These days, I need to take a different approach to training with most of my clients. Almost all of them, and many of you, sit in front of computers all day long.When you are in this seated position for many hours a day, this is what happens to your body: hips flexors seize inward, hamstrings stay half-shut, lower back weakens, core in general weakens, mid-upper back (sub-scapular) weakens, chest and front of shoulders (pectorals and anterior deltoids) close in and tighten. Sucks, right?
So now you know. What do you do about it? I'm a big fan of yoga, for one thing, for people who assume this position for many hours a day. Many of the poses are great hip openers (be sure to tilt your pelvis forward when you're in your warrior poses - especially in crescent pose for an INCREDIBLE hip flexor stretch). Basically, the more mobile you are, and the further your body is from imitating your day-long position, the better. Do lateral exercises so that you are moving sideways (like lateral jumps over a bosu), and not always forward and backward (as in running, walking, elliptical, cycling, etc). Increase circulation as much as possible. The reason yoga is one of the first things on my list of recommendations is it really makes you aware of the "crankiest" areas in the body - this awareness is the most important step in correcting it. You have to keep your anatomy balanced before it really begins to limit you in life. Believe me - from someone who's witnessed the decline in mobility, the susceptibility to injury in many clients both young and old - it DOES happen, and it DOES make for something to cry about.
Trainers now must be focusing on correcting the damage done from the recurring and damaging seated position. So, as we give you a fresh, fun and challenging workout, it must also be greatly focused on compensating for the imbalances brewing from work habits. The fitness movement is the counterforce to North America's workmoreworkmoreworkmore attitude.
So, become aware of your body's imbalances, learn how to fix them (professionals will catch what you miss) and don't work until you drop - work and drop it like it's hot.