"Sitting is the new smoking."
Chances are you’ve seen the dramatic headlines about sitting in recent years. While that might be a bit intense, there is research supporting the fact that sitting is indeed very unhealthy and can lead to increased risk of heart disease and certain cancers.
The take-away is that we are too sedentary and sit too much. Our bodies are not designed to sit in a chair with poor posture for 8-plus hours a day. Most of the time though, you have no choice, and that can take an especially large toll on your shoulders and hips.
So what’s the solution? A complete approach that combines mobility and strength work for your joints. Once you’ve improved the mobility of a joint, add some stability to that improved range of motion.
Here’s a quick 10-minute routine you can do in your office, cubicle, home or anywhere else you can find some room.
Mobility Drill: Ball Supported Shoulder Hovers1 of 6
Begin kneeling on the ground with your butt back on your heels and your chest supported on a medicine ball. Start the movement by lifting one arm up and over your head in a circular pattern, until it gets to your hip. Reverse the movement back to the start to complete one rep.
Be sure to keep your chest in contact with the ball the entire time and try to keep your hand as close to the midline of your body as possible throughout the movement.
Complete six reps per side.
Stability Drill: Shoulder Taps2 of 6
From a pushup position, lift one arm and tap the opposite shoulder. Return to pushup position and repeat on opposite side. Focus on keeping your midsection braced and minimize the trunk shift from side-to-side.
Complete 20 reps (10 taps per shoulder).
Mobility Drill: Hip 90/903 of 6
Begin seated on the ground with one leg bent out in front of you and one bent leg out to the side. The "90's" refer to the angles of the knee joints. Initiate the movement by "opening the side knee"(i.e. hip external rotation) up as far as your flexibility will allow. Then begin to bring the other knee up off the ground to follow. Continue to rotate your body until both knees hit to floor.
You should now be in the same position you were in at the start of the movement, just facing the opposite direction. Be mindful of your back and think "tall spine" throughout the exercise. Repeat the movement to get back to the start for one complete repetition.
Complete six total reps.
Activation Drill: Hip Thruster4 of 6
Begin seated on the ground with your upper back against a bench. Bend your knees so your feet are flat on the ground and extend your hips as you lean back onto the bench.
Return to the start for one rep. Complete 20 reps.
Stability/Mobility Drill: Turkish Get Up5 of 6
Lying on your back, extend one arm straight up and bend the same-side knee. The opposite side arm and leg are ~45 degrees out from the body. Begin by looking up at the weight, "posting" up onto your grounded elbow and leading with your chest.
Next, extend your arm and extend your hips by driving through the bent-knee foot and the back hand, and then bring the knee of your extended leg back towards your same-side wrist. From here, take the back hand off the ground, straighten out your torso and back leg and stand up. To return, reverse all the steps in a slow and controlled manner.
Complete five reps on each side.