Wake up your glutes! We all know that sitting all day is one of the worst things we can do for your health. For many of us though, it’s completely unavoidable when that nine-to-five office job is what pays the bills. We know spending eight hours with our butt in a seat isn’t exactly what sculpts the body or improves that cardiovascular system. In fact, planting ourselves in a chair all day does just the opposite. Jennifer McConnell is a Vancouver-based runner and trainer who works for Lululemon. As she notes, excessive sitting leaves the hips extremely tight and the glutes inactive. That can lead to tight IT bands resulting in knee pain or, worse, injury. Oh, and one of the biggest nuisances of spending all day at the desk: poor posture which can lead to back and neck pain. The good news though is that some of these harms can be reversed and McConnell has three simple ways to do just that. “So,” writes McConnell, “if you fancy yourself an athlete or just enjoy a limber and pain-free life, commit to doing the following mobility exercises to open up those hips and wake up your glutes:”
1. Pidgeon stretch on a table: Place your leg bent at 90 degree on a table that’s just below hip height. Place one hand on the table and the other on your foot for support. Lean forward and hold for one or two minutes. Repeat this leaning towards the left and right. Repeat on the opposite leg.
2. Glute bridges: Lay on the ground with your feet flat on the floor, knees bent. Begin by pulling your bellybutton in towards your lower back, squeezing your glutes begin to lift you hips towards the ceiling while keeping the tension in your belly. Hold at the top for three to five seconds. Repeat three sets of 10 reps per set.
3. STAND UP! Take five minutes to stand up and walk around every 30-45 minutes during your day. Stand up tall, shoulders back and down away from your ears and think about pulling your belly button in towards your lower back.