Disclaimer from the author: If you are experiencing even slight discomfort, I highly recommend consulting with a practitioner well versed in helping prevent or heal orthopedic injuries. Even if you have no pain, it is worth getting an annual orthopedic check-up to identify risk factors such as imbalances or links to your most common physical activity.
In the quest to constantly become a better human, little by little, one of our greatest battles is lack of movement. If you are an athlete, you get a solid workout when you are in the gym, but what about the rest of the day? I implore you, especially if you sit all day, to find just one minute every hour (“1 mph”) to help get us 1% better everyday.
Set an alarm on your phone; use the top of each hour, or the 11th minute of each hour; anything that will help remind you to stick to it but not disrupt your workflow too much. In my clinical experience, the real “damage” from sitting is not from the sitting itself, but from the lack of movement, so get moving silly!
Got an 8 hour work day? These are just 8 movements you can cycle through your day, but the possibilities are endless. Maybe your goal is to do more pushups: choose to do 3 every hour, and you will see how quickly it adds up.
1. Shoulder rolls. Fight against gravity and shrug your shoulders up, back and down a few times to get that blood flowing in there.
2. Neck stretches. Side to side and add rotation of your head to catch some other parts of your neck.
3. Type much? Stretch out those forearms so you avoid issues like carpal tunnel syndrome down the line – this will also really help athletes who do any kind of front rack or overhead positions with weights.
4. Reach back behind you and grab on. This will help open up the fronts of those shoulders that get so tight. Feel that stretch in your pecs and anterior (front) shoulders.
5. Pop a squat! If you can set this up, it is a great way to keep your joints all healthy while you stay productive with e-mails (or BarBend articles).
6. Side bend and reach your arm across. This one gets a nice gentle stretch into the backs of the shoulders as well as some awesome opening of the rib cage. Remember that most strength sports do not have enough rotation in them, so add it in wherever you can, even in this stretch.
7. Head through! If you lift anything overhead, this one will be great for opening up your positions. This one always makes me feel like a million bucks when I am done with it. Try one arm at a time with some side bending for a nice variation.
8. Neural twists. We have nerves running all throughout our bodies that get really tight if we don’t move for a while. Rotating your head left to right while switching your palms being up and down should give you a nice feeling of all that tension throughout your upper body being loosened up.
1 minute per hour can lead to an extra couple of pounds on the bar each training session, which can lead to PR city. See you there!