T Nation

Mobility Drills for the Office


This is for those of you that have pain while sitting. What are some mobility drills that will help with this kind of pain that are discreet enough for the office? I can't really go laying on the floor.

Some that I've tried and have seemed to have helped include:
single leg rdl mobility
Warrior Lunges

Not so discreet:
Bird Dog and Super Dog
Standing Quad Stretch, while Stretching Opposite Hamstring


What kind of limtations do you have when working? Lack of space or embarassment? When i get really achey in my lower back from sitting down all day one move that helps to relieve the tension is to work through a few gentle reps of the cat camel. Also, i forget what it's called, but the bulgarian split squat stretch where you rest your back knee on the floor.


It's mostly the embarrassment factor. I got "caught" so to speak laying on the ground doing some stretches one time and it just makes me look like a weird mofo, which I'd rather not have to deal with. I have plenty of space and even my own office, but there's a window in my office both to the street below and to the hallway, so passersby can see what I'm doing even with the door shut.

For those with similar pain to mine check out the article "Making Gains With Pain" by Nick Tumminello https://www.tmuscle.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance_repair/making_gains_with_pain

One thing that I hope to help me the most is that I'm going to start doing soft tissue quality work as often as possible as well as the mobility moves. I recently got the "Total Body Package" from Trigger Point Performance http://www.tptherapy.com/ So far it is amazing.

Typical static stretches don't seem to be the answer for my hamstring and psoas inflexibility (which seems to be causing the pain), but they do provide immediate relief. Hopefully the combo of the maneuvers above combined with additional stretches and lots of daily soft tissue work will bring relief.

I have mad Type 2 pain

Right now I have pretty much constant pain that requires me to readjust my position almost every 5 seconds. I hope I can stay accountable for my stretching and soft tissue work so that this pain can be in my past for good. I know it will also help me drastically with my deadlift and squat form.


I used to have constant pain as well, practicing guitar in a hunched over position for hours a day almost everyday actually made my L5 shift down and forward and stay that way. After my initial diagnosis I took it upon myself to fix the problem as physical therapy was out of the question. Most of what i did at first involved lots of hip flexor and adductor stretching.

Also doing a lot of prone bridges, side bridges, and glute bridges. But when i found out about foam rolling and other modalities of soft tissue work is when the pain started to dissapear all together. Consistency is what will get you better, and if you are sitting at your desk for most of the day, i know it's been said a million times but it still needs to be said, get up and walk around every half hour or so. Your back will thank you.


A good start is to make sure you sit on a chair in a position that you can stand straight up from (IE not having to lean forward and push off your knees).

Also make sure to sit on your "sit bones" and not the meat of your buttocks or tail bone, they are the bones that make up the bottom of your pelvis and usually involve having to round your bum backwards as if sitting on the end of a block. Constantly flexing your core while sitting helps too.

When standing around the office focus on throwing your hips forward as if doing a pelvic thrust and bending your knees slightly while flexing your core, this will take some compression off your low back.

Neck stretches at your desk will help relieve the shoulders at your ears feeling to if you get that.


Would it be possible to spend more time standing? I know this sounds stupid, but I read an article once about new "standing desks". You probably can't get one of those, but there may be some sort of compromise you could make. Other than that, I find that sitting in a deep squat position sometimes relieves my lower back tightness. You could pretend you're picking up papers or looking through files. There's an article on T-Nation about the "third world squat." Check it out.


Thanks everyone. I like all the suggestions for mobility drills and posture adjustments. I'll try to incorporate all of that and see how much of a difference it will make.



i do this in my office at least twice per week find it really helps with mobility:


This doesn't deal with the back...but is soft tissue work...and discrete.

Besides a sore back from sitting in a computer chair...I also get sore ass cheeks. Maybe this is because I don't have a lot of ass, but after a while I have to start shifting around because it gets sore.

Anyway, I have a lacrosse ball that I use for soft tissue work, mainly for the bottom of the feet, but I found that if I sit on the ball under one ass cheek and roll around slightly it's like an ass massage. I do this under each cheek for 30 seconds a piece and it fixes the problem.

That all sounds pretty weird, but anyone who suffers from this in the office will find this to be great.