Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”
Mark 9:35 (NIV)
When Jesus sat down, He was trying to make a point. How many of us spend a majority of our day sitting in meetings, sitting in traffic, at the computer, or on zoom calls? Our bodies were not designed to sit for an extended period of time.
So here’s another fitness tip!
It’s challenging to stay in good posture when we sit. Here’s a trick I use when sitting at my laptop zooming or writing. It takes only 2 minutes!
Push your bottom down into the chair you’re sitting on. Hold for a few seconds…then relax. Do this move for 30 seconds.
Next, push your lower back into the back of the chair while squeezing your abdominal muscles. Hold for a few seconds…then relax. Do this 2nd move for 30 seconds.
Next, imagine you’re squeezing a lemon between your shoulder blades. Hold for a few seconds…then relax. Do this 3rd move for 30 seconds.
Finally…put all three moves together for the last 30 seconds. Bottom pushing into the chair, lower back pushing back into chair, with shoulder blades squeezed together. If you do this frequently, you’ll find your body naturally going into this correct form of posture.
So much time spent in a sitting position will make our hip flexors (where our trunk meets our thigh muscle) very tight. Below are 3 images of a lying, kneeling and standing hip flexor stretch.
In the lying hip flexor stretch, feel the stretch in the hip of your EXTENDED leg. In the kneeling & standing stretch, feel the stretch in the hip of the back leg. Stretch until you can feel it…then hold for 30 seconds.
If you have access to a TRX Suspension system at your gym, below is a valuable stretch for your hip flexors AND a great way to tighten your booty!
The below video shows Jennifer DeGrella, a certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor and TRX instructor at /Baptist /Milestone. Jennifer is also a guest author in my book, the Afflicted Healer. She wrote a chapter, Suspended Motion, about TRX ‘tricks of the trade’.
In this video, Jennifer demonstrates the figure 4, a useful TRX move for those with tight hips, specifically, those with piriformis and tight IT issues. So it will stretch the hips while working your bottom on the other side.
Figure 4 – How to:
. Grab the straps of the TRX. Dig both heals into the floor as you lean your whole body back, letting the straps stabilize you. Arms are fully extended!
. Bend the knee of your left leg, sitting your left ankle on top of your right knee.
. Load your weight into the right hip & leg as you bend the right knee. Then extend the right leg back up, keeping your knee soft.
. This is what works your right booty while opening your left hip.
. Repeat 3-4 times SLOWLY, working up to 8 reps.
. Then switch legs, doing the same with left knee on top of right knee.
Thank you for giving us fitness instructors and physical therapists to show us how to keep our bodies strong & moving the way You intended them to move.
Give us the wisdom to seek the proper instruction, then practice moving the right way until it eventually feels natural.
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