What are Posture Exercises?
Posture exercises are aimed at results getting the muscles of the body align correctly. When this occurs, movement is more efficient. Muscles and joints are balanced and supported properly if you have good posture. As a result, you will be better able to perform activities you need to do.
Why should you do exercises to improve posture?
When your body is poorly aligned, shoulders, spine, hips, knees and ankles don’t fit together. Think of it like a jigsaw puzzle where the pieces don’t fit right. When this occurs, your muscles have to work harder. Those muscles become tense. Other muscles weakens. Muscular imbalances result in poor posture. This in turn causes restricting joint movements. Weak muscles place more stress on your joints. This whole vicious circle results in pain, stiffness and loss of motion.
What are the various exercises for good posture?
a) Good Posture Exercises to Strengthen Your Core
Posture correction exercises start with building a strong core. Your core includes the abdominal muscles, lower back muscles, oblique’s, and hips. Strong core muscles keep your back healthy to avoid aches, pain and injuries.
Strong core muscles also hold your skeleton erect. They improve your balance and help your body move smoothly. If any of the muscles of your core are weak, the others have to work harder to compensate. That’s why exercises for good posture should exercise all muscles in your core.
Good posture exercises helps strengthen core muscles…
• Abdominal crunches
• Side planks
• Side bends from a standing position
• Crunch and twist
• Plank holds
• Pilates exercises
• Isometric exercises
• Lower back extensions
• Slow swimming movements
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b) Posture Correction Exercises for Rounded Shoulders
Rounded shoulders are not part of good posture. A common cause is spending extended periods of time hunching over your computer, your desk, your steering wheel, or your textbooks. A good exercise to improve posture is one that strengthening your upper back muscles, while stretching those tight chest, shoulders, and hip muscles.
Posture Exercises that strengthen the upper back…
• Reverse dumbbell flies
• Rowing with resistance
• Torso stretch
• Standing quad stretch
c) Good Posture Exercises to Neutralize Hip Tilt
Your hips should be level. Some people’s hips tilt forward abnormally popularly known as lordosis or “swayback”. This is caused by weak hamstring muscles, weak butt muscles or weak abs. To check for your lordosis, look at your belt line in a mirror. It should be level. If it is lower at the front and higher at the back, you need to correct your pelvic tilt.
Exercises that strengthens the hamstrings and glutes:
• Any core strengthening exercises
• Making bridges
• Leg curls with a ball
• Single leg flexes with a ball
Exercises to stretch hip and quad muscles:
• Standing quad stretches
• Kneeling quad and hip stretches
d) Posture Correction Exercises for Retracting Head
Driving, watching television, sitting at your desk or hunching over your computer leads to forwarding head movement where head and spine are not aligned. Spending hours in this posture tightens the front and side neck muscles. The deep and rear muscles of the neck become weak. For a good posture, the position of your head and neck are important. Check in the mirror. Your ears should be directly above your shoulders. Fixing the tight and weak areas of your neck will center your head just above your shoulders. It will also decrease chronic neck pain.
Exercises to strengthen weak neck muscles:
• Stretch the back of your neck by pulling your chin in.
• While driving, pull your chin in and push your head into the headrest behind you. Hold the pose for a few seconds. Release. Repeat. You can do the same thing with a high-back chair at work.
Exercises to stretch tight neck muscles:
• Gently stretch neck to prevent injury to the spine.
• Use a foam roller to ease neck stiffness or tightness.
• Place a heated neck wrap filled with grain around your neck. Sit upright, back straight for ten minutes letting the heat relax tight neck muscles. Relax neck muscles. Visualize them melting gently. Do the same thing for upper chest muscles, relaxing them one by one. Visualize your back muscles easing. Remove the wrap. Use a tennis ball or a foam roller to smooth all the tension from your face, neck, chest and back.