Imagine explaining to your great-great-great-great-grandparents what the biggest health threat to the industrialized world currently is: “We have too much food and we don’t physically labor hard enough.”
We’re not inherently lazy. It’s just that the necessities of daily life no longer require a high level of physical exertion. It appears, however, that we need to breathe hard, sweat and be challenged physically to maintain health. We now have to consciously add this movement to our day in the form of exercise.
Time spent exercising is a window of opportunity to either overcome some of the physiological and/or biomechanical deficiencies we’ve created through inactivity or potentially make them worse. When an exercise program is done improperly or does not align with the needs and abilities of the exerciser, pain and injury can lead to a total departure from the program.
Just about any form of exercise is better than no exercise. However, to ensure an exercise program is guiding the body away from pain and injury, consider the following tips:
Focus on Exercises That Reverse the “Sitting” Posture
While sitting, most of the spine and articulating joints adopt a “flexed” position. If done for prolonged periods, this position could lead to poor posture, pain and joint dysfunction.
When choosing exercises and movements to prioritize in the gym, consider those that are opposite to that of sitting:
- Hip Flexors During Sitting: The hip flexors are held in flexion.
- Exercise Suggestions: Prioritize hip extension with exercises such as the deadlift, bridge and swing variations.