How do we define posture? Why is posture important? Posture is defined as the position we hold our bodies while standing, sitting and even lying down. Maintaining good posture is a vital part of your health — it ensures your bones and joints are well aligned with the rest of your body, while the tension in your muscles and ligaments is properly distributed. Unfortunately, sitting at a desk all day wreaks havoc on proper posture. We are constantly slouching and hunched forward over our keyboards, computers and books. Below are 4 exercises you should be doing to improve your posture:
1. Glute Bridges. Lie face up on the floor with your knees bent, feet flat on the ground and arms down by your side. Engage your core and glute’s while lifting your hips off the ground until your knees, hips and shoulders form a straight line. Hold this position for 3 seconds before lowering back to the ground. Glute bridges are a key exercise for glute activation and lumbar spine stabilization.
2. Chest Butterflies. Sit in a chair, back up straight and hands clasped together behind your neck (elbows pointed out to the sides). Slowly inhale and round your back forward while bringing your elbows forward. As you exhale, open your elbows back up to your sides and squeeze your shoulder blades together at the top.
3. Shoulder Protraction/Retraction. Stand up straight with your arms held out in front of you (like Frankenstein). “Punch” your arms farther out in front of you by bringing your shoulder blades away from your spine. Pull your shoulders back past the starting position squeezing your shoulder blades together.
4. Supermans. Lie face down on the floor with your elbows bent and your hands at shoulder height. Simultaneously raise your chest, arms and legs off of the floor and hold for 3 seconds. Slowly lower back down to the starting position.
Try adding 3 sets of 15 repetitions into your workout routine 3 days a week for improved posture. As the workday progresses, we start slouching and we let our muscles slack which ultimately causes poor posture and poor muscle habits. Adding a sticky note to either your keyboard or computer monitor with the word “POSTURE” on it is a good reminder to practice your proper posture as much as you can.
Every time you look at that sticky note, it should remind you to sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor, and shoulders pulled back to avoid hunching over.
As always, we hope this helps! If you have any questions or if you would like to read about certain topics, feel free to send us an email at TeamSP@SportsPerformancePT.com.
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