Humans are not designed to sit. However, it is the position we find ourselves in more often than not, be it sitting at our desk, during our commute or in front of our TV. And of those hours, how many can we honestly say with sit ‘properly’? It is likely that for many of us, the number of hours we spend sitting will increase while we #stayathome. But what does this mean for our bodies?
As we sit, typically, the muscles at the front of the body e.g. pectorals and hip flexors will spend more time in a shortened position and can therefore lead to feelings of tightness and stiffness at the associated joints. Inversely the muscles at the back are generally being held in a lengthened position. So the goal of this #stayathome feature is to wake up those posture muscles (we call those muscle groups the posterior chain) up and restore some balance to your body!
Nick Charlish – Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist
Done as a 10-minute sitting blaster circuit, the following 4 exercises get the posterior muscles firing and switch off those feelings of anterior tightness.
1. Glute bridges
- Laying on your back, knees bent and feet on the ground shoulder width apart
- Start by engaging your core and posteriorly tilting your pelvis flattening your lower back into the ground
- Continue that motion peeling the spine up off the ground, pushing up through the hips until you are in the shown position.
- Then reverse the motion, rolling back down vertebrae by vertebrae
- Sit down on a chair, feet flat on the floor
- Lean forward keeping the back straight as you can
- Then using light weights or can/bottle of water, take both arms out to the side like shown
- Bring them up equally and under control to shoulder height
- Slowly control them back down to the starting position
- Standing with feet shoulder width apart, commence the action with a hip hinge, sticking the bum back as though you were folding in half at the hips
- Continue the action keeping straight in the legs and the back as shown
- Feel the hamstrings activating and under some tension, then pull the hips back in, driving them forward bringing you back into an upright position
- This can be done with weights, bands or even a carrier bag
- Position yourself as shown with a split stance, leaning forward using something stable to support one arm
- The other should hang where gravity lets it fall
- Then pull the arm upwards, thinking about taking the elbow past the body towards the sky
- Feel it in and around the shoulder blade the slowly lower the arm back to the starting position
2. Seated reverse fly
3. Dumbbell deadlift
4. Bent over row
The above can be done as many times a day as needed or even just pick one of the above to do to in a TV advert break? Another key way to negate the negative effects of sitting is to make sure your work from home set up is as good as it can be, for more info on that have a read of our #stayathome post 1 by Josh.