Believe me, I know how you feel..
In the last few months, I’ve spent a lot of time sitting down and working on the computer. Writing content, marketing, networking, doing program design for clients, answering emails, the list goes on. And although I really enjoy the work that I’m doing, the positions I’m in while working aren't ideal for my body and I’m starting to feel it.
My upper back was never very loose, but now it feels tighter than ever. My glutes are suffering as well. Long periods of sitting don’t feel great on the backside. I’ve been doing more work on my hips so these don’t bother me as much, but my hip flexors have always been tight due to the amount of squatting I used to do. So they need to be worked on as well.
It’s not always obvious where to start, especially when everything hurts. Sometimes it’s just easier not to do anything, even when you know you’ll be paying the price in the long run.
I’m going to help you target the areas that need work and give you the tools to take care of your body. All the exercises can be performed without needing any gym equipment.
What You Need To Do
The position you’re in when typing on a keyboard cause your shoulders to drift forward and down. Unless you regularly move your shoulder blades through their full range of motion, your shoulders simply remain stuck forward and turned inwards. This will cause problems anytime you’re trying to perform an activity with your arms going overhead (hanging, pressing, handstands, etc..).
The key to “ungluing” your back and shoulders is simple: movement. But just flailing your arms around won’t do it: you need to move with purpose and in a way that will have a lasting impact on the whole system.
Perform all the stretches in the videos below to make your back feel better with just a few minutes of work.
When you’re sitting on a chair, your glute muscles are compressed by the weight of your body. This pressure over time makes it hard to properly use these muscles when you need to.
To make sure your glutes are always working optimally, perform glue bridges regularly. You can increase the difficulty by adding a band, a weight, or both.
The hamstrings are a muscle group located on the back side of your thighs. These powerful muscles help both extend the hip and flex the knee joint. When sitting, this muscle group remains in a shortened position.
If you leave a muscle shortened for long hours every day, your body will adapt by keeping this muscle shorter, because you’re not actually using it’s whole length. Think of it as “use it or lose it”.
To keep your hamstrings loose and flexible, spend some time stretching them each day. This can be done on the floor or while sitting on the edge of a seat/bench. Focus on keeping your back flat and feeling a stretch in the back of your thigh.
As we saw earlier, our hips are flexed at 90 degrees when we sit. Again, your body adapts by shortening your hip flexor muscles. This can cause postural issue when we stand back up.