We all know that a good posture gives us a taller and more elegant look, but standing straight can also do wonders for your health.
Did you know your posture affects your digestion, breathing and how well we move? That’s not to mention the ways it can boost your confidence. However many of us lack a good posture. It can be easy to slip into bad posture habits, through weakness, pain, and routine. There’s many ways you can be adding to bad posture without knowing it.
Here are some of the common causes of bad posture, as well as some tips to counter them!
While you may be comfortable slouching in a chair, over time this can strain your muscles and lead to bad posture. This can also increase tension and cause pain. Try to get in the habit of not slouching and sitting up correctly. Sitting on the edge of your chair will help to fix this, as it will cause your core muscles to activate, keeping you straight. While this might be uncomfy at first, this is because your muscles need to be conditioned to support you. Exercises like planks and bridges that strengthen your core and your glutes will help you to stop slouching.
2. Sticking your bum out
Some people suffer from something called hyperlordosis. This is an inward curve of your lower back that causes your bottom to stick out. This can lead to poor posture. Wearing heels can also cause this type of bad posture. You can fix this by doing more core exercises, and making an effort to stand up straight. Imagine a string attached to the top of your head pulling you upwards. This will help keep your body in alignment, to maintain your spines natural curves. Keep your shoulders back and relaxed, pull in your belly button, and try to balance your weight evenly between your feet.
3. Flat back
Standing with your pelvis tucked in, creates a straight lower back which can cause you to stoop forwards. This can cause pain when standing for a long time. This bad posture is caused by imbalances in your muscles, and sitting down for too long. If you suffer from a flat back, you might also notice neck strain. You can correct this by strengthening your shoulders, and doing back extensions. Chest stretches, pull ups, and back extensions are easy ways to remedy a flat back.
4. Putting weight on one leg
Most people tend to balance their weight unevenly between their feet when standing for a long period of time. While this can be comfortable, you’re actually using excessive pressure on one side of your hips and lower back, instead of using your core to keep you up. This can lead to muscle imbalances, and strain in the lower back. Carrying weight on one side can also cause this. Remedy this by consciously standing with your weight on both legs. Side leg raises and other leg exercises can also help to fix muscle imbalances in the hips.
5. Text Neck
Hunching over a keyboard or a phone, and leaning your head forward can be caused by a weak upper back and a tight chest. This can lead to a rounded upper back, and shoulder stiffness. The best way to remedy this is to keep your head upright, and do upper back, shoulder and neck strengthening exercises. These can be something as easy as neck stretches at your desk, but pull ups and chest stretches can also help.
6. Sticking your chin out
Pushing your chin out can cause bad posture as you end up leaning forwards too much. This can be caused by sitting too low, or having a screen too high - a common problem if you work on a computer each day. Adjust your seating so your eyes are aligned with your screen, which will avoid you leaning forwards or sticking your chin out. Try a laptop or desktop stand rather than placing it directly on your desk. This will help to keep your head level, and avoid your spine flexing for too long. You can also fix this problem by rolling your shoulders back and down, and pulling your core up, and lengthening your neck upwards, tucking in your chin.
7. Rounding your shoulders
Standing with your shoulders rounded can be caused by too much chest strength combined with weak muscles in the upper back. If you have rounded shoulders, your knuckles will face forward when your arms hang naturally by your side. Doing workouts that will strengthen your core and upper back will help to remedy this cause of bad posture.
8. Holding your phone
If you habitually hold your phone between your ear and shoulder can cause strain on your neck and shoulders, as these muscles aren’t meant to hold this type of position for a long time. It can cause strain on your muscles, and lead to imbalances between the sides of your neck. Try to get into a habit of using your hand to hold your phone, or even switch to a hands free device. Neck rotations and stretching between each side of your neck can help to ease any stiffness caused by holding your phone this way.
By Amy Cavill
Remember, yoga is a great way to strengthen your core and help your posture. Take a look at some of our yoga classes and programs, and start your practice to better posture today!
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Full Wheel: Saying Yes from Your Heart with Rob Loud
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