Thursday, November 29, 2012

What Sitting Does To How You Stand

So like I said, muscles tend to work in pairs—dynamically, one muscle contracts and the other muscle stretches. Or one muscle does what the other muscle undoes, hip flexors flex or bend the hip and hamstrings extend or straighten. Statically, muscle pairs equally oppose each other to hold parts of the body in neutral position such as the pelvis:

balanced pelvis

The pelvis is properly held in neutral position by the abs pulling up in front against the lower back pulling up in back, and by the hip flexors pulling down in front against the hamstrings pulling down in back. If the pull is equal at all points, then the pelvis hangs nicely balanced. If you imagine the pelvis as a bucket—which you don't have to, imagine I mean, because there's a picture right there—you see that a balanced bucket does not spill its contents.

But as you know, sitting for prolonged periods without breaks results in tight hip flexors and lower back, and weak hamstrings and abs; so the tight muscles pull harder than the weak muscles, so that the pelvis is held unbalanced:

unbalanced pelvis

This bucket is spilling its contents in front, which we do not want. Not that your pelvis actually spills anything. But there's a good chance that your back will hurt, and there's also a good chance you will hurt your back trying to do anything strenuous—or not that strenuous even, it's not that unheard of to throw out your back sneezing—with posture like this.

A strong, balanced core—also known as good posture—is the basis of good movement, and that is the first thing I teach. That's what I was teaching when I said to pull your head and shoulders back and pull your abs in for your kickbacks. Taking the time to train something, idk, as girly as posture, may seem like delayed gratification when you want to get to agility, strength, power. You know what agility without core strength is, though? A hot mess. Upper or lower body strength without core strength? Weak. Power without core strength? Womp womp. C'mon you only have to learn it once, and then I like to say it's like a sauce that you can put on everything.

I do have a core workout TK, and sneak peek, it doesn't involve a single crunch. But also sneak peek, what is it basically boils down to is stand up straight for the love of god. Did you want something sexier than that, like for nutrition you wanted something sexier than eat your vegetables? If you wanted advice like that, you could have just listened to your mom, well, somebody thought your mom was sexy, because here you are.