Mobility Stuff You Can Do While You Pretend to Work
“Gee, I wonder what I’ll do today. Maybe I’ll take a stroll over to the dining room and see what the weather’s like.”
If you’re like most people (like 99.99999% of us right now), your daily routine probably consists of sitting in front of the computer or whichever screen of your choosing (whether it’s work-related or catching up on Tiger King).
One of my clients had recently asked if I had any suggestions on some active recovery/mobility stuff he can do at home.
Since he’s been hunched over his computer longer than normal, he’s starting to feel the ramifications on his posture. Neck tightness, shoulder tension, and upper back tightness to name a few.
So, is there some mobility stuff we can do at home while we pretend to work? To help us feel less like a bag of shit or more like an actual human?
First, quickly…if you’re one of the many who are sitting more than usual, you’re probably experiencing one, or a combination, of the following:
- Tight hips
- Forward head posture
- Rounded shoulders
- Rounded upper back
All these contributing factors lead to:
- Less energy
- More sadness
- Crappy breathing
That’s not good. So, let’s do something about it.
Quick tip: You gotta move! Seriously. We’re not designed to just sit down all day. So start making movement more of a priority in your routine.
I know, being cooped up at home kinda limits our choices, but it doesn’t change the fact that our body (and our mind) recognizes when we’re not moving.
Here’s some mobility stuff you can do at home to feel better almost immediately.
ELBOW TO BENCH (OR COUCH) STRETCH
This one is super simple and straightforward and targets the most predominantly tight areas of the upper back and shoulders in one move.
How to do it…
- Have your elbows against your couch (or bench or whatever) with your hands clasped together behind your head
- Take a big air in and draw your chest down to the floor as you release your breath
- Keeping your ribs down (try not to let them flare out) and your lower back flat…
- Hold this position while focusing on your breathing for 1-2 min (you should feel the stretch in your upper back)
HIP EXTENSION STRETCH
Again, super simple and straightforward.
Let’s talk hip mechanics for just one quick second, without getting too technical so I don’t lose you.
Your hip needs to be able to do a lot of shit. It has to flex, extend, rotate, adduct, abduct…it has more than one job.
When we sit, we’re in a constant state of flexion. So, we need to train our hips to be able to do some of the other stuff as well.
This stretch improves your hip extension (opposite of when you’re sitting in a chair).
How to do it…
- Have one foot up on your couch with your knee on the floor and the other foot out in front
- Make sure your thigh is completely vertical (straight up) to the ceiling when you start
- Next, squeeze your glute (butt) on the same knee that’s on the floor and push your hip forward (you should feel a deep stretch in your hip flexor)
- Hold this position for 1-2 min per side, focusing on your breathing (a good little tip is to breathe in for 3 sec, and breathe out for 3 sec)
No, I don’t mean read more. Although, that’s not a bad idea.
Open book rotations are an amazing drill to target your shoulders/upper back/chest region…all of which are restricted when confronted with hours upon hours of sitting,
How to do it…
- Lay on your side with your arms stretched out in front of you and your hands together
- Bend your legs at 90 degrees and pinch your knees together
- Take a deep breath in, and male a big circle around your head (with the arm that is off the floor)
- Keep looking straight ahead and keep pushing your knees together (you can put a pillow or a foam roller in between your legs to give you feedback)
- Bring your hands back together and repeat
- 10-15 per side is usually a good start