3 Reasons to Check Your Posture
“Set position.” This is a beginning posture term that was drilled into my head years ago when I was achieving my first group fitness certification in Les Mills Body Pump. I loved every single minute of that training. It was a weekend full of non-stop workouts and fitness choreography memorization.
Yes, I do realize that what I describe as “non-stop fun” is much different than what most others would describe, but it’s me, and you’re reading this, so you must relate on some level. Either way, glad you’re here!
Set position is a starting posture that ensures proper spine alignment and prevents injuries. You stand tall, shoulders up-back-then down, tuck shoulder blades in your “back pocket,” arms at your sides, hips, knees, and ankles stacked, and no locked joints. I’m guessing that sounds a little like a military “Attention” position, and it kind of does look like that. It has stuck with me for over 10 years now. I absolutely love the healthy feeling of standing tall, no pain, and good posture.
What is good posture?
The key to good posture is the position of your spine. Your spine has three natural curves - at your neck, mid back, and low back. Correct posture should maintain these curves, but not increase them. Your head should be above your shoulders, and the top of your shoulder should be over the hips.
3 great reasons we should check for good posture:
It gives the digestive and respiratory systems the space they need to do their work.
It keeps the musculoskeletal system balanced, preventing injury or falls.
It improves self confidence and looks good!
4 simple exercises you can do to encourage good posture:
Sit or stand tall, lengthening the spine.
Drop the shoulders away from your ears.
Open your chest, drawing shoulder blades together in back.
Tuck your chin back.
I personally recommend a large fitness ball as your desk chair to encourage correct posture, relieve hip and back pain, as well as strengthen core.
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 high plank pose helps you develop balance and strength in your core and back, both important for good posture.
Come onto all fours and straighten your legs, lift your heels, and raise your hips.
Straighten your back and engage your abdominal, arm, and leg muscles.
Lengthen the back of your neck, soften your throat, and look down at the floor.
Make sure to keep your chest open and your shoulders back.
Hold this position for up to 1 minute at a time.
Downward Facing Dog.
Lying with your stomach on the floor, press into your hands as you tuck your toes under your feet and lift your heels.
Lift your knees and hips to bring your sitting bones up toward the ceiling.
Bend your knees slightly and lengthen your spine.
Keep your ears in line with your upper arms or tuck your chin all the way into your chest.
Press firmly into your hands and keep your heels slightly lifted.
Remain in this pose for up to 1 minute.
Keep in mind, if you are having back pain, this is no substitute for the advice/care of a trained Physician to help diagnose and treat. Please seek medical attention if you are experiencing pain or posture alignment changes as it may be an indicator of something that needs medical attention.
For more information check out our other blogs at www.leanwellonline.com for quick read topics on the 4 pillars of health: Lifestyle-Exercise-Attitude-Nutrition. If you would like a personal coaching session with me or Brian, you may schedule a free consultation with us to determine if we would make a good fit for your health and wellness goals.
The Power of Simple Lifestyle Changes. (-0001, November 30). Retrieved September 24, 2020, from https://www.ideafit.com/personal-training/the-power-of-simple-lifestyle-changes/
Cronkleton, E. (2020, May 29). Posture Exercises: 12 Exercises to Improve Your Posture. Retrieved September 25, 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/health/posture-exercises
Guide to Good Posture. (2020, February 10). Retrieved September 25, 2020, from https://medlineplus.gov/guidetogoodposture.html