By Jared Evans
Does this position look familiar? It’s ok, we have all been there at one point. Realizing that we are in a bad position is the first step to correcting it. Sitting is said to be the new smoking and it is negatively affecting our health in a number of ways. Improving sitting position is important but that is not the focus of this article.
The reason you need it
Realistically, you will have to sit sometimes. How else will you drive your car or use the toilet? I’m sure some people can come up with a few creative solutions but before we go to extremes, know that we can avoid carrying this posture with us by doing some good old fashioned stretching (and of course not sitting still so much!).
Here is another position you may recognize, do you see the similarity? Both hipsin flexion, upper body leaning forward, arms in front of the chest, head jutting forward. This is a great position to play tennis from and there is nothing inherently wrong with it. The problems of low back pain, stiff necks, and cranky shoulders come when we don’t do anything to stretch back out.
Our bodies adapt to the positions they are in most. When we sit or play tennis, the hip flexors and other muscles on the front of the body become tight. Stretching releases tension that comes from our nervous system and resets the muscles “normal” position. So for those who are new to stretching and short on time, how can you get the most benefit with maximal efficiency?
The one stretch you need
The low lunge is a one-stop shop for releasing the tight spots caused by sitting. Other stretches are important as well, but if you had to choose one, this would be a good bet.
Get down into a lunge on a comfortable mat. Make sure your front shin is vertical, with your knee stacked on top of your ankle to avoid strain. Drop your hips toward the floor while tucking the tailbone underneath to protect the lower back. This position will also help drive your back leg hip flexors into the stretch. Squeezing the back leg glute can help to keep the lower back from arching too much. Lift the front of your chest and reach back overhead as you move from the shoulders and extend your upper back. Repeat this stretch on both sides 2-3 times and hold for at least 30 seconds to allow the muscles to lengthen.
Yoga is good for tennis
This one stretch is one of many beneficial stretches from yoga that can help bring balance to a tennis player’s body. If you haven’t tried our yoga classes, they are more than simple stretches you did in PE. Yoga can help you build strength, balance and better control. Come in for a free class (our yoga is always free to members) or Contact Us to learn more.