As I move throughout NYC for private consulting work, I’m selfishly absorbing all the amazing efforts I’m seeing trainers put forth to really make a difference in the lives of others. Not just for weight loss and toning efforts but also to improve posture which largely impacts how we feel about ourselves.
Improving people’s posture is typically not at the forefront of one’s mind when considering becoming a trainer. We tend to think about lifting, cardio and dynamic activities that move people towards their goals. Within the last 10 years, however, there has been a shift towards corrective exercise. The reason this approach became popular was purely out of need. People with movement imbalances and poor posture were simply reaching body limitations before they were reaching their goals. People’s bodies were literally getting in the way of progress.
As we assess posture, we realize it’s a whole body issue. A rounded back, forward head, and butt out posture add up to a less than desirable physique. Posture IS what you do and don’t do. If your job requires that you spend a lengthy amount of time in a flexed posture, you will start to look that way. Sitting at a desk is a perfect example of this. Once you’re aware your posture is not where you want it to be, you may start to think about standing taller, pulling your shoulder blades together or drawing your navel in. While the intention is great, the outcome is not. Reason being, these are isolated attempts at addressing an integrated problem.
If you’re looking to improve your posture, think about your core: your ribcage and your pelvis. When posture is inhibited, these regions tend to be “stuck” together. When you start to perform movements that create space between them, your core muscles get turned on and you’ll start to immediately notice that you feel more upright.
Give the following routine a try from these two stride stances: 1. Right foot ahead of left and 2. Left foot ahead of right. You will reach both sides 5x each, switch foot position and repeat. Move slowly to your end range without forcing it. While in stride, consider this:
- Start with a stride that’s just right, not too short or too long
- When in stride, widen (not lengthen) your base so your balanced
- Make sure your back foot is pointed straight ahead
Reach #1- Up and Over
Reach your right hand straight overhead as high as you can. When your hand reaches, your ribcage should lift. You should feel your ribcage tilting to the L when your R arm goes overhead. Reverse the motions and repeat 5x. Perform from both strides.
Reach #2 – Bow and arrow
Reach your R arm out in front of you as you pull your L elbow back. This will twist your ribcage to the left. Reverse arm motions and repeat 5x. Perform from both strides.
Reach #3 – Up then back
Using one arm at a time, lift your Right arm up and overhead. Reach up first, then back. This should give you a nice stretch through the front of your belly. If you feel your back, reach higher and not as far back. Bring the Right arm all the way down and repeat on the Left, 5x per side. Perform from both strides.
After performing this routine, you should feel more upright. Remembering that your posture is dynamic and takes on the shape of what you do, adding this routine into your daily repertoire, especially after sitting for prolonged periods of time will be very beneficial. People always ask me: Will I have to do this routine every day forever? And my question back is: How important is your posture?
Let’s find a simple balance between stuck in certain positions and restoring our body’s with healthy movement so we remain Conditioned for Life!
If you have any questions or would like to attend Condition for Life’s posture workshop, UpRIGHT, you can email me at email@example.com. If you found this information valuable, please share this post with your friends. Thanks. Be well.