A good posture is considered to be a valuable asset in maintaining a positive body image. People with good posture are viewed as more attractive and smart compared to people with postural flaws. Poor body posture is often linked to low confidence levels but in reality any deviation in our posture may arise from a number of health conditions like weight gain, poor muscle tone, mineral deficiencies and dehydration. In addition there are some jobs that require people to be in a certain position for prolonged periods which results in a shift in the body’s original alignment. If this change in body’s alignment is not corrected it leads to the development of neck and spinal diseases and may even cause injuries. The best way to acquire a good posture is by strengthening our core. Core consists of sets of muscles located on the back, abdomen, pelvis and thighs. The main function of core muscles is stabilizing our body’s movements. A strong core means less spinal and back ailments. There are many exercises that work your core muscles and strengthen them resulting in a better posture. Always consult a professional before trying these exercises particularly if you suffer from back problems.
Here Are Some Exercises To Incorporate Into Your Daily Routine To Better Your Posture:
Bridges are great for firming and relaxing tense muscles in the back region especially in people with stooped backs. Lie on your back with your knees bent at right angle and your feet touching the floor. Place both your arms on the sides with your palms facing downward. Slowly lift your midriff up towards the ceiling using your glutes, hamstrings and abdominal muscles. Take a few deep breaths and then lower your body back to the previous position. Do five to ten repetitions of this exercise depending on your comfort level.
2. Wall Squats
It’s important to strengthen muscles on your thighs, glutes and hips as a strong bottom is better able to hold and support the spine and back. Performing squats conditions and strengthens these muscles and helps in improving body’s alignment. Stand against a wall with your back facing the wall so that the back of your head, shoulder blades and hips touch the wall. Lower your body slowly by bending your knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor the way you do while sitting on a chair. Hold for a minute and then slowly raise your body by straightening your knees back to the standing position.
Another exercise that helps in correcting body’s alignment is plank exercise. Planks are particularly designed to firm core muscles. To perform a plank lie on the floor by placing both your palms and toes on the floor with your knees and elbows straight. Pay special attention to your back while doing this exercise and make sure that it is aligned properly. Stay in this position for as long as it feels comfortable. The more you are able to hold yourself in this position the stronger is your core. You can bring variation to a plank by placing your fore arms on the floor along with your toes instead of your palms.
4. Chin Tuck
Many people tend to have a forward neck position in which the neck stoops forward which in turn spoils the body’s alignment and leads to spinal problems later on. Doing chin tucks on a regular basis corrects this problem by relaxing neck muscles. It’s very easy to do this exercise wherever you are and can be done while sitting on your office chair. To perform a chin tuck seat yourself on a chair or stand against a wall so your back, shoulder blades and the back of your head touch the back of the chair or the wall. Keeping your neck straight lower your head towards your chest until your chin brushes against your chest. Hold for a few breaths and then raise your head up towards the ceiling to relax your neck muscles. Do this exercise eight to ten times each day.
5. Leg Extension
Leg extensions are a great way to firm your abdominal region and the quadriceps which play a key role in holding your body upright. If these muscles lack rigidness it leads to poorly aligned spine at the lower back. To perform leg extensions lie down on the floor with your knees bent at 45 degree angle, your feet, head, shoulder blades touching the floor and your hands placed at the back of the neck for support with elbows bent. Slowly lift your head and shoulder blades few inches above the ground without straining your neck. Now lift both your knees towards your chest. Wait for a couple of seconds and then slowly lower your head and knees back to the position where you started. Do eight to ten repetitions of the leg extension according to your level of comfort.
6. Shoulder Rolls
Relaxing muscles on our shoulders and neck is extremely important for properly aligned body as they bear the weight of our head and arms and tend to tire with each movement of our arms and hands resulting in rounded shoulders. Doing shoulder rolls eases the tension on shoulder blades and neck and corrects the way our neck is aligned on shoulders. To do this exercise sit straight on the edge of a chair and tilt your neck backwards so your ears are in line with your shoulders. Lift your right shoulder to touch your right ear then move it back , then down and then up in the front in circular motion. Circle your shoulders in this manner eight to twelve times every time you feel stiffness in that region.