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posture

General Fitness and Well–Being Tips

Tips for Working at Home

November 8, 2017
sit up, stand up, and move tips for working at home the movement blog kindall payne

Are you an office worker, freelancer, self-employed or ‘digital nomad’? This one’s for those who tend to sit for long periods at a time on a laptop, desktop computer, and phone. Let’s talk about finding good posture while on our gadgets.

I spend a lot of time blogging and looking for freelance work online, so I can definitely relate. Here’s some useful tips to help us sit up, stand up, move and, most importantly, work more efficiently.

sit up, stand up, and stretch tips for working at home the movement blog kindall payne

Try to Sit on the Floor

Sitting on the floor allows the body to readjust and be in its natural form. To adjust the laptop height, use a few pillows. You can also sit on a pillow or put one behind your back. Folding the legs (as pictured above) can help release the hips and keep the knees healthy. If you’re leaning against a sofa, during break you can lean back, creating an arch in the spine.

Maintain the Head Over the Shoulders

The skull is one the heaviest points on the body. When the skull is no longer supported by your spine, it creates stress and impact on the neck. Forward head posture and rounded shoulders are one of the most common postural deviations, but can be avoided when repositioning the head to balance on top of the skull. To allow the head to be supported by the spine, change the height of the computer screen to eye level. Just prop a few books under the laptop.

sit up, stand up, and stretch tips for working at home the movement blog kindall payne

Stand Up Correctly

 Something as simple as standing up is a great way to give the hips and legs a break from compression. However, standing upright can be tricky. First, readjust the height of your computer screen to ensure proper head-spine alignment. Make sure your feet are comfortable with or without shoes. However, don’t stand too long, it’s best to alternate between sitting and standing every 1-2 hours. This helps the body to keep moving.

Mobilize the Hips

Lie down on your stomach, and bring yourself upward with your hands by the shoulders so that the hips are off the floor, like in Upward-Facing Dog Position. Relax the ribcage downward and bring the belly button inward to support the lower back. This position can help to recover the body from a constant frontal, folded position. If you would like to stretch more, come into a Lunge Position. Send the tailbone toward the floor and gentle engage the abdomen.

sit up, stand up, and stretch tips for working at home the movement blog kindall payne

Unlock the Jaw and Neck

 Treat yourself with a few minutes of self-massage starting with the the large jaw muscles then work your way around the muscles around base of the neck as well as the bones of the face.

Mobilize the Wrists

Especially after typing/working for hours on end, the hands often get left out. Clasp your hands together and straight your arms forward with the palms facing outward. Next, bring the clasped hands together and roll the wrists around, alternating each way.

Blink the Eyes

The eyes becomes fatigued when they become dry. The eyes become dry when there isn’t enough blinking happening. When we stare at a backlit screen for long periods time we often don’t blink enough, causing dry eye and blurriness. It may also be useful to make the text larger.

Go Upside Down

Or partially. Try a gentle spinal flexion roll down from the standing position is easy yet effective. Allowing the torso to be upside down releases tension from weight we carry due to gravity. Begin standing in a neutral, upright position. Slowly roll down, knees slightly bent. It’s OK if the hands don’t touch. Reverse the direction, with the chin into the chest until fully standing.

sit up, stand up, and stretch tips for working at home

Incorporating these intermittent sitting, standing, and movement strategies every 20-30 minutes can help you work more efficiently, longer, and with more ease. Remember to take real breaks.

Set a timer if needed. Perhaps encourage your colleagues around you to do the same. We only have one body, let’s take care of it.


Other Useful Links

Computer Work Doesn’t Have to Be a Pain the Neck – NYU

Computer Desk and Stretches – UC Santa Cruz

Damaging Effects of Forward Head Posture (PDF)

Correct Sitting Posture: Sitting at a Desk

General Fitness and Well–Being the Gyrokinesis Method the Gyrotonic Method Tips

Health & Fitness Goals: How the Gyrotonic and Gyrokinesis Methods Can Support You in the New Year

December 31, 2016
how the gyrotonic and gyrokinesis methods can support your fitness goals

As we move on towards another new year, here we go again with our resolutions and goals. According to sites like Statistic Brain and The Guardian, in 2015, people’s top ten resolutions included: losing weight, staying fit and healthy, and wanting to learn something new.

In fact, 38%-47% of people set fitness and self-improvement related resolutions for the new year. The good news is that we don’t have to wait for start of a new year for us to reset our goals. It’s OK to have ever-evolving goals, so change it up and be very specific.

how the gyrotonic and gyrokinesis methods can support your fitness goals

I personally believe that everyone is a mover, a dancer, a groover and, yes, we should want more health and fitness goals for ourselves. When it comes to resetting goals it might be best to take a different approach. If I want to incorporate more exercise into my new year goals but know I’m not a big fan of running, then my goal should be to ‘find a new exercise that I enjoy’ instead.
From teaching the GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® Methods, Dance and even Barre classes – a lot of people are aware that they are ‘not a dancer’ and become timid with three-dimensional movements. Anything from walking, running to the train, standing up to get a cup of coffee, to sitting for long hours requires proper alignment and a certain level fitness. Posture, alignment,and fitness awareness can help maintain a healthy body for the long term, which I’m sure will compliment any other fitness goals you may have for the new year!

Here are a few important ways the GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® Methods can help you with your fitness goals.

how the gyrotonic and gyrokinesis methods can support your fitness goals

GYROKINESIS® Floor Exercises contribute in stretching the hamstrings, adductors, abductors, shoulder, pectorals & strengthening the abdomen, biceps, deltoids, back extensors, and arches – just to name a few.

Awareness of Posture

Posture is such a big deal. We’ve heard it from our elders and our mothers and now you’re hearing it again. There are even posture apps that exist to support this importance. Posture isn’t just the spine. There are a lot of muscles involved in both sitting, standing, and walking. In order for us to adhere to those muscles we must focus on how the body should be moving as a whole. Clients have told me that they’ve felt improvement within their alignment the minute they’re finished their session.

Improved Alignment Overtime

Realigning the body, both muscularly and skeletally, from years and years of bad habits take time and over that time it’s important to realign correctly and efficiently. Alignment is especially important for balance and appropriate range of motion in the joints. Without this, the joints become impacted and no longer have room to move causing unwanted pain. Therefore, these methods (and its equipment) focus on the prevention and reduction of joint impact. Therefore, when this kind of alignment is maintained, usual areas of pain and stiffness are less present.

Strengthens While You Stretch

Functional flexibility supports strength and strength supports flexibility. Without one or the other your body could be in danger or prone to injury/pain. Both methods allow the body to move in its natural three-dimensional makeup. Without this type of movement the body can become rigid and resistant. In other words, we want our body to be able to respond to movement and impact like a rubber band: with elasticity (longevity) and strength (sustainability).

Improves Other Workouts

I always see more  improvement in my dancing, yoga practice, standing, walking, and even running when I’m taking Gyrotonic and Gyrokinesis classes regularly. This also goes for all sports enthusiasts and professional performers (i.e. Andy Murray as pictured in the cover photo). Many of my clients who play football, swim, row, etc. said that they’ve never have felt or performed better. It’s completely necessary that the body is challenged in all ranges, so when you need to focus on a specific area or exercise the entire body is all set up to support you and these methods do just that.

how the gyrotonic and gyrokinesis methods can support your fitness goals

No matter what your fitness goals are this year, next year, and beyond, be sure to try something new. In addition, you’ll never know what kind of positive reaction your body may have with experiencing full bodied movements that the Gyrotonic and Gyrokinesis Methods have to offer. It might be just the thing you’ll need for you aches and pains to be relieved once and for all.

Happy New Year and Beyond!

Love,

Kindall & Rob

TheMovementBlog

How the Gyrotonic and Gyrokinesis Methods Can Improve Health and Fitness Goals

the Gyrotonic Method

Arch and Curl: A Way to Spinal Health

June 23, 2015

Why do we Arch and Curl in the GYROKINESIS® and GYROTONIC® Method?

Here are a few points on how arching and curling can help maintain a healthy spine.

Mobilizes the Spine

Why mobilize you say? To helps stretch the thoracic spine and reduce back pain. Think about how much gravity can take over (i.e. creates joint compression), especially with the head being one of the heaviest parts of the body. Mobilizing the spine can also improve posture.

Strengthens Back Extensors

Back Extensors (A.K.A. erector spinae muscles) provides resistance to control actions that include bending around the waist (i.e. forward and backward bending). Maintaining strong back extensorscan help reduce injury risk and correct postural alignment. This is because these muscles also work with the hamstrings, gluteus and neck.

Enhances Neutral Spine Position

Maintaining a neutral spine means being able to come into a balanced position. When we are not balanced, we could create a pool of potential problems (i.e. back pain). Maintaining a neutral spine also means strengthening the abdominals and deep core muscles.

Increases Spinal Range of Motion

To increase spinal ranges of motion we must stretch. The GYROKINESIS®/GYROTONIC® Arch and Curl helps to do this by creating fluid, continuous movement while encouraging a strong yet mobile muscular structure. Acquiring and maintaining range of motion is quite essential for the human body especially when dealing with injury recovery.

Prepares the Body

Arch and curling the spine can also provide as a warm up to help prepare the body for other types of movement and/or exercise. This is because this spinal motion gentle stretches the spine and ‘wakes’ up the nervous system. For example, when the nervous system is stimulated, the body can provide more alertness, energy, and less stress.

Now, you try.

Try out some Arch and Curls by taking a Gyrotonic class with me in London where we will go through spinal sequences both on and off the equipment. Plus, you will be given exercises that you can do at home, at the office, wherever. Not in London? No prob. Find a class near you here.

Here’s even more information.

A Clinical Study of Gyrotonic Expansion System for the Treatment of Scoliosis

Introducing the Gyrotonic Method to Pilates Instructors

Analyzing the Gyrotonic ‘Arch and Curl’

Too-da-loo xo

General Fitness and Well–Being

Simple Ways to Release Tension Everyday

April 9, 2015

Releasing tension is something we can work on everyday. It can also help bring a sense of calm and clear-headedness.

Here are a few ways we can release tension.


Have you actually noticed when you hold unnecessary tension? If so, it could be due to a number of reasons such as doing a task that’s difficult, recovering from injury, or just feeling uncomfortable in a particular situation as it’s in our nature to ‘protect’ ourselves. If not, you’re in for an awakening.
Everyone’s body and ability is different, but there are a few ways we can at least gain more awareness about why we are tensing up in the first place. The most common problem areas are the neck, shoulders, and jaw. There are, of course, many more. Take time to find out yours.

Some causes of tension:

  • Stress and/or anxiety
  • Poor postural alignment
  • Poor abdominal/core strength
  • Sitting for long periods of time (why yes, I am standing as I type this post)
Enhance alignment and core strength when standing:
Align your bones ‘on top’ of each other:
  • Head over the shoulders
  • Shoulders over the hips
  • Hips over the knees
  • Knees over the ankles
  • Feet in-line with the knees
  • Imagine energy going downward through the feet and lengthen upward through the spine simultaneously
  • Continue to support your posture through your centre

Enhance alignment and core strength when sitting:

  • Use a pillow behind the back for support
  • If in a hard chair or on the floor, sit on a book and a pillow
  • Sometimes adding a book under the feet is nice too
  • Keep head in a slight nod, not too high or too low

Ways to find release:

  • If able, alternate between sitting and standing (I’m looking at you, office workers)
  • Draw your attention places of tension and relax those areas
  • Add deep breathing to your routine
  • Take a break already, you owe it yourself (and probably your computer)
  • And/or do one of the following:
    • Gyrotonic homework (nudge nudge)
    • Stretch or Yoga
    • Walk or cycle
    • Even just getting up to make tea or coffee will do
Why is proper alignment and relaxation important?
When can you practice?
Every day, every minute. Try releasing unnecessary tension while walking, at your desk, working out, texting, driving, on the tube– honestly, anywhere, anytime. Practice forms habit.
If you are still having problems, consider taking up Gyrotonic, Yoga, Pilates, or all three to cross-train your muscles. For severe problems, consider seeking treatment (i.e. Massage, Physiotherapy).
Have a good rest of your week!