Eric Cressey | High Performance Training and Education

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  1. Richard Bliss
    March 19, 2013 • 2:35 pm

    Might you have a similar article for those who sit much of the day?

  2. Michael
    March 19, 2013 • 2:48 pm

    Great stuff, Eric! I’ve been standing for about five months now at my desk job, and have recruited two other converts. I’d definitely looking for OSHA approved mats.

  3. Daniel Corp
    March 19, 2013 • 2:59 pm

    I’ve read most of your articles with interest Eric, but surely this one was written by your intern.
    sitting will cause posterior pelvic tilt.. surely you mean the other way around…?
    what evidence do you have that standing will cause standing will cause any postural problems i.e. anterior/posterior pelvic tilt?
    what is the ‘anterior core’? – see ‘The Effects of Isolated and Integrated ‘Core Stability’ Training on Athletic
    Performance Measures; a systematic review’

  4. Derek M.
    March 19, 2013 • 3:45 pm

    Hey Eric…

    I was wondering if you ever heard of “Chronic Overloaded Muscles.” I took 3 months off training because my therapists and doctors thought I was overtraining…but I then visited a specialist and he told me I was chronically overloaded in my lower extremities due too much running and weight training and needed to take a different approach to rehabbing instead of rest. This is the only article I could find online about this topic:
    http://articles.elitefts.com/training-articles/the-difference-between-overloaded-muscles-and-overtraining-part-i/

    Have you ever heard of this condition/ have you came across any athletes with it?

  5. Chuck S
    March 19, 2013 • 4:01 pm

    Thanks. A number of jobs I’m looking at say I’d be standing the entire shift. And a lot of them have overtime,which would mean more standing. Minus breaks and lunch, I’m sure. So this may come in handy.

  6. Eric Cressey
    March 19, 2013 • 6:14 pm

    Derek,

    Have never heard of it described with that term. However, I’ve written about overload vs. overreaching vs. overtraining in the past:

    http://www.mikereinold.com/2011/08/understanding-and-managing-fatigue.html

  7. Christopher Gaines
    March 19, 2013 • 7:58 pm

    Eric,

    Thanks for putting this information together. The PRI inspired positions and drills for breathing have proven to be very beneficial with clients in extension.

    What tests would you use to assess and not assume the pelvic tilt of a client? I have found that sometimes people look like they are in anterior or posterior tilt, yet upon further investigation, I find that they are actually in the other. I have yet to find an easy, consistent way to determine this.

    Thanks again for your thoughts.

    Chris

  8. Chuck S
    March 19, 2013 • 8:47 pm

    Michael, One guy said he got 2 (or 4?) motorcycle jacks to jack his desk up so he could stand. For a few months he stood for a few hours and then let it down so he could sit. After a few months, he stood all the time.

    The jacks he used were rather expensive.

    Maybe you could get/make a platform to put on top of your desk to work standing up. Put your stuff on and off the platform as you put it on and off. Hopefully you don’t have an old 50 lb CRT with your computer. The computer itself could stay off the platform – just have keyboard, monitor, and mouse on it. A big plastic storage bin upside down or rightside up may work. Or 4 platforms so you could lift up the desk and put the platforms under – and somehow keep your stuff from falling off as you pick up one side at a time. Ramps that you drive a car up onto to change oil may work, but probably not high enough. You could put jackstands under and move each one up a little at a time to keep it level, but they’d have to be higher than standard.

    Former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld had a stand-up desk – the right height to use standing up.

  9. Philip
    March 20, 2013 • 1:35 am

    Hi Eric,

    thank you for this article, your information is always very much appreciated!

    One question: In part 3 of the \\"correcting bad posture\\"-series that you linked, in tip #9, you wrote:

    \\"Ideally, [...] the scapula should retract and depress in sync with humeral movement.\\"

    I got the impression that there has been a rethinking of this point (especially after Evan Osars book came out).

    Would you still advise people to move the scapluae in sync with the humeri, or rather keep them fixed/packed/\\"stable\\" and move the humeri in a dissociated manner?

    Thank you for your time,
    Philip

  10. Ryan
    March 20, 2013 • 8:25 am

    Great post EC! When I went through my PRI assessment, they checked my shoulder IR, had me do a movement similar to #2 above for five breaths (less lat stretch, though), and re-tested my shoulder IR. I had so much more IR on re-test simply from getting out of the extension pattern. The PTs at PRI work with UNL’s baseball team and regularly get their pitchers 2-3 mph on their fastballs (up to 5 mph in real biomechanical disasters) simply by getting them out of extension and into a better biomechanical position. Great stuff!

  11. Brian
    March 20, 2013 • 10:47 am

    Eric – This was a great read for me as I am a PE teacher and on my feet all day. With info from you and Mike Robertson I’ve learned how to take myself from extension into flexion and that has been huge in helping me rehab and stay healthy from a bad spondy injury. I’ve done well with Nike Free shoes for the past 5 years, but am considering going with the New Balance Minimus. Do you think this is a bad idea? Is the Minimus better suited as a workout shoe exclusively? I’m not sure how things would go if I wore it all day every day. Thanks so much for another great article!

  12. Felix
    March 20, 2013 • 3:58 pm

    Hi Eric,

    great stuff. In this context : Did you have posted any articles that deal with proper gait motions or do you have useful links? I think that could be also important.

    Best regards
    Felix

  13. Daniel Corp
    March 20, 2013 • 6:06 pm

    I’m still not sure I understand how standing is going to lead to pelvic tilt. I don’t think that anybody would stand in this position naturally without first having other problems, caused by other things e.g. a lack of physical exercise, previous injuries, too much sitting. I think that standing is a natural position for the human body and therefore should be encouraged throughout the day.

    I’d be interested to hear people’s thoughts on this.

  14. Robert
    March 20, 2013 • 7:00 pm

    Mr.cressey,

    During a deload week for pitchers, could you deload your lower body and still workout upper body, or do you deload your whole cns?

    Also, are medball throws and sprints still ok?

    Thank you sir

  15. Eric Cressey
    March 21, 2013 • 6:06 am

    Robert,

    Fine to maintain all the exercises, but cut back on the volume. Might be as simple as dropping a set of each.

  16. Eric Cressey
    March 21, 2013 • 6:10 am

    Daniel,

    I think I was pretty clear about saying that it was a generalization that standing correlates to being in more extension. You can certainly stand all day in posterior pelvic tilt, or sit in anterior pelvic tilt. It isn’t an either/or thing. However, remember that “normal” posture is a moderate lordosis; standing simply exacerbates it, especially when you have individuals who are constantly cued into an arched back position (athletic stance, or down and back on shoulder exercises). It can certainly also be exacerbated by having a big belly, as a greater lordosis counteracts the anteriorly shifted center of mass.

    That said, look at the extremes of those who sit or stoop for extended periods of times: cyclists, plumbers, roofers, floorers. Anterior pelvic tilt isn’t common at all. Of course, the average desk jockey isn’t to that extreme, but the example is valid if you consider the directly in which they’re headed.

  17. chester clarke
    March 21, 2013 • 8:46 am

    Hi eric, great article. I suffer from a really hot burning pain on and beneath my left scapula if I stand for too long. I also try to improve my posture by retracting my shoulder blades whenever I remember. Is there anything you could reccomend? In fact my left scapula is hurting right now and I am currently sitting doing an essay. Many Thanks

  18. Jon Keyser
    March 21, 2013 • 4:12 pm

    Hi Eric!

    When I read that hevy pronators could use tighter shoe or orthotics, I started thinking. Because I have really high longitudinal arches as well. I therefore got orthotics when I was young cause of MTSS. When I walk barefoot now I don’t pronate at all, but rather go into supination. Therefore I wonder, would you generally recommend using orthotics for high archers? Or rather try to strengthen imbalances? Special shoes with more support for the arch?

    Thank you!

    Jon

  19. Eric Cressey
    March 21, 2013 • 5:44 pm

    Jon,

    I typically recommend just regular ol’ cushioning for those with high arches. Has worked great for me.

  20. Kevin
    March 21, 2013 • 5:45 pm

    In response to Daniel…you’d be surprised how many people stand improperly. As a physical therapist that specializes in spine rehab I can testify that Eric is right. We need variety of postures throughout the day. A nice quick test for standing is to have someone apply a vertical / compression force on the upper trap area of someone standing in their ‘normal’ position & look for any sway or buckling.

    Eric, I like the wall slides to wall lift offs you show to work on scapula posterior tilt & upward rotation. I think before going to prone or quadruped for a progression a nice intermediate movement is a “reverse wall push off”. Simply turn around, with the back to the wall, walk the feet out about 8″ or so, push off by engaging low trap. One nice benefit for this one is the deep neck flexor work (not SCM with protraction) since your reclined with the feet away from the wall. You can even add a little ploy metric action here. Try it and let me know what you think.

  21. Eric Cressey
    March 21, 2013 • 6:07 pm

    Chester,

    I’d see a good physical therapist near you. Hard to handle this stuff over the internet.

  22. Caleb
    March 21, 2013 • 11:59 pm

    EC, correct me if i’m wrong, but is that a mistaken cue in your lat stretch belly breathing video? pushing your belly out would be counter productive to creating a ZOA as the diaphragm domes upon exhalation and contraction of the abs and IOs, not upon inhalation.

  23. Eric Cressey
    March 23, 2013 • 5:25 am

    Caleb,

    Yes, the diaphragm does go up and down. However, I’m referring more to what is happening with rectus abdominus. It’s going from shortened during exhalation back to resting state during inhalation, and with the thighs positioned so close to the belly, just returning to resting state will give you that feel. Plus, the rib cage is close to the thighs as well, so even good apical expansion will create that perception.

  24. Eric Cressey
    March 23, 2013 • 5:28 am

    Kevin,

    Thanks for the great feedback. Do you have a video of that? I’m not quite understanding the “push off by engaging low trap” portion. Thanks!

  25. Jessica
    March 23, 2013 • 9:21 am

    Hi,

    Thanks so much for the tips. I think I understand why standing a lot can lead to pelvic tilt. I see it from many people at work and I catch myself losing good posture sometimes during the day just because it seems like standing all day tires out the muscles that keep you standing straight. I’m currently a server. I was wondering whether you might have some other tips since its a job I think that creates weird imbalances. For example, where I work people use two trays: a large (usually heavily laden approx. 10-40 pounds) one on or above the dominant shoulder, and a smaller one at about waist level that people tend to use on the nondominant side (2-30lbs). The large one usually gets carried underhand like with a front squat positioning, finger tips pointing back. The small one with finger tips pointing forward. In my case, since I’m right dominant, my left bicep gets a lot of work from the small tray, and my right shoulder and triceps get a lot of work from the large tray. (I imagine because of different trays and customs different restaurants get different imbalances too. lol) Anyway, do you have any tips that may help even things out or on how to address the overstressed shoulders from this kind of work? I try to train regularly with weights and pressing seems to make things worse. Should I leave all vertical pressing out? Increase vertical pulling? Thanks very much for your time. Excited to hear what you have to say.
    Jess

  26. Eric Cressey
    March 24, 2013 • 2:32 pm

    Jess,

    The first thing I would look at is perfect core positioning. If you have a stable base, the positioning of your shoulder blades (and their interaction with the humerus) is much better. If you check out some of the exercises on my YouTube page (back to wall shoulder flexion, wall slide variations), you’ll pick up some good stuff. http://www.youtube.com/ecressey

    Good luck!

    EC

  27. Greg Walker
    March 29, 2013 • 4:49 am

    Hi Eric, as someone who stands all day for work and has a standing PC desk at home, I could feel my hips rolling back to neutral as I saw your graphic illustrating the pelvic tilts.

    Regardless of whether you are sitting or standing, remaining stationary for a prolonged duration is the real killer. Often if I am engrossed in a topic then I will forget to take my pomodoro break and when I finally go to move find I can’t until I have shaken the stiffness out of my legs.

  28. Eric Cressey
    March 31, 2013 • 6:44 pm

    Well said, Greg!

  29. Ingrid
    March 27, 2014 • 11:17 pm

    Excellent advice! Deep down, I already knew half of these intuitively. But making sure to pay attention to posture is a challenge, let alone checking off daily exercises. Perhaps some reminders on my phone would help? Anyway, I’m bookmarking this and subscribing to you, Eric. Thanks for the kick in the butt!

  30. Eric Cressey
    March 29, 2014 • 5:53 am

    Thanks, Ingrid!


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