6/21/10

Stand Up!

Let me start this one off with a series of questions...

1) Do you ever experience low back pain? Would you like to alleviate/prevent it?
2) Is your deadlift weaker than you'd like? Would you like to improve it?
3) Do you sit at a desk all day at work? STOP!

First off, regarding #3, I'm not telling you to quit your job. Nevertheless, if you sit at desk for hours on end almost everyday, it's going to negatively affect your performance and long-term health. This quote from Mike Robertson says it all:

"Tight hips lead to weak glutes."


What do you see in the above picture? We have a rounded spine, closed hips, closed hamstrings, and overall poor posture. Lovely pullover, though. This seated position is very likely how most of you sit for hours on end during the work week. With this position, we have a shortening of the hip flexors, which puts our glutes into a stretched position for a prolonged duration. Over time, this weakens our glutes and they eventually do not "fire" properly. This can lead to our hamstrings and adductors bearing more of the load, an anterior pelvic tilt, and lower back issues. All of these are common symptoms of Lordosis.

In order to avoid this, we need to take action in two different ways: Hip Flexor Stretching/Mobilization and Glute Activation.

Hip Flexor Stretching/Mobilization

We do the Samson Stretch everyday before working out to loosen up our hip flexors, but if you spend most of your day in a desk, you should probably be doing this stretch much more often. Also, check out the first two stretches from this StrongLifts article (the other stretches are good as well). For mobilizing the hip flexors, check out this drill from Eric Cressey.

Glute Activation

The posterior chain (glutes, hamstrings, spinal erectors) is the key to athletic development. Unfortunately, most people have weak glutes and under-developed hamstrings - many have beefy spinal erectors because they compensate for the weakness of the other two. Activating the glutes is paramount. Here are some solid exercises you may consider incorporating into your daily warm-up:

Bird Dog
X Band Walk
Supine Bridge

And lastly, another great exercise to possibly throw in after your workout is the reverse crunch. It's a great correction for lordosis and - best of all - it will give you abzz!!!


These are some options open to all of you. Stand sideways in front of a mirror and see if you have an anterior pelvic tilt. Think about how often you find yourself in a seated position with closed hips and poor posture. If you really want to look, feel, and perform better, actively working to improve these issues will pay off greatly. Take this bit of advice from Eric Cressey, "Make a point of getting up and moving around as often as you can. Reach up to the sky, walk around, and do some doorway stretches for your pecs and lats (and your hip flexors, IT band, and calves, while you're at it). The best posture is the one that is constantly changing."

4 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. #1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat

      I bet you can’t guess which muscle in your body is the #1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat.

      This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.

      If this “hidden” most powerful primal muscle is healthy, we are healthy.

      Is it…

      a) Abs

      b) Chest

      c) Glutes

      d) Hip Flexors

      Take the quiz above and see if you got the correct answer!

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