I’ll give you two reasons

Confidence. Relief.

These two words are the two reasons you should become more aware of your posture. 
But…how can posture possibly be related to either?

  1. Confidence: Psychology has shown us time and time again that body language can play a major role in our attitude and mood.  When you have bad posture your head hangs and your shoulders close your body.  Proper posture forces you to have a proud chest and to hold your head up high.  In turn, you will feel more confident, more alert, and overall happier.
  2. Relief: Poor postures place stress on your neck, back, and shoulders by taking them to their end range of motion without support. Proper posture offers support to the shoulder joint and spine by engaging the surrounding muscles.  This will help relieve aches and pains, you will also be able to use your muscles more efficiently and suddenly everything you do will feel easier.

How can you work on fixing your posture?

When standing:

  1. Place your feet shoulder width apart.
  2. Squeeze you bum and lower back muscles to bring your hips to the centerline of your body.
  3. Engage your abdominals (abs) and feel the muscles along the spine raise your body as if a string is pulling you up from the top of your head.
  4. Bring your shoulders back by squeezing your scapula’s (shoulder blades) together in your upper back.
  5. Be careful that your shoulders don’t elevate.  If they do, take a deep breath and when you exhale release all the tension in your shoulders.
  6. Raise your chin so it’s parallel to the ground and feel that string at the top of your head forcing you to stand tall one more time.

This will get tiring over time, at that point shift weight between feet.

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When sitting:

  1. Bring your bum all the way back in the chair. If there is no lumbar support, roll up a towel and place it in the lumbar region.
  2. Engage your abdominals (abs) and feel the muscles along the spine raise your body as if a string is pulling you up from the top of your head.
  3. Bring your shoulders back by squeezing your scapula’s (shoulder blades) together in your upper back.
  4. Be careful that your shoulders don’t elevate, if they do take a deep breath and when you exhale release all the tension in your shoulders and let them relax.
  5. Raise your chin so it’s parallel to the ground and feel as if a string is lifting you straight up.

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When laying:

  1. Place a rolled up towel under the lumber region and cervical region of the spine as displayed in the picture below.
  2. Engage your core muscles (abs and back) to support your position.
  3. From this positions try to squeeze the shoulder blades together and press your head into the bed/mat/table/etc.

ImageImage

 

Posture is often overlooked in terms of exercise.  However, proper posture reduces the risk of injury, proper body mechanics, body efficiency, confidence and relief.  So next time you start to feel pain in your neck from sitting too long, look back at these steps and build up those muscles!

 

Michelle Teves
R. Kin

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