Or if you use smartphone often.
Or if you stand a lot but have lower back tension (pain).
Or if you want to have healthy and strong posture entire life.
According to my previous article “Sitting is killing” I wanted to go more into details what we should do if our great, thriving business makes us sitting a lot or we feel that stress and fast pace environment sits on our back.
As a personal trainer I have the best job in the world. I walk and move whole day, spot my clients, pass them weights up to 40 kg and teach fitness classes too, so they even pay me for being fit! But many of my clients are not so lucky and despite the fact of loving their job, it is usually not improving their health. So let’s get started. I will give you few exercises which will be helpful to maintain health, strength and character, standing tall and upright.
- Rowing machine – done properly. Have a look at photo attached. Rowing makes our spine working in whole range of motion but unfortunately I see many people rowing with rounded back without extending and squeezing shoulder blades. Don’t race, do long full movements, lean forward when you start the move and when you go back keep your shoulders back and down, away from ears, lifting your chest and squeezing shoulder blades together.
- Spine mobility – this could be next, whole article. Do you know cat-cow pose from yoga? Best and the most simple combination of arching and extending spine from head to hips. Connect breath to movement, inhale flatting the back and lifting head up gently, move your pelvis up (cow), exhale arching back, pushing floor with hands, drawing belly button to spine, pelvis tucked under (cat). 6-8 slow moves. Spine twist is 2nd most important move. Twisting is one of basic human movement patterns that we don’t do often enough. All those movements are always included in yoga practice so if you could find 1 day a week for a 60-90 min of yoga it will benefit your life a lot.
3. Stretching areas around spine. Tension around back is usually not spine problem but stiff muscles around it. When we get older we move less and we are more stiff naturally. But it doesn’t need to be like this. You can improve your flexibility even far after your 50’s and few of my clients do so. In your daily schedule you should find few minutes to stretch: glutes, thighs, hamstrings, hip flexors, chest, lats. As you can see we don’t focus on spine erectors which we feel are tight. They are accumulating tension because of stiff muscles above and under.
4. Whole body strength – big moves activating whole muscle systems that are not active enough during working day: dead lift, lunges, clean and press (light), pull ups (can be with elastic band), super-man plank, push ups with proper form (active core, glutes, serratus anterior), goblet squats (strengthening spine muscles instead putting pressure with the bar on the shoulders). Core and glutes are the crucial in back health management. Even if you sit upright, properly, your glutes are inactive big part of the day. One of the biggest muscles in your body are smashed with your body weight on the chair. What a waste of muscle! We all know that glutes are the most attractive male muscles for women, don’t we? Yes, not chest and not biceps. Add plank variations, glute bridges. Walking lunges are great when it comes to train glutes and legs together, remember to keep abs braced and shoulders back and down towards the spine. Look good when you train so your body can remember the posture. i
In a nutshell: warm up your spine on rower for 7-8 minutes in good form. Mobilize the spine and stretch in motion. Do few twists with breath. You will see how your flexibility improves just moving together with breathing. Strengthen your whole body activating as many muscles as possible on the training (3-4 sets of 6-10 repetitions). Stretch whole body, even muscles that wasn’t involved.
If you feel that you may need more advice in this topic or want me to build tailor training plan for you, join my FB group: “Gentlemen Fitness Coaching” or write me a message. I’m building community of man who cares after their health and mood. Because if you look good, you feel good. If you are healthy, you are happy. Self-confidence is the best suit for a man.
Hope you have active, strong and happy Sunday surrounded with people who you love and appreciate.
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