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Why does our body want to slouch?

FIT Staff
Jan 16, 2014

Recovery from workouts is important.

It also allows you to feel and perform better in the next training session.

Aside from workouts, there exists a greater destroyer of the body-- it is no activity.

Sitting at a desk, watching TV and working on the computer all take a toll on the body.

We all have what is referred to as a flexion bias.

Our body wants to flex back into the fetal position. We come into the world after being in this position for months.

 If you are reading this in a place where you can observe someone else, look over at them now.

Chances are they are slouched. It is natural, but modern life makes it easier to stay this way for hours.

The body adapts to these positions by tissue creep at first and then by shortening the corresponding tissues.

Tissue creep is the tissue’s short-term response to a static position. 

You may have felt this if you have ever worked on something in an awkward position for 10 minutes or more and then tried to return to an upright position.

It is hard and uncomfortable, now do it over and over and you get chronic adaptation. 

This is common in maladies such as tension headaches, where the muscles in the back of the neck tighten at the base of the skull from looking down and cause a headache.

All of this poor positioning done all day will not be fixed by three hours a week in the gym and in fact this will make that time less effective. 

The basic solution is to move in opposite directions that you are working in. Some of this is done instinctively such as stretching your arms over your head after sitting at the computer for a while.

If done with more intent, it can make your day much better and retain quality movement. This can include exercise, such as:

Chin tucks

Shoulder wall slides

Hip flexor stretches

Multi-directional lunges

Soft tissue work

These are some simple things that can be done at night or throughout the day to preserve your movement and tissue integrity while reducing general soreness. Getting movement in check will allow for better performance in the gym and on the court.