Your posture sucks...
Sitting + Long Periods of Time = SUCKS.
The evidence is pretty straight forward - periods of prolonged sitting promotes not only an array of nasty health problems but destroys good posture, mobility, and activation of many large muscles in the body, especially the legs and glutes. Even if you consciously try to keep an awesome posture, you will lose this battle...the slip into postural issues is inevitable. This is sometimes called the "Desk Jockey Posture." If done for long enough and without taking action, this posture will slowly become your new "normal."
Do you experience any of these nagging symptoms? Shoulder pain, elbow pain, low back ache, headaches, low energy, tight hips or sore knees? Raise your hand.
Most hands should go up.
I know, "Tell us something we haven't heard 1000 times, Ryan".
Guess what, I'm not. Sitting sucks, and most of us are sedentary and don't move enough throughout the day. So, in today's post, I'm going to give you a few tips and some of my favorite exercises that I think EVERYONE (no matter what the goal) should include in your training regimen. In fact, barring any injury or underlying health issue, these movements should be done before or within every workout. This is my spin on how you can integrate a simple 5 minute "warmup" to your day that will improve some of these issues.
As one of my favorite coaches, Dan John, says, "If it's important, do it everyday." So if feeling better everyday is important to you, lets do this!
Better Posture Warmup Protocol:
Stretching/starting to move-
Foam Roller (Upper back, hips, quads, glutes) - if possible, spend about 5 min rolling and then progress to the pre-stretches.
A1) Seated Trap Stretch- 20-30 sec each direction
A2) Half- Kneeling (or split stance) Hip Flexor Stretch - 20-30 sec each side
A3) Overhead Split Squat Hold 15-20sec each side - Position yourself into a split squat position, drop down into the split squat, hold arms overhead and HOLD.
A4) Side Lying Windmills 8-10/side (use block, rolled up mat or roller to support the knee, keeping the spine neutral)
A5) Reach, Roll, and Lift 6-8/side
Go through once, maybe twice if you are super tight, then move on to the "Activation" stage.
Activation/light strength "Flow"
Try to run through this continous for 1-3 rounds
B1) Scap Pushup 5-10
B2) Arms Extended Plank 20-30 sec
B3) Hand Walkouts 5-10
B4) Glute Bridge 10-20
B5) Side Plank 10-20 sec/side
Here I am running through this flow for 2-3 reps each movement.
If you want to really kick up the intensity, here's a progression with more dynamic movements-
This is great for a quick workout in itself, or as a "finisher," after a traditional strength training workout.
C1) Split Squat Jumps 10/side
C2) Jumping Jacks 25
C3) Bodyweight Squats 20
C4) Mountain Climbers 30
C5) Burpees 10
Repeat 1-5 times
These circuits are just a couple examples of things you can do to become more mobile and improve your overall warmup. I know this may not seem like groundbreaking science, but by integrating just a few movements into your warmup, starting your day off with a quick flow before brushing your teeth, or by including a few of these movements into your training regimen, you can be on your way to better posture, better strength, and greater confidence.