How To Improve Your Posture Through Exercise
Maintaining a good posture is an important part of your overall health. It means that your body is in correct proportion to your muscles and tendons and is symmetrically aligned.
It is not something we tend to think about enough but if our bodies aren’t aligned, it leaves us more open to issues such as pulled muscles and slipped discs, which can be very painful.
These days, people spend a lot of time standing or sitting in postures that aren’t good for their bodies. Here is a guide on how to improve some commonly held postures through exercise and avoid injury.
Most people are guilty of slouching. It is the most comfortable position to adopt when you are crashed out in front of the TV with a bag of popcorn after a long distressing day. However, if you suffer from back problems, you are setting yourself up for a long, hard future too.
Sitting up straight will help you to alleviate back pain and will ease muscle tension too. You can improve your sitting posture through exercises such as the plank and bridge positions, although adjusting your chair at the office may also work wonders.
Hunching Your Back
Who isn’t guilty of this one? You have a tight work deadline, and you are spending a lot of time staring at a computer screen to meet it. You feel tense and tired, and it is no wonder that you are hunching your back as you race to the finish line. This can lead to a rounded upper back, not to mention painful tension in your neck, shoulders, and upper back.
Lengthening your neck upwards at the same time as tucking in your chin is a great exercise to try if you want to get rid of neck tension. To stretch out the tension in your shoulders clasp your hands together and pull your arms forward. You can try this exercise with one arm pulling the other forward rather than clasping them together for a single shoulder stretch.
Many people use an incorrect posture by standing with their bottoms out, which gives them a duck-like appearance. This can become especially pronounced in women who are pregnant or wearing high heels as they try to compensate for the difference in their center of gravity. This may be comfortable if you are standing for a long time, but it is not going to do your lower back any favors.
To avoid lower back pain, stretching exercises such as planking, side leg raises, and thigh stretches are good for you. Also, try to remember to stand with both feet planted firmly on the floor and your back in a straight line to even your center of gravity naturally.
Leaning On One Leg
This is another standing posture problem that can cause a lot of issues. It is incredibly common, and you might find yourself doing it if you have to stand for a lengthy period. You may find this uncomfortable and shift your weight from one leg to another to give the other leg a rest and make yourself more comfortable. The trouble with this is that it entails putting all your weight on one hip and the lower side of your back on your supporting side. This can lead to strain in the back, buttocks, and hips.
Exercises such as planking and side leg raises can alleviate this pain, as can sitting down when possible and trying to support your standing weight between both legs.
You want to ensure that you’re lifting with your legs properly as there are some leg injuries that many doctors do not often give the proper treatment to. In the case of a horizontal meniscus tear, for instance, you want to see a specialist. Many doctors will remove the meniscus properly instead of healing it, as it is often the easier answer.
Clenching Your Teeth
This is a common issue that is largely caused by tension. Clenching or grinding your teeth can increase the feeling of tension in your neck and jaw and lead to bone and muscle pain, as well as causing you dental problems.
It is possible to get rid of tension in the jaw quite easily. You can give mewing a try, as this will strengthen your jaw. It will also get rid of problems with sleep breathing. Alternatively, practice relaxation techniques that will help to alleviate tension in your jaw, as well as the rest of your body.
Cradling Your Phone
Your phone rings and you realize you need to take notes about the conversation. You reach for your pen with one hand, hold your paper with the other and cradle your phone between your neck and your ear. This puts a lot of strain on the muscles in your neck, upper back, and shoulders. This part of your body was not designed to hold a phone.
The simplest exercise you can do is to go to your local cell phone store and buy yourself a hands-free kit. Failing this, neck stretches, and neck rotations also work very well.
You can try these exercises at home to alleviate pain associated with the stresses and strains of modern life. However, classes such as yoga and Pilates are also incredibly good for stretching the muscles and easing tension.
Last Updated on November 17, 2022