Let's face it, we all need to do more moving and stretching, otherwise pain is going to start setting in. No one's immune to it, and yes that includes you too, my genetically gifted freaks out there. For those that follow my blogs or see the tips I post on Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube, you've heard me say this over and over again. That's because it's true for every population. Regardless of if you have a desk job, have a long commute to work, or just enjoy sitting on the couch playing video games, it's the same - everyone sits a little too much and usually that's when our posture starts to suffer (not to mention the countless other hazards of sitting).
THERE"S NO SUCH THING AS PERFECT POSTURE...SO NOW WHAT?
Just to be clear, there's no such thing as perfect posture. It is impossible to sit up straight, with our neck and shoulders retracted, abs engaged, neutral pelvic tilt, feet flat on the floor, and hips neutrally rotated for extended periods of time. However, what we can do is some movements to prevent us from getting stuck with the horrible postures we see all too often. So I've decided to come up with two routines that target the upper and lower body. They can be done anytime, anywhere, no equipment needed. This first routine is focused on the upper body and will consist of some exercises and some dynamic stretching. This doesn't have to be done all at once - feel free to break it up as the day goes. If there is something you really struggle with, try doing it a few times a day. It's all cumulative and is meant to be super easy and super quick.
Let's get down to it then!
PART 1: UPPER BODY ROUTINE
Front Neck Stretch
*Hold for 30-60 seconds*
Grasp fingers and place directly under chin
Gently press neck back to feel stretch in front of neck
PIP'S TIP: Do not change your spine - stay perfectly still
Seated Chin Tucks
*1 set for 10 reps*
Shift head forward without moving the rest of the body
Shift head backward keeping chin tucked
PIP'S TIP: Keep spine long and still
*1 set for 10 reps*
Hold book, folder or something similar in front of body, arms straight the whole time
Reach arms away from body without moving anything else
Pull arms back, squeezing your shoulder blades back and down
*1 set for 10 reps*
Place hands on something sturdy about waist height with your fingers pointed forward and arms straight throughout
Place feet about two foot lengths away from desk
Drive hips up into the air, squeezing glutes at the top
Lower back down until your hips touch desk
PIP'S TIP: Keep shoulders down and away from ears
*5 reps in each direction*
While seated, place something between your knees to keep lumbar/hips still
While squeezing the block, place hands behind head and keep elbows open
Slowly rotate to one side, keeping spine long
Return to middle, then rotate to other side
Try these for a week and let me know how you're feeling! You've got nothing to lose so give it a try. On my next blog, we'll go through some lower body exercises to really take it to the next level and get you moving.
ABOUT COACH MATT PIPPIN
Matt is a Strength and Conditioning Coach and Level 3 Fascial Stretch Therapist with over 15 years experience in his field. After years of playing sports as a child, Matt gained an interest in health and wellness and decided to pursue a career in strength and conditioning. He graduated from the University of South Florida with a degree in Exercise Science in 2005. During college Matt played rugby and interned as a Strength and Conditioning Coach with the football team.
Post graduation, he worked with professional athletes as the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for NFL Europe's Berlin Thunder. For 8 years, Matt worked in Chicago, IL at the East Bank Club as a Master Personal Trainer, Performance Coach and Fascial Stretch Therapist helping athletes and weekend warriors achieve their personal goals. Inspired by the overall quality and active lifestyle that California is known for, Matt and his wife Jennifer moved to San Diego in the summer of 2014 and haven’t looked back!
NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
Level 3: Fascial Stretch Specialist
Level 1: Institute of Motion Health Coach
Certified FRC Mobility Specialist (FRCms)