How to improve posture
One thing that is a problem with a lot of people is posture. Many things like looking down at our phones are bad for your posture and can lead to you naturally slouching. There are also many other side effects of having bad posture Postural dysfunction (poor posture) is when your spine is in an unnatural position for extended periods of time and is caused by many daily activities. These include slouching on a chair, looking at phones and computers and having poor core stability. Poor posture is easily corrected and in this article, we are going to be going over some things you can do to improve your posture.
Effects of bad posture
There are many side effects of having bad posture. These include back ,neck and shoulder pain. Having poor posture also can cause poor circulation and make you vulnerable to developing varicose veins. Lung function is also something that is affected by bad posture. This effect’s the amount of air taken in by your lungs which can lead to your organs not getting enough oxygen, this can cause shortness of breath, poor cognitive function, heart and vascular disease.
A long-term effect of poor posture is your bones shifting position and causing improper alignment. This can make you more prone to injury and may make everyday tasks painful. Slouching also causes changes in abdominal pressure which can cause constipation and after a meal can promote heart burn and slow down digestion. The slowed digestion is due to pressure causing stomach acid being pushed in the wrong direction and can push it up to your oesophagus.
There are two different types of posture. These are:
Dynamic posture – how you hold yourself when moving or doing activities. These activities can include running, walking or even ding exercises like deadlifts.
Static posture – This is how you hold yourself when you are not moving like when sitting or standing.
How to improve posture?
There are many steps you can take to improve bad posture. Some people like to use posture correctors like back braces and other types of correctors. Although these can be effective to improve posture, these do not really strengthen any muscles and are more effective for other posture conditions like scoliosis, this is when the spine is twisted and causes limitation in movement and pain. Also, when purchasing back braces its important to get the correct one so this can make choosing one difficult.
Workouts to improve posture
When it comes to improving posture the most effective way to do so is by strengthening the muscles involved in keeping your back straight. The only way you are going to strengthen these muscles is by exercising them. If you suffer from bad posture, then these workouts are definitely worth a try.
This exercise helps relieve body stiffness and can strengthen your glutes, core, hamstrings, and shoulder muscles. This movement can also strengthen back which is key to keeping a good posture. As well as a high plank a regular plank is also known to improve posture.
This movement is done by going on all fours and then straightening your legs into a press up position. Now you must hold this position keeping a straight back at all time. If you want, you can make this movement more challenging by changing the position of your hands or by adding some weight. It’s important you don’t go too heavy as you don’t want to cause and back injuries. You could also try raising some arms and doing it one handed.
Lat hangs are performed by gripping a pullup bar and hanging there with you feet shoulder width apart. This movement is known to relieve tight pecks and upper back caused by looking down at computers and phones. If you work a desk job then this movement is good for opening up your upper body making it feel less stiff and can reduce the risk of injury when training shoulders and back.
When doing this movement deep breaths are important as these can help open up your upper body. When doing this you will feel looser and find it easier to move. As well as everyday life posture is important when training as bad posture will lead to an increased risk of injury.
This movement involves you being on all fours and sitting back on your heels. Then place one hand behind your head with your elbow pointing towards the ground. Now rotate your chest until your elbow is facing the ceiling and then lower yourself back into your starting position. Then repeat this for reps making sure you remember to switch sides. This exercise is known to decrease stiffness and increase mobility in the upper body. This version of the child’s pose is also increases core strength which is crucial for posture.
This is incorporating movement into the child pose but there is another version that is commonly practiced in yoga. This one involves sitting on you legs with you buttocks touching your heels. Then you lean forward keeping your backside to your heels and stretch your arms in front of you. This pose is also good for posture as it stretches out your spine and ca relieve any pain in your muscles.
Do more core exercises
One of the key ingredients to getting a good posture and maintaining it is by developing a strong core. Your core strength is a important part of making you stand up straight as well as improving posture when doing movements and exercising. So, to develop a better posture and get a straighter back a stronger core will be the way forward. Although many other movements like deadlifts and squats develop a stronger core, these alone may not be enough, and you will see more benefits by training your abs individually. If you are interested in core workouts that can help your posture then check out these alternating leg lifts demonstrated by Matthew Hixon, a personal trainer.
If you are looking for improved posture, then these steps ae something you should consider. If time is an issue, many of these exercises require little equipment and are quick to do. Any although these are good for improving posture, there are some simple lifestyle changes you can make that will also make a difference. These simple lifestyle changes could be sitting up straight when you sit down, not looking down at your phone and generally standing with a straight back.