The Right Posture Exercise

Submitted by Matt Papa on November 28, 2012

Most people underestimate the power of good posture and its subsequent effect on health. It is as important as eating right, exercising and getting enough rest. Good posture exudes confidence, poise, and most importantly, good health. Bad posture can be a result of poor posture development during childhood, long hours in front of a computer or television, driving for long periods and so on.

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Our bodies were designed to be perfectly aligned but gradually due to bad habits, we end up with incorrect postures that can lead to adverse health effects over time. Let us look at some ways that can help improve our postures.

What is a Good Posture?


Our bodies were built for movement, and for effective movement, all the joints need to be aligned with each other, and horizontally parallel to the ground. This would mean that your shoulder joints will be in line with your hip joints, which will be in line with the knee joints, and the knee joints will be in alignment with the ankle joints. Proper posture allows for the muscles to be pulled from the bone in the right manner. A poor posture shows an improper alignment of the joints, this is in turn makes the muscles work harder, and pulls from the bones harshly. Gradually over a period, the muscles start to get tense, and may weaken, giving rise to muscular imbalances. The domino effect eventually ends up in joint pains, back pains, and places stress on the entire body. So how does one correct it then? Postures can be corrected with the right exercises and good posture habits.

Upper Back and Shoulder Exercises

The shoulders and back can go through undue stress as a result of slouching for hours in front of the computer, or if bad posture has carried on from childhood. To relieve pain, stress, and to assist in gaining proper posture, the following exercises can be followed:

  • Lateral Pull Downs
  • Shoulder squeezes
  • Cross over rows
  • Core building

Stretches

Regular stretching exercises can not only de-stress the muscles but also help to address postural imbalances. These exercises are best conducted with the help of a professional trainer for optimum effective. Incorrect ways of doing exercises could further add to injury or result in the posture getting worse. There are various stretching exercises that can be done to target specific postural areas, these are:

  • Crunches for the back
  • Kneeling flexor stretch for the hips
  • Supine flexor stretch for the hips
  • Air bench for the neck, shoulders, arms and hands
  • Chest stretching

Ballet

Ballet is one of the toughest forms of dance forms, and requires discipline, endurance, and self-drive. Ballet dancers are often poised, look elegant, and most of all have all the characteristics of good posture. When learning or performing ballet, the entire body is stretched keeping in mind the alignment of the body. Ballet exercises help to strengthen the back, neck, shoulders, inner thighs, legs, ankles, and even the abdominal muscles.

Yoga

One of the oldest forms of exercise to achieve total well-being is yoga. This type of exercise is excellent for improving posture as it works with all aspects of the body, especially the spine which is the central point in maintaining good postural balance. The spine has natural curves which need to remain intact, too much sitting or standing can result in a mild forward curve, and a mild backward curve in different areas of the spine. It is highly recommended that all yoga exercises be done under the guidance of a certified yoga instructor. Certain yoga poses help to remedy these abnormal curves, these are:

Any recommended exercises should be performed only after consultation with your physician if you have any existing medical health conditions.

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