The desk-dwelling culture of the 21st century is creating an unbalanced life
Now I don’t mean ‘unbalanced’ like on the verge of a psychotic breakdown (although that isn’t uncommon in the average ‘high stress’ lifestyles lived in busier cities)- I mean unbalanced from a structural standpoint
We sit at desks for hours on end, slumped in front of the monitor. We sit in our cars, slouched forward as we stare absent-mindedly at the car in front. We sit down for dinner and lean over our food, shovelling it into our faces. And In between these activities? We’ll be staring down at our smart phones, laughing at the latest weird dance craze or fail compilations
Following a successful day of sitting, the more motivated of us will get to the gym to ‘feel healthier’, and jump on the most revered of exercises- the Bench Press
The less physiologically enlightened person may commend the man getting on the bench press after 8 hours at a desk, 2 hours in traffic and 30 minutes staring at his phone to put together the perfect training playlist.
And yes, the effort of getting into the gym when it’s monumentally easier to stay on the sofa should be recognised and encouraged
However the act of upper body pressing (bench, military, dumbbell etc) will wreck havoc on your joints and posture, after a sedentary and overly internally rotated day
The aforementioned desk-lifestyle causes the following problems:
- Tight Pecs (Chest)
- Tight anterior delts (front of your shoulder)
- Tight Upper Traps (your shrugging muscles either side of your neck- the one’s that made up 90% of Tom Hardy’s physique in the movie ‘Warrior’ (if you know, you know))
- Weaker upper back muscles
- Poor Shoulder stability
- Lower potential to build muscle
- Your posture to resemble that of a sentient cashew nut (think shoulders rounded forward, if you’re not quite getting the image)
An abundance of pressing in the gym is the equivalent of trying to punch a dent out of your car
Your lifestyle has created an imbalance that inhibits your potential for growth, increases your chance of injury and makes you look like the hunchback of Notre-Dame
Should you forgo pressing all together? Fuck no. As a species we’re supposed to press heavy things. What you’ll need to do however, is balance your pressing with pulling
A 1:1 ratio of pulling to pressing often isn’t enough- aiming for 2:1 would be more effective
There are many ways you could get this amount of volume in (for example always doing sets of rows between pressing, and starting your session with band pull-aparts and face pulls)
The how you do it, however, is less important than the fact you do it
So take a minute, and add up all your pressing movements, compared to your pulls (so bench vs bent over row etc). If you find the former far exceeds that later?
Start adding in more pulling work to compensate, and save those shoulders.
If you want the risk of developing the posture of a shrimp reduced, and a coach to create the programming that will result in a balanced, functional, athletic physique? Just CLICK THIS LINK and book in your free consult at our studio in Milton Keynes