Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Are you desk bound?

The first thing a desk-bound athlete needs to be aware of is how sitting affects athletic performance. Not “if” only “how.” When humans sit in a chair, car, or airplane seat for an extended period of time, we do not have the advantage of having our butt (gluteus) engaged to help maintain position. As a result of prolonged sitting, the front of the hip gets short and tight, and an otherwise healthy person often develops low back pain.

Low back pain in an otherwise healthy athlete is often a symptom of tight anterior/front of the hip, tight and short posterior chain (A.K.A. the butt and hamstrings), or a combination of the two.

So work on restoring full, normal, range of motion to the hips – and alleviate lower back pain in the process – we need to “stretch” the front of the hips.

How much of every day at work do you spend scanning Facebook, downloading songs on itunes, or discussing college football? I rest my case. So it’s shouldn’t be difficult to sneak in 5 minutes of mobility. You just have to decide to do it. You can even get in your mobility behind your desk or in your cubicle when nobody’s watching. Maybe even put that conference call on speaker phone, and knock it out then. Whenever you decide to make some improvement in your athletic ability, all you need is five minutes.

"The Mountain Climber"
 Have you ever wondered why we do them all the time?
To stretch the front of the hip, the athlete is going to get into a lunge position, with the front knee stacked directly above the front ankle, and both hands down to inside of your forward foot. Keeping your back leg straight as possible, squeeze your butt and drive your hips toward the ground. You should feel a serious stretch in the front of the hip corresponding to your back leg, as well as a good hamstring stretch in the forward leg.

Mobility Aaron Arehart
Once established in that position, work to accumulate two minutes per side. If having both hands on the ground with arms extended is easy, the athlete can add tension to the stretch by working to get your elbows and forearms down on the ground.

Once you have accumulated two minutes in the stretch with each foot forward, return to the side that felt tighter for one more minute. That’s two minutes right foot forward, two minutes left foot forward, followed by one minute with the tighter side.

Other stretch: SUPER QUAD

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