Are you sitting right now? Yeah? Thought so! I found that since the Shelter In Place order went into effect a majority of us have been sitting a LOT more than usual (and not in those fancy office chairs designed with your back in mind). It’s so important that we recognize these changes in our physical behaviors and take the necessary measures to take care of ourselves.
Give yourself a moment and inspect what has changed in your day to day regarding the moving mechanics of your body. Do you notice any shifts in your posture or physical self? I’ve noticed for most of us we’re sitting so much it’s causing the glutes not to activate and fire leading to the front of the hip getting really clamped. To counter this we have the option of standing, but this often leads to dumping pressure into our lower backs, knees, and ankles. That eventually can lead to not-so-fun problems in the body or can lead towards instability in some of our most important structures – and I’m not just talking about the hips, but our neck and wrists too.
To help bring awareness to the rising issues our bodies have been facing, I put together these quick little videos on how to best take care of yourself while working from home and also finding some better mobility and mechanics in the body.
LOW BACK RELIEF
Low back pain starting to creep in? So this week in my work from home series I address low back pain from sitting. What ends up happening for most is the front of our hips get clamped and our gluteal muscles take a break. When we stand we have two options hunch over and walk or we try stacking without engaging our butt and put the pressure in our low back and knees.
Rule of thumb: for every hour your sit (average person is about 13 hours a day) give your hips 1 minute of love and strength your butt! This will allow you to stand tall and fully engage.
- From table top engage your core.
- Kick your leg back and flex your toes to your face.
- Imagine you’re kicking a hole through the wall behind you.
- Feel your butt silly turn on and then bring your knee back in.
- From table top engage your core.
- Lift your knee off to the side as if you were a dog about to pee on a fire hydrant.
- Don’t let your pelvis move.
- Isolate the butt muscle and let it do the work.
- Lower the knee and repeat.
- From low lunge bend your back knee and reach back to grab your foot (pad you knee if you don’t love it on the ground).
- Squeeze the bent knee butt muscle for a few seconds and release.
- Make sure your hip points are pointing to the ceiling.
It’s super important the your hips stay healthy. They’re the bodies biggest motor. Allowing them to doing their job fully with help everything else work smooth and help loosen up your low back.
I’ve noticed personally that my neck has been a bit more tense these days so I’ve been working this release routine to tune it up. Give it a try and see how you feel.
- Start sitting up tall.
- Bring your hands to the ground in “spidey hands” and walk them out until your arms are straight.
- Lean your ear to your shoulder and breath.
NOSY LAZY HEAD:
- From lazy head simply take your chin and gaze over that same shoulder like your being nosy and looking behind you.
- Then take your chin and look down to the opposite hand.
- Relax and breath.
- From lazy head extend your opposite arm out to the side.
- Bend your elbow and lightly tap the side of your skull.
- A little bit goes a long way on this one! To add more, lift your second arm out to the side.
With all things neck you always want to go light. Be extremely kind to yourself when doing these.
Next up in my work from home self care videos is wrists. I’ve been on my phone and laptop a bit more than normal so I’ve added this wrist care routine in to my daily practice. It’s my go to before any yoga class I take. Try it out and lmk what you think.
- Reach your arm out like you’re Spider-Man shooting a web.
- Keep a slight bend in your elbow.
- With the opposite hand lightly pull back on the fingers and stretch the form arm.
- Take your four fingers together and thumb in the back like you’re reaching for a pinch of salt.
- With your opposite hand pull in.
- Watch that your shoulder doesn’t hike up.
- Interlace you’re fingers with the right thumb on top to start.
- Roll your wrists out. Changing directions is hard (lol for me anyway).
- Pause and take your left thumb on top and then go.
I normally do this routine for about 5 minutes before any yoga class I take and then on small work breaks from my laptop. They’ll hawks keep your wrists healthy so you can practice for many many year. You can check out my full wrists release video on my app as well.
QUICK HIP OPENING
Still sitting a ton with this work from home? I got your hips covered. Check out this quick little sequence to Get your hips moving.
These are some of my go to poses when it comes to hip opening. They’re super accessible and feel great on the body. Let’s open those hips!
△ FIGURE 4: This works the external hip rotators. Fancy way of saying the butt muscles. From standing cross one ankle over the other knee and sink back and down. Press your hands on your shin for support.
△ HALF SPLITS: Hello hamstrings! Step one foot forward and then fold back. Point the leading leg’s toe and knee up-to the ceiling. Imagine dragging the front of your mat back. Fold with a long spine.
△ CROSSED LEG FOLD: This bad boy targets the IT bands. Cross one ankle over the other and fold forward.
With all of these I personally stay between 5 – 10 breaths. Make sure you’re breathing to allow your body to receive.
If you want more therapy to help your body recover from sitting – check out my FREE CLASSES on my app.
Sending love yogis!