There are plenty of posts about how poor posture can affect your mood, health, and overall well-being. You know you need to improve your posture and need to re-align your back, but what is the best method? The reality is there’s no instant cure for posture. Your back is the way it is through a lifetime of habits and behaviors. This conditioning doesn’t mean you should give up or be discouraged, but keeping a realistic attitude of how long it may take to correct your posture will help temper your expectations. Practice these exercises consistently, keep basic posture rules in mind (like avoiding a hunched back), and you will see results in time.
Yoga poses work toward warming up and correcting your spinal alignment. The “Downward Facing Dog” opens your shoulders and lengthens your spine, working to reverse the hunched look that often associates with poor posture. Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart, and tuck your toes in. Straighten out your legs and bend down with your back straight, aiming your hips toward the ceiling. Stretch your arms forward and spread your fingers. Hold this position for one minute – or as close to one minute as you can – while keeping your neck and head lined up with your spine.
The “Cobra Pose” reverses hunched upper backs by applying easy stretches to the spine while opening the chest. Lie down on your stomach and work the muscles in your back by lifting your head and upper chest. Your elbows should align under your shoulders for extra support. Open your chest by slowly relaxing your shoulders away from your ears. Your head should look ahead (not up) as you stay in this position for one minute.
Stand next to a wall while keeping good posture rules in mind (back straight, head up). Raise your arms up while keeping your stomach (or core) tight. When you raise your arms up, they should keep touching the wall while your spine remains still. This exercise makes the middle of your back and abs contract, which helps stabilize your spine.
As a reflex, most people will try to correct their spine when they lift something heavy. You may have noticed that carrying a heavy object when you have bad posture turns uncomfortable fast. A farmer’s carry exercise focuses on this idea. You need to carry a heavy weight with your shoulders back and with as little use of your spine as possible. When performing this exercise, you’ll feel how tall you are, and get a better idea of how you should look when walking around.
Once you find yourself comfortable doing simple exercises like these to correct your posture, the next step is transitioning into strength training your core muscles. Keep in mind that many things can contribute to poor posture and back pain. If you feel as if the pain stops you from doing exercises like these, you may have a more serious issue than posture. Contact us at Garden State Pain Control in New Jersey to find the best treatment for your condition.