These days it seems like people are spending more and more time sitting, whether it be behind a desk, watching television, driving in the car, or in other ways. With that said, we see the same mobility issues showing up over and over again. What are these issues? Terrible t-spine rotation and locked up hips.
I personally see these issues every single day with the adult population that I work with. They come in with their shoulders rounded forward and a slight forward lean because of some brutally tight hip flexors.
With these issues in mind, I’ve had to consciously program with an eye on fixing these issues. Here are some of the things that I have implemented with the adults I work with. I have seen some pretty good results across the board, with some people reporting some majority improvements.
Foam Rolling & Static Stretching
Every day the adults I work with do the same thing: a total body foam roll followed by a lower body intensive stretch via quadruped adductor rocks, foam roller hamstring split, and fantastic four (among other stretches). In essence, we try to stretch the hip with a 3-dimensional point of view: the front of the hip, the side of the hip, and the back of the hip.
After the foam roll and stretch, we go through an active warm up. In this active warm up we perform the typical activation exercises like Cook hip lifts, band pull aparts, and lateral band walks. In addition to this, we sprinkle in a mobility movement for the three major areas of concern; t-spine, hip, and ankle. Like the foam roll and stretch, this is non-negotiable – we do something for these three areas every single day. Movements like 1/2 Kneeling T-Spine rotation, Turkish get up’s, wall ankle mobs, active spiderman, and goblet squat holds can be consistently found in the program.
2:1 Pull:Push Ratio
This doesn’t take a ton of explaining. We do twice as much pulling as we do pushing. For example, for every set of push ups we do, we do two sets of TRX Rows. If someone has a shoulder issue we would handle it on a case by case basis, but the general rule of thumb is that if it hurts we don’t do it. Additionally, we might jump to a 3:1 ratio to get even more pulling and less pushing for this individual.
Improving Daily Habits
I freely admit, I have no control over how much or how little people are actually doing this, I can only encourage it. I try to encourage the adults to get up and move numerous times throughout the day. Go get some water, talk to someone in a different area of the office, take the long route to the bathroom, whatever it takes to get up and move more. A good rule of thumb is to not sit in the same position for more than 15 minutes at a time.
Full Range of Motion
Again, this seems very simple but it yields tremendous results. Continually make sure that adults are taking all of their movements through a full range of motion. At times this can be more difficult then it sounds as you need to constantly be regressing people in order for them to be able to move through a full range of motion, but its worth it. On the other end of the spectrum, sometimes people can just be lazy – hold them accountable and they’ll see much better results.
The combination of these 5 components to our program has done wonders for many of our adults. Try adding as many of these in to your program and see what kind of results you get – I’d be willing to bet you would see some great results just like we have.