Why We Need To Consider Our Desk Job When Working Out
With the increased popularity of Olympic lifting and the fact that Crossfit has brought it to the masses, now more than ever, we need to consider how our day job affects our bodies and may actually be at odds with the exercises and workouts we may want to do.
We may want to do Olympic lifts. We may want to do gnarly, cool exercises.
Heck we may even technically be strong enough to do them.
But before we can, we have to make sure our body is mobile and ready to truly move through the range of motion.
Because if our body can’t truly do the motion, we are going to compensate and end up getting injured.
Just think about an overhead press.
Yes, you may be able to grab those 100lbs dumbbells and press them up overhead, but do you truly have the range of motion OR are you compensating to truly get those weights up overhead?
And if you are compensating, you are going to get injured. Is it really worth getting injured to say you can press 2oolbs overhead? Is pressing that weight overhead without the proper mobility worth suffering from pain in your shoulder or back the rest of your life because you never take the time to rehab?
I don’t think so.
Which is why I think we have to consider the fact that most of us sit at a desk nine hours a day hunched over a computer screen typing and clicking a mouse.
When we sit all day we create a body with limited mobility, a body with muscles that are tight and overactive.
And then we go workout and ask it to do moves that require a lot of mobility.
And then we wonder why we get injured. Why our workouts aren’t making us feel BETTER.
It’s because we are missing the most important component of any good workout routine.
The mobility and activation component.
Doing a hard workout isn’t going to get you very far if your body isn’t truly able to handle the moves.
But doing some random stretches and activation exercises isn’t enough.
If you sit all day, activating your pecs or quads isn’t going to help.
No…if you want to get the most out of your workout, you must do mobility and activation exercises that are the opposite of what you do for 9 hours a day.
Most of us are hunched over a computer when we sit all day. That means are shoulders are rounded forward and our back is rounded and flexed. Our head may also be pushed forward.
So if we want to reverse this posture, we need to extend our back, open up our chest and get our neck back into alignment with our spine.
Hmmm…sounds like we need to do that exercise I mention like every other day…What was that called?
Oh yea…THE SCAPULAR WALL HOLD!
When you do moves like the scapular wall hold, you help bring your body back toward proper alignment. You help to reverse the pain caused by your unnatural posture all day. (Although one move held for 1 minute a few times a week is far from enough.)
And while I’m telling you that your workouts need to include exercises that are the opposite of what you do all day, that doesn’t mean you can’t include the awesome moves you love.
Like for instance…push ups.
I love push ups. But I also know that push ups only serve to perpetuate some of the imbalances created by sitting all day…Like a tight chest.
That is why I make sure that I’ve done stuff to first open up my chest BEFORE I do push ups. That is even why I sometimes end my workouts with moves that work the exact opposite muscle group…To make sure I don’t perpetuate or cause further imbalances, pain and injury.
That is why I also spend days working my body in the opposite way.
Because bad posture, poor alignment causes pain and leads to injury.
That bad posture limits us from being able to do those cool, gnarly moves.
So what I’m telling you is…
The more you want those cool moves, the more you want to be pain-free, the more you need to start focusing on doing exercises that work your body in the opposite way it’s been sitting hunched over a computer all day.