Moving naturally on the ground does the body a lot of good, especially for people who sit in chairs a lot.
Sitting in chairs for long periods of time leads to all kinds of problems: tight hip flexors, a rounded spine, misaligned shoulders, and many other compensations and health issues that result from excessive chair-sitting. While many of us can’t avoid chairs as much as we’d like, there’s a lot we can do to counteract these issues to restore function and start moving and feeling better.
Now, any natural movement performed efficiently will go a long way toward restoring optimal function in the body, but there are some natural movements that provide the “best bang for your buck” when it comes to addressing those specific problems that occur from sitting too much.
For example, the many Prone Lying movements involve exactly the opposite position we often occupy in a chair, making them some of the best natural movements for reversing the negative effects of prolonged sitting. While the Prone Lying position itself provides a lot of benefits, the best results come from exploring the many movements, positions, and transitions associated with it.
The best part? Every time you work on these, you’ll not only be restoring balance and function in your body, but you’ll also be learning a practical movement skill and improving your fitness, too. You may even experience pain reduction and improved posture as a result of your practice.
So, if you spend a lot of time sitting in chairs, but still want to move well, without pain or restriction, here are a few of the best Prone Lying movements to restore proper balance and function in your body. I’ll walk you through the following positions and give you some tips for integrating them into your lifestyle:
- Medium prone lying with reaching
- Low prone lying with reaching
- High prone lying with reaching
Note: This is a follow-along video. So, please find some space to practice!
- If you’re a beginner and these positions or movements are new to you (even just some of them!), keep things simple and follow along with the routine given in the video.
- Prioritize frequent practice over intensity. There is very little risk of overdoing these movements, and the more frequently you practice, the sooner you’ll see results.
- You can perform these movements throughout the day or after any period of prolonged sitting.
- Don’t force any of these movements or positions. Challenge yourself, but don’t overdo it. Always avoid pain.
- Remember to breathe deeply into your belly and ribs. Prone Lying is a great movement for practicing breath awareness and diaphragmatic breathing.
- After you’ve memorized the routine, feel free to add some longer breath sequences or mix it up (breath durations, reaching angles, transition sequences).
- If you’re feeling really tight in your hips, you can practice some of these 12 Natural Movements For Better Hip Mobility.
- You can study the Prone Lying Guide to go a little deeper into the technique.
Sitting in a chair for long periods of time is pretty rough on the body, especially when this becomes a habit for the long term. All the negative effects compound over the years, and eventually, you start becoming more “chair shaped.” But by simply sitting less and moving more, you can counteract this trend, especially when you not only increase the frequency of your Natural Movement practice but also the quality of your movement.
Keep in mind human beings were made to move in many different ways. So, while these Prone Lying movements are a great tool to target the imbalances that develop from an excessive chair sitting, there are so many other movements the body craves. And when you begin restoring the full spectrum of Natural Movement, all kinds of great things begin to happen.
By Danny Clark, MovNat Performance Director & Master Instructor