Dont quit your day job ... a discussion on posture


For the majority of the member here at Bytown they are either at school or at eerie job for most of the hours in the day. Unfortunately most of this time is spent sitting. This is 8 hours a day, now add in your commute, plus TV watching at home, we now have a large majority of the day in a seated position. If this wasn't bad enough, while we are seated we normally have an electronic device in our face. This leads to a forward head tilt and shoulders that are also rolled forward. 

When you show up at the gym you have to remember this. You are not an elite athlete, stop acting like one. You are predominantly active for one hour out of the day. This means we only have an hour to try to undo the damage you have done to yourself, and make you better at the same time. This is not an easy task. 

We will break down to a few major areas, these are the most affected areas from our daily lives, and also the most common area of injuries. 

Glutes - Sitting down people tend to develop "pancake butt" from turning off your butt. The glutes are one of the most important muscles for any athletes. X-Band walks or clam shells are excellent choices for learning how to activate these muscles. This is a good activation exercise before and squatting movement or explosive exercise (olympic lifts)
VMO - This is the "tear drop" on the inner side of your knee. Many people don't know how to fire these muscles properly. As a result the knee cap gets pulled to the outside. This results in pain on the outer/upper part of the knee. Doing some step downs will help you to learn how to activate the VMO properly. 
Quads - Sitting all day shortens the quadriceps (4 different muscles) and the hip flexors, The couch stretch is a Bytown favourite. If your job has you sitting for the majority of the day perhaps you should show up a little early and do this stretch before class. 
Lower Back (Psoas/QL) - Most lower back pain can be linked to these two muscles. Mashing these out is one of the more effective ways to loosen up the tissue. I don't advise doing these before training as the extra range of motion on the hips and lower back can increase your risk of injury. 
Shoulders: This is one of the most delicate and complicated joints in the human body. Forward rounded shoulders are the new smoking. The CrossOver Symmetry that was installed on the stall bars at Bytown are the best system I have found. If you do not have any bands, you can also try it will small weights. The chart is installed at the station, but there is also a long video is anyone is interested. 

Be aware of your posture throughout the day. Keep the head neutral, shoulders externally rotated, and don't slouch. 

This is the first step. If it is a chronic problem, or it gets worse, I would recommend getting some professional help. This means a good chiropractor and/or massage therapist. It is a definitely plus if they exercise themselves as they understand the needs of an athlete better. If you find a therapist that also does CrossFit then spread the word. 

Think of manual therapy like a an oil change. You can keep driving until after the service engine soon light come on, then finally get a tow to the garage when the car finally breaks down. Or you can take it in to the garage every 3 months or 5000km to get a oil change and checkup. Don't wait until its too late, get a checkup. They might discover things wrong that you are not even aware of yet. 

I know several great therapists who are also Crossfitters, I use these myself on a regular basis. 
Massage Therapist - Livia Pellerin -  
Chiropractor - Shayne Young -
                      - Kirk Andrew & Joanna Taylor - Can both be found at Alta Vista Chiropractic
Physiotherapist - Veronique Yeon - 

Yours in health

Crossfit Bytown