Better Posture in 5 Simple Exercises
Better posture can not only make you look like you lost 5 pounds, it is important for so many reasons. Posture expert, Dr. Krista Burns, founder of the American Posture Institute believes your posture can influence your mood, even contribute to depression. Depression doesn’t just lead to a rounded posture. Rounded posture can lead to feelings of depression.
Posture helps you present yourself in a more confident manner, and it also helps prevent degenerative neck and shoulder problems, chronic hip and knee injuries , as well as permanent dysfunctional curves in your spine. You’ll also be able to take in a deeper breath when you stand or sit up with better posture! More energy here you come.
To help you improve posture and counter some of those activities (or inactivity) of daily life, here are some exercises to either add to your strength training routine or steal a few minutes to do at lunch.
1. Standing Hip Flexor Stretch
Stand with feet next to one another. Step your right foot about 2 feet in front of your left foot, in a staggered stance, right foot flat on the floor. Bend your right knee but keep your left straight. Press forward through your hips so you feel a stretch in the front of your left hip. Imagine pointing your pelvis forward on the floor. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds, then switch sides.
2. Prone Back Extension
Lie flat on your stomach on the floor. Place your arms long at your sides, palms down thumbs out. Pull shoulders back and down as you tip your pelvis under. Keep your toes turned under on the floor. Simultaneously lift your head, shoulders, chest, arms, and legs off the ground as high as you can. Hold for 10 seconds. Breath! Release. Repeat three times.
3. Chest Stretch
Stand near a wall or a doorway. Place your right forearm on the wall and turn your body away from it until you feel a gentle stretch across the front of shoulder and chest. Hold 15 to 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
4. Dumbbell Bent Over Row
Stand with feet directly under your hips, a dumbbell in each hand at your sides. Keeping your back flat, hinge slightly at the hips so that your upper body is at a forward angle. Keeping elbows tight to body, squeeze shoulder blades together as you bend elbows and pull dumbbells toward your chest. Slowly lower. Do 2 or 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps. (Start with fewer sets and more reps performed with a lighter weight).
5. Farmer’s Carry
Stand holding a heavy kettlebell or dumbbell in one hand, arm down at your side. With good posture, walk from one side of the room to other and back. Switch the weight to the other side as you turn around. Resist tipping toward the side with the weight. Repeat 2 or 3 times depending on the length of the room.
There you have it. Simple ways to challenge your balance and get your postural muscles to behave.