Posture Post 2 August 30 2011
Five rounds for time of:
30 Box jumps, 24 inch box
20 Kettlebell swings, 1.5 pood
Posture Post – Part 2
We’re all aware from last weeks post that, for the most part, our posture throughout the day could use a lot of attention. Don’t worry, this has become the norm but we are going to start making change. The rounded shoulders and head forward position used to describe Joe is actually so common that those in the body therapies industry have given it it’s own name, upper-cross syndrome. There are some other details to it but for the most part it stems from sitting for hours at a desk, hunched over, slumped shoulders, and head reaching forwards towards the computer screen. Start looking around as you walk down Pearl and you’ll see it’s EVERYWHERE!
So what can we do? Well, the first step is simply awareness. The more aware we are about the positions our bodies are holding throughout the days the quicker we will begin to make positive changes towards those positions. Of course that’s easier said than done because who really goes through the day thinking about their posture. One solution is to set an alarm on your phone to go off once every hour. When it goes off you check on your posture. Are you sitting up straight, are your shoulders neutral, is your head neutral, etc. Most computers will have a similar function you can use through whatever calendar program you use. I wouldn’t be surprised if the iPhone has an app for this…and if it doesn’t, one of you programming savvy people should make it happen! (I only ask for a small percentage of the profit.)
Beyond awareness, there are some things we can do to take breaks from these positions and begin stretching these adaptively shortened muscles and relieving the stretch weakened ones. Again, just take a few minutes every hour or so and try one of the following:
- Get UP! Walk around, whatever, just do something besides sit!
- Doorway Pec Stretch
- Wall Angels
- Death Stretch. Fast forward to 2:05. You can do this in your desk chair! (knee butts up to back and seat of chair)
- Neck Stretches
Just 20-30 seconds of each stretch, each hour or two will make a huge difference. For the wall angels start with 15 reps and try to work up to 30+. Remember, these problems have developed over years so they will not correct in a matter of minutes or even days, but with consistency you will begin to see and feel a difference.
Afraid you’ll look silly doing stretches in your office? Not as silly as your co-workers who walk around like hunchbacks all day. Also, keep in mind that your body and mind are interconnected and so your posture says something about your mental health and visa versa; they each affect the other. Ever see a confident guy walking around with slumped shoulders and his head held down low? No! He probably walked around like superman with his chest out and his head up.