Posture often suffers as a result of modern life. Sitting for long periods in front of a screen, monitor or television can lead to poor posture. More and more people are spending most of their time staring at their computers or smartphones. Tight lower backs, stiff necks, and pain in the shoulders are all symptoms of this epidemic.
It’s not simply good posture that makes you appear better; it can also improve your mood. To avoid lower back pain, it is important to maintain appropriate posture throughout the day. As the spine extends “longer” or “taller”, less pressure is placed on the individual spinal discs. When you raise or twist, bracing your back by engaging your core will help you avoid injury.
Your posture can be improved and healthier movement patterns established while sitting, standing, or lifting with a simple home Pilates program of stretches and strengthening. It’s up to you whether you want to incorporate these exercises into your regular workout or not. Every two to three days is a good rule of thumb. The ability to sit and stand with good posture will become easier over time.
To improve your posture, focus on strengthening the back of your body, particularly your buttocks and hamstrings. This will help you maintain a tall spine while sitting. Be in a relaxed position, with your knees bent, your feet planted firmly on the floor, and your arms by your sides. Feel your shoulders widen as you press into your feet. Establishing a straight line from the knees to the hips to the shoulders is what you should aim for. One vertebra at a time, roll along the spine. Three to five times is a good number to aim for.
This full-body strengthener, often known as the “peak of a push-up,” can help correct several postural issues, such as slouching or favoring one side of your body. Starting face down with your hands and knees in contact with your mat, extend one leg at a time straight back while keeping your toes tucked under. Your wrists should be aligned beneath your shoulders in a horizontal position. Maintain a straight back and neck by keeping your head in a neutral position, i.e., in line with your body. Engage your core. In your mind’s eye, imagine that a straight line extends from the back of your head, along your back and down your legs to your heels. After 10-60 seconds, return to your hands and knees. Repeat three to five more times.
Pectoral muscles can be stretched to counteract our tendency to curve forward. Having rounded shoulders while sitting or standing is a terrific way to feel good. A comfortable space between your feet is ideal. Hands facing away from you and thumbs facing one another, place a yoga strap or belt behind your hips (a bathrobe belt works great!). Raise the belt or strap toward the wall behind you and then upwards. Do whatever it takes to hold the belt more securely. Your chest will expand as the belt is lifted away from you. Hold the stretch for at least 20 seconds and perform 2-3 times.
The chest is stretched as the back is strengthened in this one exercise. Lie face down with your arms at your sides, feet hip-width apart, with the tip of your nose or the top of your forehead lightly resting on the mat. Inhale and exhale, imagining your navel rising off the mat. Let go of the mat with your upper body. As you raise your arms off the floor, bring your fingertips back to your toes. If your lower back starts to hurt, stop immediately. Maintain a long neck and a modest chin tuck. Repeat three to five times for 10-30 seconds each. Make sure you do the child’s pose as a counter stretch between each repetition.
Stand with your feet about hip distance apart and your arms by your sides. Engage your core, bring the oblique’s up and in and allow the shoulders to broaden, which will lift and open the chest. Imagine that a helium balloon is hooked to the top of your head and that it is dragging you up. If you want to see the difference in your appearance, try completing this one while looking at yourself in the mirror.
Lie face down on your mat with your palms facing up. Your toes should meet in the middle, and your heels should fall apart. Take a moment to put your head down on your mat or pillow. Your navel should rise off the mat as you visualize the weight of your pubic bone on the floor. When you’re ready, turn your arms palms facing inward and stretch your neck and upper back successively from the mat while simultaneously rotating your thighs to parallel. If you start to feel pain in your lower back, stop immediately.
Maintain a long neck and a modest chin tuck. Return everything to its original position on the mat. Repeat three to five times. First, focus on connecting the inner thighs, then work your way up to the full exercise. Once you’ve done that, all you have to do is turn your arms. Extend the back of your upper body once you’ve mastered the first step. After that, see if you can combine all three moves into one. Once you’re done, assume a counter-stretch rest position with your buttocks pushed back to your heels.
For those who frequently use a phone, it is recommended that you invest in an audio headset or pair of earphones. Programming reminders for exercise breaks on your phone can also be a good idea. When it comes to healthy posture, even the tiniest alterations can have a major impact.