Most adults spend hours each day sitting at their desks, in their cars, or on trains and airplanes. The toll this takes on your body is enormous.
If the first thing you grab when getting out of bed is your cranky shoulder, or if the first 20 minutes of your day are spent hunched over like Quasimodo, keep reading.
Pain isn’t inevitable. It’s preventable.
If you travel a lot or have a desk job, it’s always a good idea to take frequent breaks so you can get up and move around. Prolonged sitting, especially with poor posture, will cause your body to default to pain-inducing positions even when you’re not sitting. It’s an orthopedic nightmare … to say nothing of the negative effects on your overall health. In his book, “Deskbound,” my friend Dr. Kelly Starrett asserts that sitting is the new smoking.
So what do you do?
Here’s a trick from my friend Tim DiFrancesco of TD Athletes Edge. Tim spent six seasons as the head strength and conditioning coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, so he knows a thing or two about injury prevention.
In this exercise, assume a lunge position with your back flat and rear leg straight and elevated. Place your hands on the floor inside the planted foot. Keep your foot flat and push into the floor through your hands. Then, lift the hand closest to your foot and rotate your ribcage toward the ceiling, with your eyes following your hand.
Perform 2-4 sets of 10-20 repetitions on each side as a warmup, morning routine, during a break from sitting at work or after a long flight. This exercise will help improve your overall hip and shoulder function while mitigating the effects of prolonged sitting.
Here’s another example of a thoracic spine mobility drill we incorporate into our Dynamic Injury Prevention Warmup for adult and youth clients:
Assume a half-kneeling position on the floor
Place your hands lightly behind your head, pointing your elbows out at 180 degrees and squeezing your shoulder blades together.
Keeping your knee behind your toe, foot flat and knee/toe pointing straight ahead, rotate your ribcage toward the elevated knee.
Perform 2-3 sets of 8-10 reps each side (switching legs each set).
Do you need more help resolving pain and injury? Sign up below to join our online personal training beta test. Soon we’ll be releasing three programs to a small group of test clients: A Dynamic Injury Prevention Warmup for middle school and high school athletes; a Shoulder Care Routine; and a Back Injury Prevention Program.
If you need help in these areas and want to find out what online personal training is all about, fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch. But hurry! There are only a few spots remaining in our beta test.