If you find that you have trouble correcting your posture, there are a few exercises that will help you build the strength and flexibility you need to stand and sit correctly.
Bridges. The trunk of your body (chest, abdomen, and back) takes on the stress of keeping everything upright, which means that you need to work hard to keep these body parts strong and stretched When it comes to exercising, we often spend a lot of time focusing on the middle and upper back, while the lower back gets forgotten. One way to help you build strength in this very important body part, is to add a few bridges to your daily exercise routine. Simply lie on your back with your hands by your side, while keeping your knees and ankles aligned, and then raise your pelvis to the ceiling. If you can, try holding your pelvis up for a count of five seconds. As you get stronger you can add on more time, and more reps.
Head retraction. The neck is often on the receiving end of pain as a result of poor posture. It’s important to stretch and strengthen your neck muscles to increase your chances of maintaining a proper posture. Sitting at computers can cause major stress to the neck, especially if you are sitting incorrectly. The next time you are working in front of a screen, check in and ask yourself if your head is leaning forward. If so, pull it back and align it with your shoulders. When we allow our neck to protrude forward like this, our muscles have to do even more work to maintain the unnatural position. For the head retraction exercise, you’ll want to lie on your back, in the same position you did for the bridge. Then, stretch your chin toward your chest like you are making a double chin and hold for 10 to 15 seconds, before pulling it back to the floor. Repeat 10 times.
Oblique twist. Our abdominal muscles and obliques are main contributors to our posture, which makes it even more important to strengthen and stretch them regularly. Exercises that require twisting of the torso are great for building up your abs and sides and will naturally aid in assisting your body to maintain an upright and aligned position. Sit on the floor with your knees bent and tighten your core as you move your upper body and elbows side to side. If you are free of lower back issues, and feel strong enough, try lifting your feet off the floor about six inches. This will challenge you a little bit more. And if you really want to take it up a notch, hold a weight as you do the twist. Make sure to use slow and controlled movements and really think about the muscles that you are targeting.
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