstrings, will be best! A few exercises that are good for doing this are dead lifts, squats, hip thrusters (as shown in the picture, rowing exercises like the TRX and Cable System Face Pulls also shown in the pictures.
Tip #6 DO MORE PLANKS
Planks teach spinal awareness and how to keep your body in one piece or a straight line while using your core, shoulders, glutes, neck stabilizers as a unit. Exactly the muscles you need to use to maintain an upright postural position at the desk. If you are a beginner spread your feet out and place your elbows directly in line with your shoulders to perform the plank. If you are more advanced, move your elbows closer to together, move your feet as far away from your hands as possible as Mary shows in the picture below. This lengthens your body making the exercise way harder to perform.
BONUS TIP – DO BLOOD CIRCULATION TOTAL BODY CIRCUITS WHEN YOU WAKE UP
Wake up 10 minutes earlier and do a what I call a total body blood flow circulation circuit. This could be as simple as 10 push ups, 10 step ups on a chair each leg, 10 jump rope skips, for 10 minutes. Your heart rate will get up, blood will flow and you will more than likely give sitting down for 8 hours a better battle than if you didn’t do it. You also could do this at a local park during your lunch break in the fresh air while getting sunlight if your job allows.
If you do have that luxury, take an exercise band with ya to work or to use when you first wake up! Give this circuit a shot. 30 seconds of work. 30 seconds of rest. Do one exercise followed the next over the course of 2 to 6 rounds time depending.
Squat with Row / Half Kneeling Face Pull / Lunge with Press / Swimmers / Anti Rotation (15 seconds of the 30 on one side the other 15 on the other)
For more info check out my youtube channel or podcast by clicking this link: https://www.youtube.com/user/FINISHERFITNESS
Or feel free to message me directly @ Derek@finisherfitness.comcastbiz.net with any questions you have.