It’s something that most of us spend more and more time doing. Back in the early pioneer days, you didn’t do much sitting unless you were knitting or sitting in the rocker after a hard days work with a glass of Grandma’s lemonade.
These days, though, sitting is what most of us spend the majority of our time doing. We sit in the car on the way to work, we sit at our desks for 7-8 hours, we sit in the car to drive back home and then we sit on the couch watching TV , talking or reading.
Take a quick look at the picture below. That is what will happen over time IF you let it. The answer to this is to NOT LET IT! I’ll explain how below the picture.
While there are some good tips on the image of what you can do to keep this from happening to you, a better answer is to STRENGTHEN the muscles responsible for this unattractive, hunched over look.
The first area to strengthen are the traps – short for trapezius.
Notice in the image above how these muscles are “pulling” the neck and head back so that they are in a natural position? Over time, these muscles get weak and result in a very unattractive forward protruding head – like a vulture sitting on a tree limb. The good news is that we can correct this. Grab some light dumbbells and do 3 sets of 10 reps of shrugs.
- Hold the dumbbells at arms length at each side of the body
- Shrug your shoulders up towards the ceiling or the sky.
- Hold for a count of 1-2
- Slowly lower the dumbbells back to the start position
- Do 8-10 reps like this
- Rest for 30 seconds to 1 minute
- Repeat for a total of 3 sets
Once the weight feels too easy, increase it. I’ve used up to 130lb dumbbells so don’t be afraid of going too heavy. Just take your time. If you experience some mild soreness in the neck muscles, as long as it’s muscular, you’re fine. It will go away in a day or 2. This is why, though, you want to start out light. You don’t have to lift 130lb dumbbells to reap the benefits.
Do this routine 1-2 times a week.
It will strengthen the traps and allow them to do their job of puling the head back.
The next area to work on is the core and abs – Unless you want “mushy” abs.
One of my favorite ways to train the abs is to use a sledgehammer. Due to it’s off-centered mass and tri-planar movement, nothing comes close to working the abs more efficiently.
Just a few exercises include:
The sledgehammer that I’m using in the pics above weighs 8lbs. Choose a 4-8lb sledgehammer for abs. If you are a complete beginner, use a broomstick or something similar. To me, training abs is more comfortable when I can hold onto something. A sledghammer handle, a broomstick or a walking stick all make great tools.
Do 30 seconds of each of the 3 movements (ankle wiggles, crunch and sit up with a twist). Switch sides after 30 seconds so that you’re working each side evenly.
- Ankle wiggles 30 seconds left/30 seconds right
- Crunches 30 seconds left/30 seconds right
- Sit ups with a twist 30 seconds left/30 seconds right
Repeat for up to 3 rounds.
Feel the difference? There’s something about holding a sledgehammer with the off centered mass that really pinpoints (kills) your core. Nothing else comes close. Not holding a med ball, dumbbell, weighted cylinder, weighted vest or a kettlebell. The reason is because those tools all have a centered mass. The sledgehammer does not.
note – I created an entire workout around the sledgehammer. There are over 100 pictures (like the ones above), 34 HD videos, quick start guide, workout reference guides and 12 done for you full body workouts. There’s a full version of The Sledgehammer Workout and a lite version. Pick your choice.
You can do the above routine 2-3 times a week. Proceed slowly. If you are sore (normal muscular soreness), do not workout. Let your body rest and recover. Within 2-3 weeks of consistent effort, you will start to strengthen those traps and your core and the slumped over look will soon be an ancient memory.
I’m in the gym,