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Exercises to help maintain good posture

9215431618_0747fa04ff_nDo you still look in the mirror after working out and think all the effort you’re putting in isn’t working? If so, it could be a simple case of bad posture.

We all tend to slouch. Don’t worry it’s not just you!

Think about all the time spent at a desk working. The hours driving each week. Watching TV on the sofa. We can often forget to sit up straight with our shoulder back, after all, it’s not exactly relaxing, now is it!

But exercise alone won’t automatically give you the appearance of a good body, your posture also plays an important role.

So here are some exercises that will help you retain good posture and mean that all those workouts won’t let you down!

1. Build up your core.

The number one way to better posture is through your core muscles – these are essentially your abdominal and lower back muscles.

So exercises like the plank, superman’s and crunches will work brilliantly to build up these muscle groups.

We gave a good overview of many core exercises in a previous article you can read here.

2. Strengthen your upper back.

Rounded shoulders and a hunched back can become increasingly painful as you get older, not to mention harder to rectify. So it’s important to be conscious of your posture when working, driving and relaxing so as to immediately correct yourself when you feel a slump coming on.

However, it’s also a good idea to do strengthening exercises that concentrate on your upper back. The stronger those muscles are, the less likely you will be to hunch or round.

Good exercises are:

Shoulder Rolls – Slowly roll your shoulders in a circular motion clockwise for 30 seconds and then repeat the other way for a further 30 seconds.

Thoracic Extensions – Sit in a straight back chaired clasping your hands together behind your head. Slowly arch backwards until you’re looking up at the ceiling. Hold for 5 seconds then release. Repeat this for 60 seconds.

Butterfly’s – Stand straight and place your hands on your shoulders. Push your elbows back to try and touch each other until you feel a stretch in the upper back. Hold for 5 seconds then release. Repeat this for 60 seconds.

3. Centre your head.

When you look at your side profile in the mirror, are your ears directly above your shoulders? You may find your ears are actually pushing forward of the shoulders which is very common. It comes from hours bent over a laptop, or driving your car.

It takes a few concentrated strengthening exercises to realign your head in the position it should be, and I doing so, will ease any stiffness you may suffer from.

Good exercises are:

Lean on your headrest – when driving, pull your chin in and lean your head back on to your headrest rather than holding it forward. Hold for 10 seconds then release. Repeat throughout your journey.

Retract your neck – pull your chin in so the highest point of your body should be the back of your head. Hold for 10 seconds then release. Repeat this process numerous times through throughout the day.

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