Hello Fitness Peeps!
Today I want to take a moment to discuss the importance of proper posture and the positive payoffs that are associated with it.
In today’s society many people struggle with poor posture due to the amount of sitting and screen time. Poor posture leads to lots of back pain and way too much money spent on this issue. Many of you probably already knew this…but, did you know poor posture can also affect your mood in a negative way, can drain your energy levels, hinder your ability to be successful and confident, and affect your breathing habits?
Many may struggle with back pain because they are not aligned properly, or they have weak core muscles supporting the spine. It is important to do core training exercises to support the spine, strength the core and in return have better posture (see my CLIPS page to reference a simple total core routine you can do, it will only take you a few minutes to complete). It is also important to work on flexibility. Remember the body is a kinetic chain, everything is connected and pulling on one another. If you have severe tightness in the chest it could be pulling you forward, creating the round shoulder look. If you have severe tightness in your psoas muscles you could be pulling the pelvis forward and creating a lordadic curve in your lower back. You may want to consider attending a yoga or Pilates reformer class to improve flexibility and overall core strength. I can help you out with this 🙂
We all know how important body language is when communicating with others…well this is true when communicating with yourself too, mind-body connection. According to the IDEA Fitness Journal, April 2017 edition, multiple researchers have discovered that proper posture improves your mood, increases success and confident levels, as well as energy levels. Standing and sitting tall and bold not only appears to others around you that you are alert and alive, but it will also help you feel this way. Try it for yourself….walk around slouched over and then walk around standing tall and erect. Did you notice a difference? I HOPE SO! Maintaining proper posture throughout your life will not only improve your breathing when working out, but also with day to day tasks. Alignment allows the airway to remain open and encourages you to engage your diaphragm as you breath, taking deep belly breaths, instead of short and shallow chest breaths.
Here are some simple exercises you can do multiple times a day to help improve posture, reverse any roundness in the upper back, and prevent tightness through the chest.
Exercise #1: Rear delt fly with light resistance band. Start with arms straight out in front of you, open arms all the way out to the sides of the body and squeeze shoulder blades tightly together. Band should be at chest height, not at neck height. Continue to open and close for 20reps.
Exercise #2: Foam roller or yoga bolster chest stretch. Place the roller the long way and lay all the way down. Open the arms out to the side. The backs of your hands should be able to touch the ground with no problem. If the hands can’t touch, you have severe tightness through the chest. Hold this for 2-3mins.
Exercise #3: Wall posture assessment. Stand against the wall. Try to get the heels and back pressed against wall. Start with arms in a goal post position. Back the of the hands and elbows should be against the wall. (If this is difficult for you to do, again you have severe tightness in the chest and/or excessive roundness through the upper back and this needs to be addressed!) Next slide hands up the wall, keeping the elbows and backs of hands pressed against the wall. Repeat 10-20x.
Exercise #4: Shoulder Blade Squeezes. Start in a normal position and then drive and pinch the shoulder blades together. This is a simple exercise that can be done anywhere and anytime. Do 20x
Give these 4 exercises a try and let me know what you think. For further guidance with posture, flexibility and core strength, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I am here to here to help!
Happy Standing and Sitting tall Fitness Peeps!