Bad posture has all sorts of negative side effects, from aches and pains, to decreased confidence and mood. You know the look, hunched over with a downward gaze and rounded shoulders. If ignored, bad posture can and will cause all sorts of problems, including daily aches and pains, poor lifting form, muscular imbalances, negative self-image and low body confidence. Fortunately, by being more mindful and taking some corrective measures, we can fix these issues.
How did your posture get so bad in the first place?
What you do day in and day out affects your posture. Most of us don’t even realize when we begin to slouch, or our head starts to drop forward (how does your posture look now as you read this?) and even slightest change can exponentially effect gravity’s weight on us. As I always say, people are creature of habit, and when you begin to have bad posture day after day, it begins to solidify itself not only in your brain, but in your muscle and soft tissue. Because it’s so incremental, you avoid facing these habits until they have a profound effect on your quality of life.
How do you start to correct these issues?
The first and most important thing is to become more aware of your body and posture throughout the day. Noticing when you begin to exhibit bad posture in the moment will allow you to correct and start to eliminate the bad habits. Maybe you’ve heard that sitting is the new cigarette. While that might be a tad apocalyptic, sitting is a killer of good posture. If you are forced to sit for long periods of time, set a reminder to get up and take a 60 second walk every hour. Sacrificing one minute every hour will not cost you any productivity but will do wonders for your posture. Also, set up a reminder system to keep you aware of your posture throughout the day. When you fist start out you will need to set the reminder frequently, think every 10 minutes. This will help you to become more aware of your posture and after a week you can shorten the reminders to every 30 min. Don’t only think about how you sit at work during the day, your couch posture probably isn’t any better, so you need be aware in every situation. Practice your reminders and 1-minute walks until they become a normal part of your routine and you get out of your slump.
Even with constant reminders, fixing your posture can be a slow process. Here are some corrective strategies for the common postural issues I see everyday.
Forward Head/Rounded Shoulders
SMR: lats, traps
Activate: floor scaption
Integrate: ball combo
SMR: adductors, hip flexor
Activate: glute bridge, bird dog
Integrate: assisted single leg squat
SMR: calves, tfl
Activate: single leg calf raise, towel scrunch
Integrate: single leg balance and reach
Start by doing these exercises everyday, it should only take you about 10 minutes to get through them all. Stay consistent with these exercises, be mindful of your static posture, and you'll start to notice differences right away in the way you feel and look.
If you're still struggling with your posture, book a free consultation, we're happy to help you out!