I love listening to live concerts. There is something about being at the venue, listening to the performer rile up the crowd as the music is pumping through the speakers. It’s an amazing experience. Typical concerts last around 2-3 hours, and if you are in a standing room only venue, that’s a fair amount of time standing in one place (especially if there is limited seating).
How can we stand for long periods of time while experiencing pain? This isn’t just limited to concerts, it could be standing in line at the grocery store, or even something as simple as trying to add in more standing because the majority of the day is spent sitting.
There are three major principles when standing to take into account:
1) Correct your shift. If you look at yourself in the mirror, are your shoulders sitting right on top of your hips? If not, we call this a lateral shift. And it is important to get the shoulders stacked over the pelvis to provide a more upright posture. This is actually one of the first things we do when going through the Sciatica Protocol.
2) The body craves variety in positions. Interestingly enough, your body will tell you when you need to change position. It is often very easy to ignore the internal cues that our body sends to our brain (this is one of the reasons why we are able to push human performance), and we can have an outer-body experience, where we just straight up ignore those cues. I give you permission to listen to your body and change position as needed.
3) There are three major positions that we assume in standing: hips forward, hips backward, and hips directly under the shoulders. The easiest position (minimal energy consumed) is the hips forward position. This is where we actually get a chance to hang out on the Y ligaments of the hip, and we stand in this position for hours without using a ton of energy. The draw back is that the back can be arched for an extended period of time. If you have spinal stenosis, this may not be the best option for you. The hips back position may round or flatten out your spine. If you have disc issues, this may be problematic for you. The third position, hips underneath the shoulders requires the most amount of energy and thought, but it puts the spine in a more neutral position and can take the stress off of your spine. So choose the position that is the most comfortable for you when standing, and you do have permission to change the position every now and then.
The bonus tip to standing for longer periods of time is to move those legs and hips. I like to put a foot up on a step as if I am assuming the “Captain Morgan’s” pose. Thats where you can have one foot either to the front or side on top of a step. This allows the hips to move a little more and ease up on the stress.
Last but not least, if you need to sit down, sit down.
The overall premise of this article is to help you be more in tune to your body. It is so easy to ignore those internal cues that our body is sending our brains. But now it is time to take back control so you can go back to living your life free from pain.