Must Do Exercises For The Professional Commuter
Do you ever realize how many of us are paid to sit down? If you make a living by doing your work from a chair, you might be a professional commuter. If you spend at least an hour a day in your car… you might be a professional commuter. If you spend hours at the end of the day sitting at dinner, in front of a tv/computer, or on your couch…well, you might be an under-paid or freelance professional commuter. The point is, too many of us are spending our days sitting down, an hour in the morning, and hour to and from work, 8 hours at work, and another 3-4 hours after that being at home. That’s 14 hours on your butt, and the rest on your back, and a minority of the time on your feet.
Prolonged sitting and inactivity is a type of voluntary confinement, and has serious effects on many areas that results in reduced metabolism, loss of flexibility, delayed reaction time, muscle atrophy, retention of fluids, and even indigestion. Your body is made to move, and prolonged sitting and inactivity invites diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disorder and obesity to develop over time.
Here are some must do exercises to maximize your time in the upright position and avoid the chronic effect of the “Professional Commuter Syndrome”.
1. SQUAT + ROWING (Fig 1) This is performed by pulling an elastic cable or a machine cable pulley from a squat position, and pulling towards your rib cage as you stand up. This can be done with one arm or both arms in a rowing position. Make sure your squat is adequate, but not too low to trigger knee pain. This exercise develops your glutes and lower back stabilizers while invoking your shoulder girdle muscles into an upright position.
2. BENT OVER ROWS (Fig 2) This exercise emphasizes the midback and shoulder girdle muscles to achieve stamina in the upright position when you are sitting or standing. Bent over rows can be done with dumbells in each hand, a weighted bar, elastic bands, or a machine.
3. SHOULDER RAISES + SHOULDER ROTATIONS (Fig 3) Using dumbells in each hand, or holding an elastic band that you step down with on your feet, shoulder raises help develop shoulder muscles as long as you don’t have pain through the range of motion. Once complete with a set of raises, immediately perform shoulder rotations by placing your elbows at 90 degrees while your arm is at your side. Then rotate the arm outwards about 30-45 degrees WITHOUT extending your elbow while continuing to pivot at the elbow on the side of your body.
4. GOBLET SQUATS (Fig 4) One of my favorites, the goblet squat is not about the weight as it is about the form. It is performed while holding a weight at your chest level as you keep your spine in an erect or upright position as you perform a squat. Exhale as you stand up from squat position and contract your glute and lower back muscles.
As with any exercise, movement should not provoke pain. If the exercises above are new to you, have a trainer or exercise specialist observe your movement. Correct performance maximizes gains and prevents injury. Remember, to be a professional in anything requires practice, self evaluation, and a readiness to perform. So on your marks, get set…and sit like a pro!
Dr. Adrian is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, combining strength training with Chiropractic for the last 20 years. He can be reached through his website…www.southpaschiro.com