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Get Up and Move!

caveman

Get Up and Move!
Written by Nick Hawkes

How do you think our ancestors mobilized? Did they wake up every morning and grab a small quaky aspen to mash their quads on before tracking down a mammoth? Perhaps they grabbed the roundest cobble stone from the slow moving creek bed next to their cave to lay on and help loosen up those tight external rotators before sprinting away from a swooping pterodactyl?

I am not sure, but I am going to go out on a petrified limb here and guess that they didn’t. Most likely, they didn’t need to. They didn’t need to because they were always moving! And what I mean by that, is that they were not slumped in front of their computer or slouched for hours behind the wheel, stuck in traffic, for multiple hours a day. They were primal beings and they used their bodies constantly throughout the day; pushing, pulling, squatting and pressing all live long day. It is the state of being sedentary, being stuck in the same positions for extended periods of time (sometimes the same daily routine for years) or performing the same repetitive movement that can cause the need for mobility.

I think that it was K-Starr from MobilityWod.com who said that your body and mobility is like a paper clip; if you only straighten it once, it still has the ability to be twisted and bent right back to it’s original shape. But, if you bend it multiple times, the paper clip will break and will not be stuck in that rigid position any longer.  You need to be the paperclip.

If you come into Invictus an average of four times per week, for 75 minutes a visit, that adds up to 5 total hours of mobility and movement per week. Now compare that 5 hours you spend at Invictus to the 35-50 hours you spend at work each week and you have a imbalanced ratio of roughly 10-1 of immobility to mobility. This ratio will not help you in your attempt to be the paperclip, but here are a couple of things you can do to even up that ratio:

  • Wake up and move! Upon waking, take 3-5 minutes to stretch out, get some blood flowing to the tight spots, and allow your body the ability to move efficiently; creating some proper movement patterns from the get go creates a great platform for the rest of the day. This does not need to be a long, intense session. I thought about making a video clip, however everyone is a little different and what may be tight for me, may not be tight for you. So instead I opted for you to use your imagination here and come up with a routine that works for you. Remember, during this time, simple is best.
  • Stand up and move! Every hour on the hour, stand up and move a little. Do a samson stretch, a couple of squats, and even some wall slides. If this only takes you 2-5 minutes and you do it every hour that you work, you could possibly be adding 15-50 minutes a day of mobility to your routine. Add that to your immobile to mobile numbers and the ratio starts to become more balanced. Plus, your body with thank you! Invictus Charter Member Cynthia wrote a nice piece about her stand up desk and its benefits here: http://www.crossfitinvictus.com/wod/tuesday-august-10-2010/.  (Cynthia is full of great ideas!)
  • Walk! If you get a chance to walk instead of sitting, do it. This ted talk offers some great insight to how taking advantage of any opportunity to walk may benefit you.

By addressing your movement issues little by little throughout the day, you can begin to regain your primal roots and help negate the negative side effects that your daily routine can have on you. If you need any ideas on movements and mobility that might be beneficial for you, feel free to ask any of our knowledgeable Invictus coaches!