I have a number of clients who have jobs that require many hours of sitting. With long days in a chair, they typically have weak glutes (butt muscles), and chronically shortened hip flexors (the muscles that run from the upper leg to the pelvis and spine). Unfortunately, weak glutes and shortened hip flexors can cause a lot of pain and dysfunction and can make efficient walking, biking and cycling difficult.
If you happen to sit a lot, there are a few easy exercises you can do to offset weak glutes and short hip flexors. First, stand up with toes facing forward and feet at hip width. Pretend that you are holding a lemon or a $100 bill between your butt cheeks and squeeze, hold and release the lemon or bill 15 or 20 times. Try to avoid using your shoulders, torso or legs to help. This exercise may seem comical, but you’d be surprised at the number of people who struggle to isolate and activate their glute muscles. Second, find a step or stool that is about a foot or more high and put one foot up on it. Stand tall and shift the weight of your hips over the elevated foot, keeping the back leg straight. This can help stretch the hip flexors that must lengthen when the glutes contract. Try doing these two simple exercises four or five times during the day.
Takeaway: Sometimes when we do new client assessments, we discover that the client is taking 3 or 4 or more drugs. If you are taking multiple drugs, there is a wonderful, free website called www.drugs.com. You can enter all of your prescriptions and click an interaction button to see if the combination has any potentially harmful interactions.