What's the best way to train your low back and pelvis for maximum core stability?
The Effects of a Sedentary Life-Style - is your day job undermining your chances of carrier success?
Sitting for long periods during the day can adversely affect your work performance in your chosen field of work and is quite often a predisposing factor in injury. Most of us are not professional athletes and spend large chunks of our day sitting hunched over a computer, in a vehicle or slumped on the sofa. Such prolonged sitting can cause all or some of the following problems:
- Tight hip flexor, hamstring and calf muscles
- Tightness through the external hip rotator muscles, which can lead to restricted movement at the hip joint
- Reduced extension through the lower back, causing stiffness in the mid (thoracic) spine
- Tight and hunched shoulders with weak lower shoulder muscles
- Tight and weak muscles at the back of the shoulder
- "Poked chin" posture and muscle imbalances in the neck and upper shoulders.
Prolonged sitting has also been linked to acute muscle strains , in particular hamstring strains. That's because the lower back stiffness associated with sitting leads to altered nerve input into the rear thigh. This can manifest as increased muscle tone of the hamstrings, which will increase the risk of strain.
While for muscular imbalances and weaknesses in the shoulders and mid-spine - caused by spending much of the day hunched over a computer screen - can lead to a shoulder impingement/tendonitis injury.
Core Stability - injury free performance explains what active measures you can take, first to recognize the impact of your working environment on your physical condition, and secondly, how you can counteract these - and thus ensure that your day job is not undermining your efforts to achieve carrier success.
Building Core Stability
Within the repertoire of core stability there is a large range of exercises, the suitability of which will vary according to the injury and therapeutic needs of each individual.
There are three major groups of exercise:
- Those focusing on getting the small deep lying stabilizing muscles (such as the lower abdominals and deep spinal muscles) to work properly. These exercises are often taken from clinical Pilates.
- Static bodyweight exercises that concentrate on developing stability and/or strength endurance in certain postures. These need you to learn how simultaneously to work your small stabilizer muscles and the larger mobilize muscles. One popular example is the 'plank'.
- Traditional dynamic strength exercises for the main movement muscles of the trunk, often performed on the floor or Swiss ball.