If you’re like many Australians you spend a good chunk of the day sitting down! These’s just so much good stuff to do while sitting on your butt, and then there’s work! So don’t feel too bad.. Among other things however, sitting for prolonged periods can lead to a problem called a muscle imbalance. Simply put this is where one muscle group is short/tight and the opposing group is weak/long. Here are 3 common imbalances that can happen from prolonged sitting:
1. Tight/short pecs & weak/long shoulder blade retractors: This one gives you that classic rounded back look! A combination of chest stretches and upper back strengthening exercises should be used to combat this imbalance. A standing door frame chest stretch works well, and then add shoulder blade retraction exercises to strengthen the back.
2. Tight/short hip flexors & weak/inactive glutes: This one is a biggy, as this can lead to issues all over the body, including lower back pain. Glute activation drills like glute bridges can get your butt moving, but first you’ll need to mobilise the front of the hips with some kneeling hip flexor pulses and foam roller work.
3. Tight/short Hamstrings & weak VMO: this can cause the pelvis to tilt, be the root cause of lower back pain, as well as cause knee pain through poor tracking of the knee cap. Start by stretching the entire back of the leg and doing some soft tissue work to the sole of the foot, then work on activating the inner most quad muscle called Vastus Medialis Obliquus or VMO. This one is a tricky one, so seek help from your myotherapist if you aren’t sure!
Written by Dan Hammond, Myotherapist (Bachelor Health Science – Myotherapy) and Master Functional Trainer (CertIV Fitness). 2018
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