Workout of the Day

The Shape of Modern Life

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I’m going to go out on a limb and say that your posture right now isn’t great. You’re reading this on a computer or mobile device, which probably means your shoulders are pulled forward, your head is hanging in front of your neck, and your upper back is hunched forward. Our modern world draws us into positions that we wouldn’t ordinarily spend so much time in, and this has, in a large way, changed the shape of the average person. We’re spending so much time hunched over screens and whatever else that we’re getting “stuck” in this posture.

If you recall from yesterday’s post, your body is excellent at adapting to the stimuli that you expose it to. When this daily stimuli involves moving from leaning over your phone at the breakfast table, to slouched behind steering wheel in the car, to slumped over your computer at work, to drooped over your phone and plate at lunch, back to the desk at work, and then to the car, and then to the dinner table and the couch, it should be absolutely no surprise that our body adapts to be really good at staying in this shape.

While this modern-lifestyle shape is great for staring at your cell phone or working on the computer, it’s kind of a one-trick pony. And, it presents considerable downsides when it comes to joint health, performance, breathing capacity, and the like.

This modern lifestyle of being deskbound and sedentary isn’t going anywhere, and therefore we have the responsibility to learn to live optimally within it. Be conscious of the positions you spend the most time occupying, and work to change those positions to fit in with how you want your body to adapt and perform. I understand that jobs and long commutes confine us to be stationary, but we can do better. It’s not easy, but it’s simple.

I’ll leave you with three basic tips to get started.

1) Sit up straight. Grandma knew what she was talking about when she told you to stop slouching. And the solution is really quite simple: stop slouching. It’ll take time and vigilance, but with attention and practice, it’ll become your new normal.

2) Move more. With more movement, we pull ourselves out of our deskbound posture and into more upright and functional positions. Oh, and leave your cell phone in your pocket when you walk. Walking and slouching over your phone isn’t much better than sitting and slouching over your phone.

3) Undo the damage. There’s a good chance that you’ve already given your body a couple decades of poor-position stimuli to adapt to, and this isn’t going to magically undo itself overnight. If you ever find it physically challenging to get out of poor posture, or if you feel like it takes effort just to sit or stand tall, then you’ve got some work to do to reverse the damage that’s done. More thoracic mobility, more horizontal pulls, more shoulder and chest mobility, etc.. Not sure where to start? Ask us! Everyone’s going to be different, and that’s what we’re here for.

Let’s see if we can make some simple changes to change the shape of modern life.

- Preston Sprimont


2/17/17

  • Back squat - 1RM

  • Bench press - 1RM

  • Deadlift - 1RM