As a personal trainer, the most common ailment I come across when training my clients is upper and lower cross syndrome. This is because most people I train are not athletes but people who work in office jobs and sit at a desk in front of a computer for 8 hours a day. You may be reading this realizing you are one of these people and the likelihood is that you are. Don’t panic!! Although it sounds like some terrible disease, it’s basically just imbalances in your posture caused by hours of sitting and slouching.So the best way to assess if you have it is to take a look at your posture. If you notice that you have a lot of rounding in your upper back and shoulders and your head carriage is
protruding then those are the tell tale signs of upper cross syndrome. Again the best way to assess if you have lower cross syndrome is to check if your lower back, hip flexors and hamstrings are tight. This is usually the result of extended periods of sitting down.Aside from the postural implications of having these imbalances some of my clients also experience pain in their bodies. Many complain of headaches and impingements in the shoulder area as well as lower back and knee pain. This is usually the result of overly tight muscles.
The main thing to remember if you have an office job is not to sit in one place for hours a time.I usually advise my clients to get up from their desk every hour and perform a few simple movements and stretches that can really help with these imbalances. You may look crazy to your co workers but at least you won’t look like Quasimodo in years to come.
This stretch can be done sitting at your desk at any time. If you notice that you have been sitting for a long period of time then interlock your fingers behind your back and lift your hands up. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds.
Looking at a computer screen for extended periods of time can cause the head carriage to protrude and cause a lot of tightness in the neck and even headaches. To alleviate this tension place your hand on your shoulder and your other
hand on the top of your head. Gently pull your head to the side. You can tilt your head in different directions based on where you need the most relief. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds on each side.
The small muscle in the armpit known as pec minor becomes particularly tight when sitting in front of computer.Put your palm on the wall and turn the rest of your body as far away from the palm as possible. Hold for 30 seconds on each side.
Lower back and Hamstrings
The final stretch is to stand with your legs about shoulder width apart,keeping your legs as straight as possible grab the back of your ankles and pull your chest to your thighs.