No matter how hard you try to avoid it, it’s nonetheless true: your poor posture creates serious repercussions on your physical and mental health, ranging from headaches, decreased lung capacity and neck pain to impinged nerves and damaged intervertebral spinal discs. If you’re already suffering from a medical condition, it’s most likely that your poor posture makes it worse. Or, with other words, by simply fixing your posture you could get rid of a lot of your existing health problems.
If you’re one of those people who are fully aware of their bad posture but can’t seem to make any real effort to fix it, don’t worry, you’re far from the only one dealing with this issue. In fact, bad posture is one of the most common modern ailments, and for a very simple reason at that. The truth is that every change is difficult because it requires breaking up with the old habits and installing new ones, which becomes increasingly hard to do as we get older.
However, posture is a crucial aspect of good health and chronic posture problems shouldn’t be taken lightly. And by taking the time to solve this issue right now, you can prevent serious injuries and painful conditions in the future. In this article, we’ll provide you with a simple yet highly effective guideline on how to fix your poor posture once and for all.
How Does Good Posture Look Like?
Let’s begin by testing how good/bad your posture currently is. First, try balancing something, for example a book, on your head. If you are able to do it, try to keep the same body posture throughout the day and see how that feels. And if your regular posture is terrible, we can safely assume that it feels pretty awkward.
Ideally, if you stand with your back to a wall, your head should be near the wall or touching it when you look straight ahead, your shoulders should rest very close to the wall and your lower back should be slightly arched. If this isn’t the case, you can fix it by regularly performing the following five exercises until good posture becomes a part of you.
- Wall Angels
- Hip Hinge with Hands Overhead
- Standing Horizontal Abduction with TRX (or Band)
- Farmer’s Carry
- Double- or Single-Leg Bridge Hold
#1. Wall Angels
Stand next to a wall, maintaining good posture and raise your arms up the wall while keeping your core tight. Your spine should remain neutral while your tailbone, lower back, upper back and head should make contact with the wall. Extend your arms fully overhead without arching your back. Don’t let your lower back, elbows or hands come off the wall during the entire movement. If you perform it correctly, the movement will be a bit hard at first, but it will become easier as your elasticity improves. Perform 2 sets of 10 reps.
#2. Hip Hinge with Hands Overhead
Perform a hip hinge (moving the hips through a complete flexion to extension with minimal knee bend) with your arms overhead to give your thoracolumbar fascia (a membrane seated in your posterior thorax and abdomen) a good stretch. Hold the bottom position (seated hips) for 10 seconds. Perform 10 reps.
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