We sit too much. Plain and simple. We sit to go to work, sit at work, sit to relax and rest. Sitting might seem pretty cool, I mean, all the cool people are doing it, but sitting for long periods of time can have severe negative affects on the hip of the human body, which can translate to poor posture. Poor posture can lead up to a variety of issues, compensation patterns, muscles being overused or underused(weak). I have noticed this for quite some time and mainly in the clients that sit a lot for work. I have tried various movement patterns and stretches during warm up with clients, and the best thing to do with clients for a proper warm up on top of everything else they do is The Worlds Greatest Stretch. This is a three part stretch that will really open the hip complex up, as well as the back and hamstrings. This is not a cure all for anything, but it is a great tool to have when clients feel stiff and inflexible. Here is the break down:
With your feet together, step out with your right leg as if you are performing a forward lunge. Take your left hand and place it on the ground. Your right arm should be bent at 90 degrees and on the inside of your right knee. Do not place your elbow against your knee, keep it free floating. Keeping your left knee fully extended, try to place your right forearm onto the ground for a count of 20. This gives a nice stretch to the hip flexors which are usually in flexion when sitting.
With your left arm still on the ground, take your right arm, rotate to the right and extend your right hand up to the ceiling. Follow with your head looking at the ceiling and give a count of 20. This stretches your glute medius.
After the 20 count, place your right hand on the ground, outside of your right foot. Your left hand and right should be on the ground and from here we try to lock out our right knee and raise our toes up, driving the toes up, placing all your weight on the right heel. This is a great hamstring stretch. That is one rep. Do three to five per side. Switch to the left foot and repeat.
There you have it, The Worlds Greatest Stretch. I don’t claim the creation of this exercise, and a lot of you yoga and pilate people probably do this already. I have found this helps a lot of my clients who happen to sit too much.