If you dig all the drills and want to start doing them on a regular basis at work I have created for you a handy sheet with picture demonstrations of all these exercises that you can keep at your desk for quick reference on your breaks. To get the sheet simply enter your name and email below and I will hook you up with this hand reference. Plus you'll become apart of the official FTS Insider Circle!
Almost all of us spend some amount of our in a seated position in front of a computer and I will guarantee for the majority this is a way of making a living. This isn't a bad thing. A lot of us make great livings doing this kind of work and I wouldn't demean that in any way shape or form, but we have to acknowledge that there are some problems with spending that much time seated. In particular these problems relate to our physical health and our ability to carry out everyday task with out worrying about hurting ourselves.
This means what we have to do is we have to come up with ways to try and reduce the negative effects of sitting so that we can maintain our functionality and continue to make a living.
Which is where today's post fits in. I want to give you a routine of 5 drills that you can do literally right in your office that will take you less than 10 minutes and perhaps even less than 5 minutes. The ROI on this thing is enormous. Who knows you might even start a "thing" at work where everyone joins in on the routine a couple times a day.
How cool would that be? I mean an office full of people who are conscious about their health and move like total badasses? Yeah I'd work there for sure!
Anyways here it is.
1. Foam Roll Plantar Fascia
This is a really simple drill that you don't even really have to be in a standing position to do. It requires only round circular object such as a tennis ball, golf ball, or baseball. You can keep the roller under your desk and take it out for use when you need it. I'd recommend doing 20s to 30s on each foot. I'd recommend doing 20s to 30s on each side. Hangout in areas that are a bit more sensitive than others. Don't try to cause yourself pain. If you had to rate it on a scale of 1 to 10 it shouldn't be much higher than a 3. You want to go slow.
2. Foam Roll Pec Minor/Major
This drill also requires the roller you now have stuffed under your desk. To perform it you will need to have an open wall that you can press the ball into, but most offices have four walls and most have an empty space to do this. It may look odd, but it feels amazing after you have spent 30 minutes to an hour laboring over your inbox answering emails. I'd recommend doing 20s to 30s on each side. Hangout in areas that are a bit more sensitive than others. Don't try to cause yourself pain. If you had to rate it on a scale of 1 to 10 it shouldn't be much higher than a 3. You want to go slow.
3. Executive Hip Mobilization
I love this drill because it literally can be done at a moment's notice really where ever you are especially if you in a chair at your desk. It requires minimal room, no equipment, and feels fantastic. Be sure to remember that you aren't trying to stretch our your lower back, but rather the outside of your hip. Don't lean forward and bend over with your back. You lean forward WHILE keeping your back straight. I'd recommend going through 10 to 15 reps on each side and feel free to hold the position with the most stretch for a second or two.
4. Bodyweight Squat
Maintaining the squat pattern is one of the most functional things you can do. It prepares you for a lot of the activities in life you encounter regularly. Not to mention getting into deep hip and knee flexion from full extension does wonders for keeping the joints healthy. I'd recommend doing 10 reps and don't worry about trying to go ass to grass just use the range of motion that is available to you.
5. Staggered Stance 3 Way Reach Hip Hinge
The fast drill is fantastic for keeping the hips mobile and for making sure you are continuing to practice bending at the hips and not the lower back. Repeated flexion of the lower back leads to disc pathologies. If you think of how many times over the course of your week you bend down to pick something up this skill can come in handy really quickly. Not only will it help with your functionality, but it will also help with your performance at the gym. The reaching aspect also does wonders for maintaining length through your lats, getting upward scapular rotation, and dissociating the hips from the torso. Also the 3-d component of this drill mimics the conditions that life posits when you do have to pick something up, very rarely do you do it in just one plane of motion.
Doing these five drills each day will go a long way in reducing the impact a whole of lot sitting does to your body. I am sure you don't spend your entire day of work at the grindstone. You take a quick 10 minute break to check your phone or email. You get up and get a cup of coffee. You stop to eat lunch or have a snack.
These are the perfect opportunities for you to perform this routine because one your already taking a break anyways an additional five minutes or so isn't going to hurt anything or anyone in fact it will probably get you re-energized and re-focused when you return to your work and second because coupling this routine with an already existing habit forms a trigger for you to initiate this new habit.
It's important to keep in mind that the tissues in your body are like obedient dogs they do what you tell them and they adapt to the stimulus most frequently applied. This means even if you are doing this routine a couple times during your work day and yet during the rest of your 7 hours and 50 minutes at work you are sitting like the hunchback of Notre Dame or standing like a teenage girl you are still going to end up with a whole lot of problems.
So let me leave you with two final videos that I hope you will take to heart. One is to show you how to get organized while working in a standing position and the other will show you how to get organized in a seated position while working. The overall idea is to get your spine, shoulders, and pelvis is a neutral alignment. To do this you want to squeeze your butt, bring your ribcage down, slightly engage your abdominal muscles, and rotate your arms so that your thumb is pointing almost behind you. The videos will demonstrate all these.
It's a good idea to stand up and get reorganized every 30 minutes or so because in my own experience in front of the computer I tend to start creeping into a bad position after about 15 to 20 minutes. Also I encourage you to change your working position often throughout the day. Look for any opportunity to alter your posture and change your position.
Getting Organized While Sitting
Getting Organized While Standing
Happy moving and heavy lifting!
Practical, Purposeful, Effective Training.