Preventing poor posture is not only the first step in optimizing your productivity, but should also guide your personal fitness strategy. With posture in mind, every business professional should focus on developing what is known as the posterior chain.
What is the posterior chain? Well, let me show you. Stand in front of a mirror. Everything you see in front of you is NOT your posterior chain. This includes your back, glutes, hamstrings and calves.
Ironically, what you can’t see in the mirror is largely responsible for maintaining proper posture and preventing postural deviations associated with long hours of desk work. These muscles are typically ignored in the gym, only exacerbating inherent weaknesses and creating long-lasting problems.
To battle this never-ending battle with your office chair, simply incorporate two highly effective exercises into your fitness regimen that will develop the musculature of your posterior chain, thus solidifying the muscular system designed to keep you upright and pain-free.
The two exercises are the Romanian Deadlift and the Cable Row:
• Romanian Deadlift (RDL): Start by tightening your core musculature (abs and lower back) to ensure a secure spine. The straightness and stability of your spine should never be compromised during the exercise. If your back begins to round, lower the amount of weight/resistance on the bar. Keeping the bar close to your body (it should maintain slight contact with the body at all times), start to bend at the hips, taking care that the lower back does not move. Once the bar reaches past the knees and touches the midpoint of your shins, contract the glutes and go back to the standing upright starting position.
• Cable Row: Standing upright with a bend in your knees, lean back against the resistance of the weighted cable until you feel balanced. Brace your core musculature and pull the cable handles into the body. Keep your back straight through the entire motion and do not shrug your shoulders upward. Rather, focus on your shoulders being depressed.
Luke Sniewski currently works as a CPA as well as a Fitness Consultant. He works by weaving the health and wellness world with the business professional world. Working with companies and business professionals, his organization, LEAF, teaches the PAIN CPE course series that aims to improve the overall quality of life through the implementation of proactive lifestyles. Visit www.leaflifestyle.com for more details.