The importance of good posture
It is not at all easy to maintain good posture today,particularly when having in mind the amount of time that we spend in front ofthe television or computer on a daily basis. However, self-discipline is one ofthe things that are of essential importance for all those who are willing toimprove their posture, because it can be done even without the help of aprofessional trainer, even though it might sound hard to believe. There are someexercises and stretches that should be done two or three times a week forapproximately 20 minutes, and the results will show very soon. Of course, it isimportant to perform them regularly, to breathe steadily and to hold thepositions for some 10 to 20 seconds.
Exercises that can improve the posture
The first group of exercises is aimed at strengthening thecore, which means the abdominals, lower back, obliques and hips. The benefits ofstrong core are numerous, and some of them are resistance to injury and pain,improved balance, better control and efficiency of the moves, which is notguaranteed when the core muscles are weak. Exercises that can be done for thispurpose include basic crunches, side plank, crunches with twist, plank hold,back extensions and slow swimming on ball, for example.
The second group of exercises is aimed at fixing roundedshoulders, which is a result of hours spent at the computer or in front of thetelevision, as well as driving, or doing some repetitive work. This is why it isimportant to strengthen the muscles of the upper back, at the same time makingthe chest more flexible and shoulders, lats and hips stretched instead of tightand shortened. The exercises that can help with this are reverse dumbbell flys,rows with resistance band, torso stretch, and standing chest.
The third group of exercises is aimed at neutralizing tiltedhips, since anterior pelvic tilt and lordosis are signs of postural abnormality,caused usually by weak hamstrings, glutes, and abs. People who have to spendmany hours in a sitting position often suffer from this problem, but luckily,something can be done about it as well. The hamstrings and glutes can bestrengthened by doing core exercises, bridges, and leg curls with ball, while tighthip and quad muscles can be stretched by performing standing quad stretch andkneeling quad and hip stretch, for example.
Since the position of the head is also important, it is necessaryto make the muscles of the neck stronger, because they are responsible forthis. There are neck retraction and headrest exercises that can be done, althoughneck stretches help with the posture as well.