Sitting too much? Try sitting
Every single day I work with golfers that have physical limitations which make swinging a golf club inefficient, and often painful. Usually, the cause is simple: too much time spent sitting in poor postures that lead to muscular imbalances, muscle tightness, and pain (I once heard Dr. Mark Bull describe this is as suffering injuries while moving 0 MPH).
I am not immune to this issue. While I have the luxury of working outside and on my feet for most of the day, I too have suffered injuries caused by spending too much time sitting improperly while working. In 2019, I missed almost the entire golf season because of a neck injury caused by poor working postures.
Yet while sitting is sometimes referred to as the new smoking, the fact remains that we have to take breaks to rest. Recently, rather than sitting in a chair, I have been alternating through several different resting positions that give me a break while also ensuring that different joints in my lower body and back are alternatively flexed and extended.
The basic resting positions I have been doing are:
Cross legged sit
Kneeling step outs
(To see a video of me demonstrating these postures, watch the video below)
I like to spend time in these sitting positions while doing activities at home such as watching tv and folding laundry. I will even do these poses while working on my phone / laptop. It can be a minor inconvenience to continuously adjust the height of my laptop while working, but doing so gives me a small break in my work and is well worth the tradeoff of feeling so much better after finishing my work. I also find I am often more productive while working in these postures, as I am often more alert then when I am sitting in a chair, which sometimes makes me sleepy.
I also like to add twists, rotations, as well as arm reaches and shoulder circles to these positions. Doing so helps me work my spine in all planes of motion, and increases the range of motion of my hips and shoulders. All of these benefits are great for my golf swing, and general health.
Whereas I previously required a mobility program to offset time spent in poor postures, these active resting poses are allowing me to improve my mobility and muscular imbalances while I rest, saving me time.
I have two important rules of thumb for these resting poses:
There should never be sharp pains while in any of this postures. If I feel any sharp pains in my joints, I immediately make the pose easier with props and bolsters to support myself.
If the position is uncomfortable for me, I spend MORE time in it, not less. I do this with support (see rule 1) and GRADUALLY reduce the support over time.
In our modern, sedentary culture, some of these postures may seem like they are only accomplishable by a yogi. I tore my right ACL in 2008 and spent almost 14 years being unable to in a low kneel posture. After about six months of adopting these sitting postures and other similar movement practices, I can now sit in full hero's pose - something that I had previously assumed I would never do ever again. And in my golf swing, I am feeling less pressure on my joints even though I am swinging at the highest swing speeds of my life.
My experiences make me confident that you too will quickly improve at these resting postures and see benefits from them. Give these resting poses a try, and see if they can help you too take some strain off your body while increasing your performance!