You're health conscious, you keep up with the Pulse blog, you watch what you eat, you train hard, and you want to get better- but you also spend a big chunk of your day planted in a chair in a classroom, at work, or at home. This excessive sitting winds up your body like a yo-yo and causes weakness, imbalance, and tightness in the bodies prime movers. Here are some things that will materialize:
- The glutes and outer hip muscles are completely turned off, causing instability in the hips and knees.
- The core muscles are turned down and barely active and weakened when sitting, tilitng the pelvis forward and causing back pain and hip flexor tendonitis.
- The shortened angle of the hip joint when hunched over tightens the hip flexors, which prevents the full range of motion required for an efficient stride (gait) and compounds any imbalances.
We realize that most of our clients spend most of their day on their bums, hence, the exercises we prescribe combat the negative effects of sitting. Every client has specific goals we tend to, but the wants are superseded by needs. Take this opportunity to see things through a pair of Pulse Goggles
What you want: Warm-up on the stationary bike
What we see: A client that has been sitting all day does not need to warm up this way. We need to break all the rust away from sitting - we take out clients through a warmup that starts with self myofascial release to work out all the knots, scar tissue, and adhesions they've brought with them from their cubicle. We follow that with actions more dynamic in nature to wake-up the nervous systems, create mobility, and prepare their body for the training session.
What you want to do: Bicep Curls (for the girls)
What you need to do: We see a rounded hunch back from staring at a computer all day - you're not so much as looking at a curl bar until we bring those upper back and shoulders back from extinction. We prescribe rows of all shapes, sizes, and colors to counteract the effects of sitting. Rows promote healthy retraction and depression of the shoulder blades as opposed to the rounded, pulled up and out look we see all too often.
What you want to do: Leg Presses
What you need to do: Again, we don't need you sitting anymore! We need you standing, activating the glutes, and stabilizing that lumbar of yours that's been dormant the whole day. You need front loaded goblet squats. These let us train the lower body while avoiding undue stress on the spine and shoulders, and by loading the weight in the front we also get the bonus of removing any shear/ compressive forces away from the spine.
Aside from those cool reclining massage chairs with the remote, sitting sucks. As itself, it is near impossible to avoid, but what is possible is being proactive and preventing its negative effects. Don't be a spectator! Be aware, take control, and you'll be standing tall and gliding around the office like a gazelle in no time.