It happened. I got caught!
I never thought it would happen this way, but it did. I’m usually careful not to make any noises. To time things perfectly. To cover all my tracks.
But this time I miscalculated.
I was off my game.
I got caught red handed…
Doing squats in the bathroom…at work.
Here’s what happened…
I was in the bathroom – at work – in the middle of my set of deep bodyweight squats when in walks one of my co-workers. Usually I’m prepared – ready to make it look like I’m stretching or something.
But this time I was so zoned into my set. Laser focused. I just kept going without even realizing what was happening.
He stood there looking kind of baffled.
Until I finally snapped out of it and realized what was going on…oh shit. We looked at each other awkwardly. I flashed my big smile and walked out. Quickly.
Our interactions have been kind of awkward since.
So I figured I was due for an explanation.
Why the hell was I doing squats in the bathroom at work?
There’s a good reason. I promise.
My job requires a lot of sitting. I sit in front of a computer for eight hours a day (usually more). I’m sure I share this unfortunate fait with a lot of you.
And we all know what sitting does to your body.
Your metabolism slows.
Your posterior chain completely deactivates. Your hamstrings. Glutes. Lower back.
All activity comes to a halt.
And what happens when your muscles become deactivated?
Weak muscles aren’t capable of performing their functions at an optimal level. They essentially stop serving their purpose. And when that happens other muscles have to step up to the plate.
They have to compensate for that weakness.
This means extra stress placed on particular muscle groups.
Remember that time your partner forgot to do his part of the project? When you ended up having to do the entire thing by yourself. Remember how shitty that felt? How stressed you were?
This is exactly what happens when you sit.
Your glutes and hamstrings become deactivated and thus they weaken. So the muscles in the lower back try to play hero and pick up the slack.
And lower back pain.
Now you understand why lower back pain is the second most common reason people visit the doctor [ref].
But there are ways to counteract this effect. Keeping particular muscle groups active and strong allows you to negate the effects sitting has on your body.
This is why I’m always sprinting.
Working with kettlebells.
By constantly doing these exercises throughout the week, I’m working to strengthen my posterior chain.
The purpose of the bodyweight squats is to re-activate those muscles. To bring life to them. Since I’m sitting for eight hours of the day, I ensure that at least once or twice an hour I make my way to the bathroom to snap them back to reality. To get those muscle firing again.
Bodyweight squats (especially nice deep ones) do a great job of activating your glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps. Sometimes I throw in some lunges. A few stretches. But my main weapon is a nice deep bodyweight squat.
It doesn’t take long either. I’m not advising you spend half an hour doing squats at work. All that’s needed is a set of 20 repetitions of deep bodyweight squats every couple of hours to get those muscles firing throughout the day.
The only hard part is finding a spot to do it.
I’ve resorted to the bathroom.
But you can do it wherever your heart pleases (or boss allows).
I got caught this time. But it won’t stop me. No way. Nothing can stop me.
I’m going to keep doing my squats. Every single day. Every couple of hours.
Because my health is too important to me.
And as for my work buddy…
I just hope we can still be friends.
How do you fight the effects of sitting? What do you do? Any tips are welcome in the comment section below.