Listen, we all have to work. The greater part of the day for most of us is spent siting at a desk, whether we're clocking in at a 9-to-5 or logging some serious overtime in a high-stress environment. The bad news is, that desk job takes its toll on the body, and things get worse if you're not ready to combat all those negative effects when they start to manifest. That's where we come in. Here's how to avoid (or undo) the office bod.
Head and Neck
The head and neck set the tone for the posture and alignment of the rest of the body. When you sit or stand with a forward cranial tilt, it means added weight for the spine to bear. Set up your workspace the right way, by making sure your computer monitor is positioned at eye level. Pull your keyboard in close to help straighten your shoulders and neck, too.
Shoulders and Upper Back
Your shoulders are likely tense due to a slouched, unnatural posture while you sit. The truth is, our bodies aren't built for it: the rounded spine, forward shoulders, and all. And the fix isn't to try to sit like royalty every time you get to your desk–that's unrealistic. Instead, focus on engaging and strengthening the muscles of your upper back and improving the mobility at your shoulders. Start by doing these two drills:
Lower Back & Hips
Lower back discomfort is probably the most common lament for desk jockeys (or office jockeys; maybe that sounds snappier) and a major contributor to plenty of this stress is a pair of immobile and tight hips. Sitting down with them in a closed position is unavoidable, so it's a better idea to get your ass in gear (literally!) by waking up your gluteal muscles. Start with this movement at home or even in the office if you can. If you feel it in your back instead of your glutes, press through your heel, tuck your pelvis to make your back flat, and try again.
This one can be brief: The knee joint is prisoner to the hip joint, since both joints share muscles. Improving the quality at the hip can drastically improve knee health. To help this cause, add some foam rolling and hip and quad stretching to the mix. More importantly, remember that the knees will be particularly stressed if the full range of motion they're capable of going through is never exercised. When you wake up, get into a full bodyweight squat. Don't worry about the form. Just keep the heels on the ground. Hang out down there for a few seconds and repeat. Didn't that feel good?
Your feet are your base, so never forget them. Take care of your plantar fascia by rolling your feet on a golf ball while at your desk. Roll firmly and slowly, be sure to cover the full foot, and keep the toes spread. This will feel uncomfortable and tender, but it helps release restricted tissue that causes your arches to fall, which relates to leg tightness. Also, don't wear shoes when you don't have to. They may be great for fashion, but they're probably not designed for 12 hours of straight wear. Plus, walking without them for a while can actually strengthen the feet.
At the Gym
To get the most out of a quick workout, it's good to think of compound movements. They won't only hit the right muscles; they'll also get your metabolism up and torch fat, which is just what you need after a day of being sedentary. The reason these exercises are the moneymakers (and beat hitting the bicep curls and leg extensions) is because they encourage many joints to be active at the same time. When it comes to making joints work the right way, it's important that all the muscles that surround the joint get to play their role and contribute like they're supposed to. Using these moves as staples will get things started right:
1 | Deadlift: 4 sets, 10 reps
2 | Chin-Ups: 4 sets, max reps
3 | Overhead Press: 4 sets, 10 reps
4 | Goblet Squats: 5 sets, 10 reps
5 | Pushups: 4 sets, max reps
Between sets of each of these exercises, rest for two minutes.
Using the proper form and technique can go a long way when you train. Knowing the right exercises to do for your situation can go an even longer way. You don't have to be an athlete—you can just be a regular guy with a regular job. But keeping healthy is always important. And getting in better shape? Well that can't hurt either.
From: Esquire US.