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TIPS FOR SITTING

5 Tips for Those who sit on the job was an article written by Karen Lobello for Yahoo. Karen was kind enough to contact me on 5 tips that I would give anyone that has to sit for most of the day for better posture and spine health so I suggested the following:

1. Sit at the edge of your chair; This promotes better posture and engagemnt of your core and trunk muscles.
2. Learn to Pack your neck; Neck Packing is a way to ensure good head/neck/spine posture as it prevents your head moving too far forward of the rest of your spine and body.
3. Brace your core; Bracing is engaging your abdomin. The easiest way to feel and learn how to brace is by coughing. When you cough, your midsection tightens up. Maintain that tension is great for helping stabilize the lower spine and encourages breathing by use of the diaphram.
4. Start Kneeling; By taking a 1/2 kneeling position, you stretch one of the most notorious muscles for lower back pain, the hip flexor. By taking a knee, tucking your hips under slightly and engaging your glutes, you will stretch the hip flexor and potentially provide relief for the lower back. I also encourage exercising from a 1/2 Kneeling position to challenge your balance and hip strength/stability.

5. Start Foam Rolling; Foam Rolling is a form of massage by which you apply pressure to tight spots in your muscles. By releasing tension from these areas, you will improve your muscle quality and circulation.

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LIVESTRONG.COM

Last month I was interviewed by Livestrong.com on the topic of How to get back into Working Out Everyday

The write-up was done really well and included tips from myself as well as from 2 other trainers.  Give it a read for some great usable info.  For the rest of my tips read below!  Enjoy!

Take the time to get a physical assessment

  1. Trainers nowadays are highly skilled professionals and are great at identifying what work you need to put in. Find a credible trainer, get an assessment and if you don’t want to work with a trainer on a regular basis get a PROGRAM.  Working out should be fun, challenging and a learning experience that keeps you motivated. Let the experts help with that. After all, the idea is to create a habit that you can continue, so do the right thing once and get after it!

Warm-up

  1. Foam Rolling, aka the poor man’s massage is a great tool/technique to warm up with. If you are just getting back into exercise, I am guarantee you will have areas that are tight, knotted up and painful. Using a foam roll will help to loosen up knots and promote blood flow. It will also help to improve the quality of your muscle tissue which in the long run is the goal.
  2. Warm-up after foam rolling. Start with a good stretch routine (such as active or dynamic stretching) to open up the hips and activate your core muscles.

Core Training

  1. We have all heard of the core, but do you know what it is? I describe the Core as your hips, pelvis, spine, shoulder blades and shoulders.  That’s a lot! Learning techniques such as bracing the core (tensing your abs, obliques, and deeper ab muscles) or shoulder packing (engaging the muscles in the upper back to promote better posture and stability of the shoulder) are necessary and all Level 1 techniques that I teach on a daily basis. The core is probably one of the most overly used terms AND least understood areas of the body.
  2. I start all my Level 1 clients with the Anti-Workout a core routine that challenges you to NOT flex, extend or rotate from the spine. It’s one of those workouts that looks easy, but kicks your butt!

Train Natural Movements

  1. The one piece of equipment everyone has is their own body! Learn to use it, move through the hips, stabilize the spine, and move through the shoulders. Try working out in various positions (standing, kneeling, side stepping, rotating). Working out is more than sitting on a piece of equipment, grabbing a handle and counting reps.  I teach 7 natural movement patterns Push (vertically and horizontally), Pull (vertically and horizontally), Squat, Lunge and Twist.  Mirror muscles are cool but being fit and functional are more important in the long run.

Cardio

  1. When most people think about getting back into training, they go straight to the treadmill. Understand that your fitness is also dependant on other factors. Do not neglect your mobility, strength, coordination, power or cardio training. You need them all.