Flexibility Hacks - Posterior Predicament

By: David Howatson-Begg

The world of health and fitness is an ever changing atmosphere of new equipment, new ideas and new ways of approaching the challenges presented to our bodies by modern life. One of the bigger challenges we face in modern life, which strikes fear into millions of people across the globe, a silent killer that the western world has yet to confront, a terrifying and inescapable monster…THE CHAIR! "Sitting disease" is common among those who lead an office bound existence and is only going to grow and grow as our daily lives become more automated and less labor intensive. In order to combat the evils of being in a chair, for up to eight hours a day, many people join a gym. Sound strategy right?

There's a but…and it could be a big but…a large chunk of gym members prioritize sweating over stretching. Sitting at a desk all day, followed by sitting in a car to go to the gym, and getting on fixed machines with seats… sounds crazy, yet it's a bad ritual that many of us carry out on a daily basis. In order to help, we want to make your mobility / flexibility and warm up more effective, less time consuming, and ultimately more manageable in your daily routine, using whole body vibration.

Link It Up

You may be chained to a desk all day, but chains play an important part in your ability to move. The chains I'm referring to are lines of tissue which link component parts allowing your frame to move as one unit. Think of the song "Dem Bones" - "the thigh bone's connected to the hip bone, the hip bone's connected to the back bone..." There are many lines or links of connecting tissues in your body. A quick, yet highly effective flexibility hack is to start combating sitting disease by hitting the posterior and anterior chains.

Imagine a continuous thread running from beneath your big toe going under your foot, up the back of the legs, and back, all the way over the top of your skull and ending within your forehead. That's the posterior chain and it connects a lot of areas where you might feel tight or uncomfortable: the soles of your feet, the calf, hamstrings, lower back, shoulders and neck. In the anterior chain we have a thread running from the big toes to the top side of the feet, up the shins, thighs and hips, over the abdomen all the way to the front of the neck. To stimulate all of these spots we can step onto a Power Plate® and perform two simple movements taken from the Gray Institute's fantastic 3D MAPS® program.


Anterior Step with Overhead Reach

Take a forward step with a high reach overhead with the hands. Extend back as far as you can, alternating sides, while easing the hips forward to avoid discomfort in the lower back.

Settings: 30 seconds, 30/Low or G-Factor 1


Posterior Step with Low Reach

Take a step backward with a reach behind/low while tucking the chin toward the chest.

Settings: 30 seconds, 30/Low or G-Factor 1

Use these movements as a starting point on your journey to banishing the effects of the four-legged beast that is the chair. By taking a global or whole body approach, we can use vibration to influence more connections along the chain, hitting both anterior and posterior, in order to awaken those muscles and "dem bones".

By David Howatson, Performance Health Systems UK Master Trainer