In lockdown we are sitting for much longer periods of time which means usually we are rounding our upper backs creating a lot of unnecessary tension and bad posture as we sit over our computer screens or phones. As we are sitting our lower backs are usually in an unsupported position which can lead to pain further down the line. A little trick to stop this- grab a cushion or a blanket and roll it up and prop it just where your lower back is to give some comfortable support. Our hip flexors are also shortening as we sit for long periods of time which can then lead to hip pain and pain in other areas of our body. A thing to help stop this is getting up every 30-45 minutes or so and doing some movement may be a stretch, a walk to get a glass of water, or just changing sitting positions entirely. Here are 5 movements I’d recommend:
Shoulder Spin Up- get those shoulders moving and working on the articulation of the joint. Our shoulders can move in many directions so it’s important we keep this up over lockdown. Do you sometimes get neck pain? This might not actually be down to the neck itself but the shoulders- do this shoulder spin up and see if it help release some of the neck stiffness.
Hip Open and Closing the Gates are useful for getting the hip moving in external and internal rotation. Lots of sitting can make our hip Flexors tight so this movement of opening one hip whilst keeping the pelvis facing forward is perfect. This is also a great warm-up addition pre squat or sumo deads!
Cat Cow- Perfect for getting that Spine moving in flexion and extension. Sitting all day with rounded Shoulders isn’t great for our backs- this can really help if you start feeling tight or stiff anywhere in the back. I’d also recommend doing this one once you’ve woken up in the morning.
Static Nerve Glides- From sitting for long periods of time our disturbance nerve can become irritated and tight. This nerve glide will help to stretch the nerve and release the areas surrounding it.
As we are becoming more sedentary in this lockdown life and our postures becoming worse another thing that can happen is our sciatic nerve becomes irritated and compressed which can then lead to sciatica. The sciatic nerve originates in your gluteal area and is the longest and thickest nerve in the body. It is actually made up of 5 nerve roots- 2 from, the lower back region (lumbar) and 3 from the sacrum. These 5 roots come together to create a right and left sciatic nerve. One nerve runs through your hips, buttocks, and down the leg ending below the knees.
Performing 1-2 sciatic nerve glides a day and releasing the areas around the glutes and hips can really help ease lower back and sciatic pain.
Couch Stretch- Perfect for us lifters or if you have taken up running during lockdown. Sitting compresses our hip flexors and causes our quads to become tight. As does running and building up the strength in our quads. This is the ideal stretch for those sitting for long periods of time and running on top.