How Your Posture is Hurting You and Simple Ways You Can Improve it Today

I grew up in dance class on most days, with a strong foundation in ballet. It was my element, and when I think about posture, my mind goes straight there. I learned to stand tall, keep my eyes up, shoulders back, my belly in, and there was an imaginary string attached to my sternum that lifted my chest up.

When I was home, my mom would have me walk around the living room with a book on my head to balance, to practice walking tall with good posture.

Habits Change Over Time

Even with this habit growing up, I have had to remind myself to practice good posture as I was older. So many things in life can naturally change our posture. I remember after both of my kids were born someone telling me my posture was changing. My shoulders began to round forward, and I was slouching more. This was coming from my daily habits of holding my babies in my arms and breastfeeding them, which was changing my posture, without me even realizing it. I was so consumed with my babies, of course, that working on my posture had escaped me.

Many of us are rounded forward at our desks all day working at computers. Some of us have let our lives shrink us a bit, and we don’t naturally stand tall and shoulders back anymore. I had to refocus my workouts recently, because I realized I was out of balance, because of my daily habits.

Often, we begin to feel discomfort in our necks, upper backs or shoulders because of this new posture we have developed.

Regardless of what has brought you to this place, we can improve it. I want you to become aware of your posture, your daily habits, and do some simple exercises and stretches a few times a week to improve it.

Is Your Posture Changing?

First, there are many types of posture, but for today we are mostly focusing on how our shoulders can become rounded forward. This is very natural for all of us and most of us have a slight bit of this without even realizing.

As with everything, there are a few simple habits you should add into your routine a few times a week. Check out the posture video above to see the stretches and exercises.

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3 Stretching Exercises to Improve Your Posture

You can stretch every day, and your goal is to open up your chest and the front of your shoulders. Always hold stretches for at least 20 -30 seconds. Relax into the stretch and don’t feel rushed.

1. If you are able to, bring both hands behind the back and open up the chest.

2. Another option is to place one hand on the inside of a doorway, and open up away from the hand to feel the same area stretch.

3. There is a good stretch on the foam roller in the video above as well.

This daily practice will make a difference.

1. Row with Tubing

Wrap or connect your tube around something, step back and row pulling your hands to your side, opening your chest, and squeezing your shoulder blades together.

2. Bent over Row and Back Extension

This is great on a stability ball, if you have one, or you can modify by standing. Start with small weights (3-5 lb). Lay over the ball on your belly, with the ball touching your hips. You can brace your feet against a wall. The weights are on the floor in front of you. You will lift the weights out to the side, for a rear delt row, and back down, for 12-15 reps. Then, put the weights down, and just lift your back for the Back Extension. Keep your head in neutral alignment throughout the exercise. Carefully lift 15-20 reps.

3. Modified Breast Stroke

Lay face down with your feet reaching long, and your hands rested by your side. Inhale, then lift your chest off the floor slightly, while reaching your hands to your feet, and opening your chest. Inhale, and hold in that position, then exhale and come down. Keep your abdominals engaged to support your back.

Daily Awareness of Your Posture

Throughout the day, pay attention to your posture. At any time that you feel yourself slumping, or rounding your shoulders forward, lift up tall, and feel your shoulders shift back. You can actually feel the muscles in your upper back, work to contract and feel the shoulders open up just slightly. This daily practice can help your posture immensely. It is so natural to grow into a habit of slumping, and rounding forward. Like most anything, become aware, and with simple daily habits, you can make a change.

You will feel and look more confident, you will open up your chest to breathe better, and bring your muscles into a better balance, which will just feel good.

Become a part of our journey today so you won’t miss the next video, or resource, that could help change how you feel, and possibly change your life, one simple choice at a time. 

Stand up tall and ENJOY the day!

Kelley Ranaudo

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