Trainers/Therapists, use these (Underrated) Micro-breaks for the chair prone!


Corrective exercise is sexy. It’s awesome that we as coaches/clinicians can have such an impact on individuals through a movement intervention to decrease pain/dysfunction and improve mobility.

But we should NEVER even be there in the first place.

There’s still 23 other hours of the day when clients aren’t training with you. Whatever you do in the gym and clinic is hopelessly being beaten down by the mechanical stress silently thumping away at their spines and asses by sitting all day.

Stretch all you want and do all the leg lowering progressions you want: hamstring will stay tight if you use it that way.

Mark - 09.22.12 - ASLR(L)

Active Straight Leg Raise. Tough to budge from chronic sitting.

We’re plagued by numerous studies showing the consequences of too much sitting. We know that ligamentous creeps occurs after 20 minutes sitting, leading to possible disc/back injury [1]. It’s time to get off our asses.

STOP thinking intervention and start with prevention. Here’s two underrated and under-used moves that I’ve been making most of my desk-prone clients do. Use these to save vital training capacity and increase effectiveness of your interventions.

Set the interval timer for 50 minutes of their desk work and bang a 20 second set of each at the beep.

McGill/Bruggers relief:

  • Reach towards ceiling, but don’t shift side to side. Get tall.
  • With arms at the side, externally rotate thumbs and allow chest to come out.
  • Puff out air quickly (2-3 breaths) like you’re blowing out a candle to contract abs

Learn more about microbreaks

Fast & Loose:

Might look familiar from martial artists/boxers. Popularized by Pavel in Fast & Loose. A great way to combat sitting, chronic tightness and get “practice” relaxation.

  • “Shake” out the tension and get floppy.

I had a little difficulty with my legs if you can notice, lol.

***I’m hosting a workshop at Embodied Energy studio in Waterloo, ON at the end of Feb. Reserve your spot today!***

Destroy Desk Posture workshop: Corrective exercise essentials


1. McGill, Stuart. Low Back Disorders, 2005.

What kind of microbreaks do you guys use? Comment below:


Filed under Movement

3 responses to “Trainers/Therapists, use these (Underrated) Micro-breaks for the chair prone!

  1. Hi to every body, it’s my first visit of this blog; this weblog contains awesome and really excellent information in support of visitors.

  2. Shauntée

    Although I’m a very active and energetic person, my job (that pays the bills) requires that I sit in front of a computer for hours. This totally sucks for someone who cant sit still and lives to move. I take breaks to walk around, touch toes, reach for the ceiling, twists, neck rolls, and shakes (similar to what you showed in the video). I have to do them often, or I inevitably end up with discomforts. I’m also playing around with elevating my computer screen so that I can so a little work while standing.

    • I’ve found the most important thing is mindfulness (search it) and frequent breaks. Using “20 cubed” on chrome is a great reminder. Thanks for the reply. Is this the same Shauntee via fb?

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