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2023 Author: Malcolm Clapton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-07-28 10:38
Moderate exercise and everyday life hacks will help you forget about stoop.
Slouching is a side effect of a sedentary lifestyle. And the more time we spend in a stooped position, the higher the risk of getting additional problems: tension in the neck and back, difficulty breathing, poor circulation, headaches.
In addition, posture affects mood. When we sit hunched over, it is easier for us to immerse ourselves in negative memories. Conversely, with correct posture, it is easier to think positive and feel confident.
It would seem that the solution to the problem is on the surface - you need to sit and stand upright. But it's not that simple. Our back is not designed to be straight, because the spine naturally curves slightly. Forcibly straightened, "soldier" posture for him is no better than hunched over. Both poses put excessive pressure on the spine.
The correct posture is one in which the ears are level with the shoulders, and the shoulder blades are laid back. To correct posture and get rid of slouching, you need to strengthen your muscles and train yourself not to lean forward.
How to correct your posture with exercise
If you exercise regularly, you may already be doing some posture exercises. If not, set aside time for them several times a week to take care of your spine. We propose to take as a basis the workout How to Fix Your Rounded Shoulders by Yuri Elkaim, who has been studying issues in the field of fitness and a healthy lifestyle for many years and filming video workouts for his YouTube channel.
Repeat the stretching exercises every day, maybe even several times. Hold each pose for 20-30 seconds.
For the muscles of the chest and shoulders
The starting position is standing. Clasp your hands behind your back. Gently pull your shoulders back and down. Do not stretch your neck forward. You will feel how the chest "opens" and the muscles of the shoulders stretch.
For hip flexors
Starting position - standing, right leg in a lunge. Lower your left knee to the floor and push your pelvis forward slightly until you feel the thigh muscles stretch. To further enhance the effect, tighten the muscles of the left buttock. Change your leg after 20-30 seconds.
For the quadriceps femoris
The starting position is standing. Bend your right leg back and grab your hand around the ankle. Gently pull your leg up.
For the muscles of the back of the thigh
The starting position is sitting. Stretch one leg forward, bend the other in front of you so that the knee is directed to the side, and the heel is toward the groin. Slowly lower your chest to your thigh, and with your hands stretch to the toe of a straight leg. Hold this position and then switch legs.
2. Strengthen your back muscles
Exercise several times a week in addition to stretching.
Get into a normal push-up position. Try to keep your body in one straight line from head to toe. Squeeze the shoulder blades together and then return to the starting position. Do 5-10 reps.
Unlike normal push-ups, this type of push-up involves very little movement. It works the muscles of the upper back in the area of the shoulder blades, which are responsible for the correct position of the shoulders.
Sliding along the wall
Starting position - standing with your back to the wall. Lean your head, upper back, lower back and tailbone against the wall, and push your legs slightly forward. Lower your chin, bend your elbows 90 degrees and press them against the wall. Hold the position for 30-60 seconds. To work out your upper back muscles, slowly raise and lower your arms.
Abduction of the shoulder blades with an expander tape
Pull the tape around a stable object at waist level. Keeping your elbows at your sides at a 90-degree angle, pull the tape towards you, sliding your shoulder blades together. Return to starting position and do 8-12 reps.
4. Build your core muscles
This is not only the press, but a whole complex of muscles that hold us in a straight position. When they are weak, the spine does not receive the necessary support and we begin to lean forward. The proposed exercises will also strengthen the muscles of the lower back.
To perform the plank, take a push-up position: arms under the shoulders, the body forms one straight line. You can also do the exercises on the elbows. The main thing is that the back is straight and the pelvis does not sag. Hold the position for 30-60 seconds.
Exercise with medball
Starting position - lying on the floor, legs and arms raised up, legs bent at the knees. Hold a 1.5–2 kg medball or other suitable weight in your hands. Using your core muscles, lower your right leg, but do not touch the floor. Then return to the starting position. Do 8-10 reps, alternating legs.
3. Do yoga
The proposed positions will help to simultaneously stretch problem areas and strengthen weakened muscles. Stay in each pose for 20-30 seconds.
The starting position is lying on your stomach. Push off the floor with your hands and straighten your elbows, while trying to use exactly the back muscles. Focus on opening your shoulders by tilting your head back slightly.
Downward Dog Pose
Starting position - standing on all fours, wrists directly under the shoulders. Push off the floor and straighten your legs, lifting your hips towards the ceiling. Try to keep your head and neck in line with your spine, and try to touch the floor with your heels.
Upward facing dog pose
The starting position is lying on your stomach. Push your hands off the floor and straighten them completely, put your feet on your toes. The hips should be slightly raised off the floor.
You can combine the two exercises and go from a downward dog to an upward dog in one smooth motion.
5. Use a massage roller
It is a very handy tool that can help relieve tension in muscles and connective tissues. Practice with him 2-3 times a week.
Upper Back Exercise
Lie on your back and place the roller under your upper back. Cross your arms over your chest or lock them behind your head and slowly roll back and forth. Stay in places where you feel tension for 20-30 seconds.
Exercise for chest muscles
Roll over onto your stomach and place the roller under your ribcage next to your shoulder joint. Move your hand up and down, lingering at more tense points for 20-30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
How to fix your posture with simple habits
Adopt simple tricks and healthy daily habits that will help you avoid slouching and maintain correct posture.
1. Sit on backless chairs
Most of us are uncomfortable sitting for a long time without the ability to lean against something, but this is a good way to strengthen our back. You can also practice on a chair with a back, but it's more difficult to do it - you just want to relax and not use your own muscles. Protect yourself from this temptation, at least as long as you develop good posture.
So, while sitting on a stool or chair, imagine that your head rises to the ceiling like a balloon. The spine is a rope, and it also stretches upward. Start with 5 minutes in this position and gradually increase the time.
Sit like this when you work at your computer, watch TV, or use your phone. Try to look straight ahead without tilting your head and neck down.
2. Rest in a squatting position
In fact, she is familiar to you from childhood: small children easily squat down and often sit in this position. It is not customary for us to do this in adulthood. But this pose relieves tension from the back and also helps to engage the knees to their full range, which is beneficial for the knee joints.
Squatting down, try to keep your head up and your back straight. Press both feet to the floor, heels should not rise. At first it will be difficult for you, but with regular practice it will become easier.
Find out what is the reason?
Why do we need to squat more often and why we almost stopped doing it
3. Bring food to you, rather than leaning towards the table
Pay attention to how you sit while eating. Most likely, you tilt your head down towards the plate. At the same time, you slouch and in the process unnecessarily load the spine. Instead, try to bring the cutlery to your mouth while keeping your back straight.
In order to remember this, come up with a signal that will remind you to change your posture. For example, do this every time you see a salt shaker on the table. When you eat at home, you can turn on the alarm that will ring every few minutes to remind you to correct your posture.
4. Place a pillow under the laptop
A human head in a neutral position weighs about 5 kilograms. When we tilt it forward to look at the screen, we put a lot of stress on the neck and spine. For example, when the head is tilted at 60 degrees - by 27 kg. And in this position we often spend more than one hour.
So when sitting with your laptop on your lap, place a pillow or stack of paper underneath it. This will help you look ahead and keep your head straight.
5. Lie on the floor at the end of the day
Spread a rug or towel on the floor and lie down. Bend your knees and press your feet firmly against the floor. Put your hands on your stomach, put a couple of books under your head. You just need something hard, not a pillow. On it, the head will drop down, and it is important for us that the head and spine are on the same line.
For the same reason, you should not replace the floor with a bed. A mattress, no matter how hard it is, will not provide the back with the necessary support, and, accordingly, the desired effect.
Stay in this position for 20 minutes and you will feel the tension release from your back. Try to do this regularly.
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