Sitting for long periods of time wreaks havoc on the body.
Fortunately, the solution is simple: sit less and move more. And that’s a good start for anyone. But you’ll get the best results when you start moving better. In fact, one of the best things you can do to reverse the damage caused by excessive sitting is to not only move more often, but also to move more intentionally, more mindfully, and with greater efficiency.
And one of the fastest ways to see positive results in the right direction is to start practicing certain movements and positions that help to undo the damage from sitting too much, like the ones in the videos below.
So, if you spend a lot of time sitting because you have a sedentary job or just don’t get much movement in your daily life, here are a handful of natural movements that will be especially helpful for you.
Movement #1: Stepping Under and Over
These rudimentary stepping over/under movements are superb for opening up your hips after a long day of sitting. If you don’t have a hurdle, just imagine one.
After you’ve gotten comfortable with these movements, you can progress to stepping over a higher hurdle and/or stepping under a lower hurdle. See how high and low you can go. For an additional challenge, you can perform these while holding a light load at chest level.
Movement #2: Deep Squat
This is a challenging movement that most people need to practice for awhile before they can achieve a full range of motion, but it’s well-worth the effort. You can either hold a deep squat for time or perform some repetitions.
After you can hold a deep squat comfortably, progress to the Squat to Kneeling movement, which will provide additional benefits.
Movement #3: Tripod Transition
This movement is a staple in the MovNat curriculum because of its foundational nature and all of the benefits it packs (e.g. mobility, stability, core strength, etc.).
For an additional challenge, progress to the Balancing Tripod Transition.
Movement #4: Hanging Side Swing
Our shoulders take a beating when we sit too much, and the Hanging Side Swing is a great way to target the negative adaptations that occur in and around the shoulders. Obviously, you’ll need a place to hang to perform these. A pull-up bar, tree branch, and even some door frames will do the job.
If you have the proper equipment, progressing to the Side Swing Traverse is a great way to increase the challenge and practicality of this movement.
Movement #5: Rocking
This is a great movement to activate and strengthen your core, massage the muscles surrounding your spine, and practice proper diaphragmatic breathing while moving, which are all things that suffer when you sit too much.
Once you’ve gotten the basic rocking down, you can progress to Rotational Rocking for an added challenge. You’ll probably feel this one in your abs.
- There is very little risk of overdoing these movements. So, generally speaking, the more you practice, the better.
- You can perform these movements either one at a time or all together throughout the day, during your lunch break, or at the end of the day.
- Who told you have to sit in a chair? Why not try sitting on the floor when it’s practical to do so? Believe it or not, simply sitting on the ground helps to undo some of the damage from sitting in chairs.
The Anti-Sitting MovNat Combo Workout
Instructions: Repeat the following combo 3-5 times, with no rest between movements and no more than 1 minute of rest between combos.
- Alternate Stepping Over & Under – 1 minute
- Deep Squat – 1 minute (either hold for time or perform reps)
- Hanging Side Swing – 1 minute
- Rocking – 1 minute
- Tripod Transition – 1 minute
Natural movement is the perfect antidote to a sedentary lifestyle.
Apart from your movement practice and workouts, one of the best things you can do is start to integrate natural movements into your everyday life, which will be the topic of an upcoming article.
For now, if you want to learn more about fitness for the real world and deepen your practice of natural movement fitness, please take the next step in your journey and join us at a MovNat workshop or certification near you. You’ll return home with a complete system for counteracting the negative effects of excessive sitting.