A few months pass since giving birth to my baby girl and I kept seeing improvements in my lifts and performance. I had surpassed my pre-pregnancy level and now lift heavier and WOD harder then I ever did before. As I focused on improving every aspect of my fitness, I started to notice a decline in one: FLEXIBILITY.
I never had issues before with my mobility. I did the basic stretches, practiced yoga every once in a while, and would occasionally use a foam roller. That was all I needed before. But recently I have started noticing a lack of mobility in my hips, increased tightness in my shoulders, and frequent backache. That’s when I realized the culprit!
SITTING…excessive and prolonged sitting to be precise.
According to a few online articles, sitting is the new smoking. Can you believe that? If you spend most of your day sitting, be prepared to deal with decreased hip mobility, decreased shoulder mobility (from having them rounded forward), your glutes basically stop working, and the list goes on ultimately causing negative health and metabolic effects on your body. Even people who get enough exercise but spend a significant amount of time sitting are doomed to these health problems.
I took a good look at how I spend my entire day: coaching, training, managing the box, and doing other responsibilities for myself/baby/husband. But the time in between all of these activities I was sitting!
Sitting as I feed the baby her meals.
Sitting on the floor playing with baby.
Sitting as I nurse the baby.
Sitting as I get the baby to take a nap.
You get the idea. Baby-sitting. Literally. That explained my tight hips and stiff shoulders.
Now I wouldn’t be wasting your time reading this if I didn’t tell you there’s a happy ending. Here’s what I started doing:
Singing to the baby while I work on strengthening my core doing hollow body holds.
Playing with the baby on the floor as I stretch my legs, glutes, and back.
Holding the baby and doing some squats, or better yet, dancing around the office to the music playing at the box.
If the baby is napping, I would foam roll or why not practice some handstand holds against the office wall.
More importantly, I started taking an extra 10 minutes warming up doing mobility exercises with a focus on my hips and shoulders.
So if you find yourself stuck at a desk at work or spending hours on the couch watching TV shows, use that time to stand up, walk around, do a few stretches, anything to minimize your time spent sitting.
Here are a few resources if you’re interested in all the details of just how bad sitting is:
A dramatic infographic: “Sitting is Killing You”
An entire website dedicated to addressing the risks of sitting: JustStand.org
*title taken from T-Nation article.
Interesting, I was wondering why some days I’d have great mobility and some days feel off, I think probably having a rest day just sitting on the couch makes my body right? Thanks for the website going to check it out! Also try rolling out with the ball from under your foot, walk around then calves, walk around, quads, and glutes and work your way up after you roll walk around and do some stretches. It helped me out a lot after learning that from the endurance course! Best of luck doll x
Thanks for commenting! I always forget about using a lacrosse ball! Also I did read somewhere that “rest days” should be more “recovery” which isn’t sitting around but instead doing mobility, rowing, swimming, etc. So basically taking care of the body to recover instead of vegging out on a couch :p
Thanks for this reminder!! I myself have no children yet, but sitting is a bad culprit of mine. I noticed that my body doesn’t have that flexibility and mobility to mention, which hinders my performance. Sitting definitely is a great luxury, but I’m trying to kick the habit and do walks or modify little movements that you mentioned whilst watching t. v or studying.
Hello! Thank you for commenting. I still have to remind myself to move if i am sitting for too long! But i have noticed that i feel so much better if i am doing some simple stretches or exercises. Good luck!