Easy exercises to improve your posture
Working in front of a computer or looking down at your phone tends to hunch you forward, strains your lower back and rolls the shoulders forward, weakening your back and increasing pressure on certain areas of your body. Overtime this may lead to a whole lot of problems!
How you place your body makes a big difference to the way your body functions and moves.
So what can you do to improve your posture?
1. Relax your shoulders.
Keep your back straight and neutral. Your shoulders, hips and feet should be in line with each other. When possible, sit or stand with both feet shoulder width apart firmly planted on the ground. This allows for equal body weight distribution.
2. Exercise to strengthen your back.
There are many exercises that will help you activate and strength your back muscles, whilst opening up your chest and reversing the rounded shoulders. Here are 3 examples:
Seated row (close grip)
1. Sit on the bench and place feet on the foot rest.
2. Lean forward to reach the handles, gripping with thumbs facing the ceiling.
3. Sit back so that the knees are only slightly bent.
4. Holding the handles tilt yourself slightly back.
5. Keeping arms extended, pull your elbows in towards the lower ribs and squeeze your shoulder blades together in the process.
6. Ensure relaxed shoulders.
7. Slowly release the cable, allowing the weight back down to the
Dumbbell Reverse Flies
1. Keeping knees slightly bent, move forward using the hips as a hinge.
2. Bend forward to feel a slight stretch in your hamstrings.
3. Keep arms down and elbows slightly bent whilst holding the dumbbells
4. Lift the dumbbells wide and to the side, maintaining bent elbows.
5. Look forward to keep the head in line with the spine.
6. Squeeze the shoulder blades as you lift.
7. Slowly return to the starting position
Lateral Pulldown (wide grip)
1. Keeping the spine straight, ensure your shoulders are back and relaxed.
2. Grab the bar, placing your hands towards the end (wide grip).
3. Pull elbows down towards the ribs till the bar is chest height, squeezing your shoulder blades together simultaneously.
4. Slowly release the tension and return to the start position.
Remember it’s always best to seek professional advice before trying any exercise to reduce risk of injury and ensure your body is suited to the movement!