Keep up with your posture!

Posture is the position in which you hold your body upright against gravity while standing. Many people today tend to ignore how their posture looks, especially when a person has a job that requires them to be seated for long periods of time. The longer you have to sit during the day, the higher chance I will find you slouching. Slouching is when you round your shoulders forward and do not use your core to keep you in an upright position.  Even as I type this article I tend to catch myself slouching! As we slouch all day at work, we tend to continue slouching while walking and even as we exercise. Fortunately my job requires me to be standing and moving throughout the day as I train clients! Other jobs, like those that require you to be on a computer all day, can be detrimental to posture if you do not put extra work towards developing those muscles that fight gravity and pull us upright.

Posture can be fixed by focusing on three main areas that allow you to stand tall throughout the day; core, shoulders, and  hips.

Core: To start improving your posture, you need to start with your core. Your core involves muscles that not only allow us to pick up weight without injuring our backs, but the core also has the job of allowing us to stand upright.   When a person has a weak core, he or she will compensate by using other muscles in the back which will eventually lead to an injury.

Shoulders: A very strong sign of a poor posture is when a person has rounded shoulders. This most often happens because of jobs that require people to sit at a computer desk all day or even happen from driving for long periods of time. Our shoulders become rounded forward and the muscles in our chest, back and hips become shortened. This problem can be solved by strengthening our upper back muscles and stretching our chest muscles.

Hips:   When looking in the mirror from a side view, you should see your hips in a neutral and level position.  Some people tend to have a forward tilt in their hips, A.K.A. lordosis.  This forward tilt comes from long periods of sitting down.  The more a person sits, the more their posterior chain muscles (hamstrings, glutes, and posterior core) become tight.  By strengthening the posterior chain muscles and stretching the hip flexor muscles, we allow ourselves to stand taller without a slouch.

Here are three exercises that will help your posture so that you are standing taller, and performing exercises the correct way:

1. Core: Front Plank- utilize regressed plank on knees if needed

2. Shoulders: Resistance Band Pulls

3. Hips: Ball Hamstring Curls

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