Is it just me, or do you feel like you’ve aged 100 years since shelter-in-place began a few months ago?
It seems like every day is the same except there are more obstacles, more stress, – and likely more crying – going on than ever before. To top it all off, you’re likely feeling more stiffness, more aches, and holding more tension in your body, too.
When you’re working longer hours with the additional stress and anxiety related to COVID-19, there’s a good chance you’re also experiencing a heck of a lot more aches and pains in your back and hips. You already know that sitting all day doesn’t help, but when emotional and mental fatigue are involved, they can manifest into your body in all sorts of uncomfortable ways.
So here’s the game plan. I want to show you TWO very simple but incredibly effective movements for you to do 2-3x a day while you’re working from home.
The Game Plan
- Set a reminder on your phone 2x a day (mid-morning and mid-afternoon)
- Do these TWO movements (see below)
- When you’ve done this for one week straight, reset your phone reminder to do these 3x a day
- Read below to understand the how and why of each movement, which will take less than 5 minutes each day (That means it’s doable!)⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Quadruped T-spine rotation
- Get on all floors with your spine in a neutral position
- Inhale into your diaphragm before you begin
- Exhale for a slow count of 5-8 seconds as you rotate your spine and reach the elbow up. Try not to turn your hips!
- Inhale as you rotate back, trying to touch the elbow to the opposite wrist ⠀
THE WHY ❓
After sitting and rounding forward for hours, this move increases mobility in the T-spine with minimal low back involvement. When your T-spine becomes immobile (due to sitting a lot) your low back needs to pick up the slack, leading to low back pain, stiffness in the neck and shoulders, and possibly even tension around your jaw!
The breathing in this exercise also matters. Not only is a slow, diaphragmatic breathe reduce the “flight-or-flight” response in the sympathetic nervous system, but it can improve cognitive function and help you increase the range of motion in the T-Spine.
In other words, don’t just do this exercise. Breathe into the exercise!
- Start with soft bend in the standing leg, hips facing down towards the floor
- For help with balance, hold on to a chair or place your hands on a wall
- Inhale to initiate the movement
- On the exhale, rotate the hip and torso to open the hip, which will end up facing forward ⠀
THE WHY ❓
Let’s face it, going immediately from sitting all day to a home workout ain’t doing your hips any favors. This is an active flexibility exercise popularized by Dr. Stuart McGill that challenges balance and is extremely helpful if you’re dealing with hip pain or hip “stuff.”
Do these to open up the hips and get it primed to train later in the day. This is also a great warm-up exercise before squatting, too, so its one you can revisit again and again.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Once you start, you’ll start to notice how much more relaxed you feel afterwards (thanks to all that intentional breathing!) and more importantly, your back and hips will thank you! The key to this is CONSISTENCY which is something we create daily inside the Barbell Pilates Sisterhood, an online membership that brings exercises like this in a fun, enjoyable, and challenging Pilates routine so you can get strong, release tension, and gain more flexibility – from anywhere!
Get on the waitlist to be the first to know when the next enrollment period begins!