Improve Your Posture With These Movements
Let's not look like the hunchback of Notre Dame, practice these movements for a tall proud posture that will have you feeling amazing
Strengthening the back body (think your butt and hamstrings) will help a round-back posture and help you maintain a long spine while standing and seated.
Lie on your back with the knees bent, your feet hip-width, and your arms at your sides. Press into the feet and aim for a broad feeling through the chest and shoulders. Roll your spine off of the floor one vertebra at a time. Be sure not to go so high that you compress the lower spine. You'll know you're at the right height when you have a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Roll down one vertebra at a time. Repeat 8 - 12 times.
Plank is great for improving a number of postural imbalances.
Start on all fours then extend one leg at a time straight back, keeping your toes tucked under (if this is too much stay on your knees but maybe take them back a little further). You want your wrists under your shoulders and be sure to keep the neck and head in line with your spine. Draw the abdominal muscles in and up (think abdominals drawing towards the spine). Keep a straight line from head to heels and hold the pose for 3 - 6 controlled breaths and repeat 5 times.
Stretching out the chest muscles aims to counteract all of our forward rounding posture such as texting, being on a computer, driving etc. This should feel really good if you're tight through your chest.
Stand upright next to a doorframe. Place your arm against the door frame at a 90degree with your palm facing the wall, as demonstrated in the picture. Next, rotate your torso away from the wall, while keeping your hand and arm firmly planted against the wall, stretching your pec on the side nearest the wall. As you stretch, make sure you don’t let your shoulder rotate forwards as you rotate your torso.
The thoracic spine is one of the five segments of the spinal column, encompassing the shoulder and chest area. It's essential that you maintain thoracic mobility to avoid poor posture and unsightly rounded shoulders which can eventually lead to back pain and other issues.
Put the foam roller, small ball or rolled-up towel under your upper back / thoracic spine. Keep your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Place your hands behind your head (not your neck). Let your head and chest fall back toward the floor, extending the thoracic spine over the roller, ball or towel. Hold there for a few breaths and then gently lift your head and chest back up. Repeat 5 times.
These movements will greatly improve your posture but the most important thing to remember is that your daily habits have the greatest effect on long term benefits.
Try to recognise what it is in your everyday life that is contributing to poor posture - being on your phone, being at a computer, how you drive or sit, carrying a child etc.
Once you have recognised a few things then you can make a conscious effort to work on them. Think - setting up your work station better, adjusting your seat and steering wheel in the car, less phone time.
Aim for a little bit at a time so these habits really stick!
You can book in for our Stretch & Restore class on Tuesday evenings at 5:30 pm here