How To Improve Your Posture For A Healthier You

man sitting hunched over at a computer

Posture is one of the most important aspects of good health. Poor posture can cause a number of health problems, including slouching and rounded shoulders. Sitting in a bad position can also lead to neck and back pain. Here are some tips for correcting poor posture:

Stretch Regularly

Stretching not only helps improve your overall flexibility, but it also relieves tension in your muscles and joints. Make sure to do at least one set of basic stretches every day.

What Kinds of Stretching Helps Improve Posture?

Many assume that stretching only refers to yoga or other forms of movement done in a standing or seated position. However, you can do many simple stretches at home that can help improve your posture and reduce your risk of injuries.

Easy stretches such as Child's Pose, Cat-Cow, and bridges can all help to align and strengthen the parts of the body most commonly associated with poor posture– the back, shoulders, hips, and neck. 

Stretching regularly not only helps improve posture, but it can also reduce inflammation and pain in joints throughout the body."

Use an Ergonomic Chair if You Have to Sit for Extended Periods of Time

Chairs that don’t have adequate lumbar support can cause you to slump forward and hunched over, further reducing your range of motion and increasing your chances of developing poor posture. Look for chairs with height adjustability or foam padding to help you stay comfortable throughout the day.

Even though I am a horrendous cheapskate, I purchased a high-end chair from Titan Labs, and it has been extremely beneficial. Titan Labs doesn't sponsor me, and I am not involved in any affiliate program for them– I genuinely love my new office chair. It wasn't until I purchased it that I realized I was too tall for the chair I had been using and that it didn't let me sit with my back straight and shoulders back. 

Walk More (Without Looking Down At Your Phone) and Sit Less

Anatomically, humans are better designed for standing and walking than for sitting. Try to break up long sedentary periods with short walks as much as possible. 

Make sure to stand up straight when walking. Try not to lean forward or backward excessively. Instead, try keeping your chest lifted and your shoulders back. Finally, try not to look down at your phone while walking! As small of a detail as it is, most of us round our shoulders and bend our necks forward while using our phones. Maintaining this hunched-over posture for too long can result in a condition known as kyphosis, which can cause stiffness and discomfort but can lead to more severe postural issues as you age. 

Strategically Strengthen Postural Muscles at the Gym

Doing exercises that strengthen key postural muscles can train your body to naturally maintain better posture. 

Here's the routine that I do to reinforce better posture at all times: 

T-Bar Rows

Doing t-bar rows well requires squeezing your shoulder blades together while keeping your shoulders back and down. Practicing this motion and training your delts and lets in this way helps it to feel more natural to sit or stand with your chest forward and shoulders back. 

Resistance Band External Rotation

This is one of the best exercises for preventing shoulder drooping or rounding. For weight lifters and athletes, it's also a great way to strengthen the muscles around your rotator cuff, which can help reduce your risk of injury. 

Good Mornings or Back Extensions

Good Mornings and Back Extensions are similar exercises, so I'm grouping them together. Both help to strengthen the erector spinae muscles, which are long, touch muscles running along the spine. When it comes to preventing lower-back slouching, these muscles are integral. These exercises can also help with hip and back stability for more complex compound exercises. 

Cable Face Pulls

Like Resistance Band External Rotations, Cable Face Pulls help strengthen the muscles in your rotator cuff and train your shoulders to be drawn back and down rather than rounded and hunched forward. 

 

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