Thursday, December 4, 2014

Reversing the Effects of Sitting and the Wrecking of Your Hips

By: Joel Luedke

I put a post out a week or so ago with a video from Kelly Starrett describing what the effects of sitting were doing to wreck your hips.  The chronic and constant shortening of your hip flexors and having your glutes "turned-off" from not needing to use them in a seated position gets you into a bad spot for trying to maintain good posture.  Here we will talk about some fixes for this problem.

First one.  If at all possible get a standing desk for where you spend a great amount of your time working.  Whether it be at home or at work do what you can to figure how to implement one of these desks.  They can get expensive or you can make one yourself for about $150 from Wal-Mart by buying a standard desk and then raising it up on a couple end tables (my preferred method for mine at home).

If the standing desk isn't feasible or within the budget then you need to get yourself up and moving as much as possible.  This needs to be done at much as every 15 minutes.  This presents a problem in getting any work done so the standing desk is your best option but this is also a decent alternative.  The third video below talks about a standing desk but also talks about how you need focus on your standing and posture.  You can use these same principles to stand up and RESET yourself and work on holding that position when you sit back down.

The first one and half suggestions are the big changes that can make a huge difference in moving towards preventing your hips from being wrecked by sitting.  Now, for the how do we go and fix and correct the issues that have been built up over the years.

The image above provides basic mobility exercises that are good for your general overall body mobility.  The ones to focus on for fixing your wrecked hips are numbers 1, 3, 6.  The second video below gives you a great explanation of how to do exercise number 6 or the "couch stretch."  These mobilizations can by done throughout the day or as Kelly talks about in the video at home during commercial breaks.

The main take home points of all this is the need to consciously work on making sure you don't get short and tight through your anterior hips and it comes from putting in the work to make these changes.  The more you can stand the less you get put into terrible positions of hip flexion to allow that shortening to occur.  If you consciously engage your glutes when you're standing it will help your posture and use those strong muscles to keep you up right.  An added benefit to the standing is the extra calories you will unknowingly burn due to just being upright all day and using muscles that you don't use throughout most of the day.

Fix it early and fix it often.

Check out Kelly Starrett's Videos Below

You'll have to have your volume up loud for this one.  For some reason the quality isn't great.