To understand why we need to do exercises for posture, we first need to understand why our bodies get distorted. Let’s look at what our bodies are designed to do, and then we can conclude as to why we need to exercise to maintain our health!
How the changes in our life impact our health?
Did you know that while humans aren’t the fastest species, we are one of the most durable? We might not be as fast as cheetahs, but we ca run much longer than them. Every species has developed throughout the years with the skills and body to be able to survive. Some of the fastest ones on this earth have developed that ability to hunt better. Humans on the other hand, have developed insane durability to be able to farm, fight and produce goods to survive.
The modernization of our society and the industrial revolution have caused staggering increases in people who work office jobs. Furthermore, advancements in technology require us to develop computer skills to be competitive among our peers or even for entertainment. This modernization leads to a lack of outdoors activity which in turn leads to a lack of exercising, decreased durability and increased spine distortions in the population.
What can be done to stabilize the damages we are constantly doing to our bodies by living, what is considered today, a normal life?
Our bodies are designed to improve under stress and pressure. Every part of our body needs to get its own “exercise.” For example, our joints become “rusty” if we do not use them for a longer period, our digestive system (our metabolism) considerably slows down if we only eat one meal a day, our immune system doesn’t understand how to fight regularly everyday bacteria if it is not exposed to these pathogens. Even our mind forgets how to solve problems if it isn’t challenged daily.
What can cause bad posture?
Currently, two major factors contribute to a bad posture.
- A) Sitting for extended periods in an unnatural position for our body
As we explained before, our bodies are not designed for this lifestyle that the modern era is forcing us into.
- B) Unbalanced exercising
Unbalanced exercising is a problem mainly among teens, young adults, and people who do physical labor as their everyday job. Usually, for these groups exercising involves certain muscle groups to be activated for longer during their working hours, thus leading to a similar problem of irregularities in everyday activities.
What are good posture exercises?
Good posture exercises should do two very important things, which are activating the weak muscles and stretching the tight muscles.
Now that you understand what are the causes and what you need to look for in an exercise, let’s show you five exercises you can do at home to better your posture!
- The reverse plank bridge exercise. This exercise activates muscles like your middle trapezius, your rhomboids, erector spinae, and your neck flexors. On top of that, it stretches your pecks, your long head of the biceps, your front deltoids and your neck extensors.
Sit down on the floor naturally.
Place your hands on the floor, slightly behind your back
Pull up your feet closer to your body, so that your knees can bend at a 90 degrees angle
Slowly lift your midsection until your body, from your shoulders to your knees, forms a straight line, like a plank.
- Childs pose. This resting pose stretches and lengthens your spine, glutes, and hamstrings. The child’s pose helps to release tension in your lower back and neck.
Sit on your shinbones with your knees together, your big toes touching, and your heels splayed out to the side.
Fold forward at your hips and walk your hands out in front of you.
Sink your hips back down toward your feet. If your thighs won’t go all the way down, place a pillow or folded blanket under them for support.
Gently place your forehead on the floor or turn your head to one side.
Keep your arms extended or rest them along your body.
Breathe deeply into the back of your rib cage and waist.
Relax in this pose for up to 5 minutes while continuing to breathe deeply.
- The Arch Up. Lay down flat on your stomach and stretch your arms forward in front of your head.
This exercise consists of three movements. All three movements require you to tuck your chin and do an external rotation of your arms (thumbs should go upward).
Shoulder flexion. Push your arms and shoulder blades upwards and try to raise your arms as high as possible without bending them.
Horizontal abduction. Lift your arms as high as possible to the side, and try to bring your shoulder blades together.
Shoulder extension. Push your arms upwards (thumbs up) and lift them as high as possible.
- Wall Angel. Stand with your back against a flat wall with your feet about four inches from forward from the wall. Maintain a slight bend in your knees. Your glutes, spine, and head should all be against the wall.
Bring your arms up with elbows bent, so your upper arms are parallel to the floor and squeeze your shoulder blades together, forming a letter “W.” Hold for 3 seconds.
Next, straighten your elbows to raise your arms to form the letter “Y.” Make sure not to shrug your shoulders to your ears. Repeat this ten times, starting at “W,” holding for 3 seconds and then raising your arms into a “Y.” Do 2-3 sets.
- The cat and cow. The cat and cow is a great spine mobility exercise that you can do to help energize your low back muscles.
Begin by kneeling on all fours with your hands positioned under your shoulders and your knees positioned directly below your hips.
Exhale and arch your spine gently.
Hold this position for 2 seconds.
Inhale and tighten your core muscle while you round your back.
Hold this position for 2 seconds.
Aim for ten repetitions.
Before you start doing any posture exercises, we advise you to see a professional. Other things than your habits might impact your posture. If the professional says that it’s from habits, then continue with these exercises; otherwise, follow the doctor’s instructions.