Why is good posture important?
When we work out, we are always reminded to have good form, but that doesn’t end when we step out of the gym doors. We should have good form as we live our everyday lives. We should stand with our spine straight, shoulders back, and our head looking forward.
Why is it so important to have good posture?
On the most basic level, good posture is essential because it places all of your bones in alignment throughout your whole body. If your shoulders are bent forwards, then your spine is bent, which in turn, affects your hip and leg bones. It also puts added stress on joints, tendons, and ligaments because they are being moved out of their natural positions. As we go throughout our day, we use our bodies in a variety of ways. We sit, bend down, grab something off a high shelf, walk, twist… we are rarely just laying flat on the ground doing nothing. If we are using our bodies in all these different ways with incorrect alignment, we will incur damage to our bones and muscles. As we grow older, this damage will become more on an issue and will limit our range of motions.
Good posture is important for other reasons as well
There are physiological reasons for having good posture.
A few decades ago, 110 undergraduate students participated in a variety of studies to determine how our posture affects us physiologically. They found that a person who has there shoulders slumped forward tend to feel more helpless and self conscience, whereas a person who had correct posture was found to be happier and more self confident.
Our posture can also say something about us to those we interact with.
They will develop opinions about us based on our posture. If we have good posture, they will see us as being confident and happy, whereas if we are slumped over, they will see us as being unhappy and not fun to be around. This also goes for job interviews. If you go into an interview with good posture, the interviewer will have a positive view of you. Noticing your perceived confidence, they will want to hire you over someone who they interview that is hunched over.
Another great reason for having good posture is that it affects your breathing and pulmonary functions.
When your shoulders are slumped over, it puts pressure on your lungs and heart, making it harder for them to function as they should. Opening your shoulders up and holding your spine straight allows your lungs and heart to fully expand and deliver essential air and blood to your body.
So what can you do to improve your posture?
Most often, poor posture is related to our pectoral muscles being too tight and our back muscles being too weak. To help correct your posture, try implementing these simple moves into your daily routine.
Stretch your chest muscles:
Spread your arms out wide and pull them back behind you.
You should also do shoulders rotations:
Shrug your shoulders in a circular motion to loosen up your chest and shoulder muscles. Go in a circular motion forwards, and then backwards.
Now Posture Exercises
Poor posture also reveals that your back muscles are too weak to hold your shoulders back where they should be, so strengthen your back by performing these simple moves:
Bent over Rows:
Standing up, bend at the hip. Hold weights in each hand, with your hands facing each other. Keeping your arms close to your body, pull your elbows up towards the ceiling, squeezing your back muscles at the top. You could do both arms together, or one at a time.
Bent over fly:
Standing up, bend at the hip. Hold weights in each hand, with your hands facing each other. Pull your hands up laterally until you reach shoulder height, squeezing your back muscles at the top.
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