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5 exercises to fix bad posture

Bad posture can affect many areas of your life. If you have bad posture you could end up with many health problems. These include chronic neck and back pain, headaches, digestion problems, difficulty breathing and nerve compression. In the age that we are living in we need to be more aware of our posture than ever. Many jobs involve staring at a computer for hours on end, and a lot of socialising takes place hunched over a smart phone.

You don’t have to live with pain and problems associated with poor posture. The best thing to do is to see a chiropractor in Curl Curl or your local area to begin working on your issues. But in between appointments, you should also do your own exercises at home to keep strengthening your muscles and correcting your posture.

Here are some exercises you can do to reverse the effects of poor posture:

*If you feel pain while doing any of these exercises, stop immediately and speak to your chiropractor.

The Chin Tuck

This neck strengthening exercise is helpful when you have forward-head posture. It can be done at any time, in any position (sitting or standing) and is quick.

  1. Look straight ahead and relax your shoulders – make sure they are back and down.
  2. Placing two fingers on your chin, slightly tuck your chin and move your head back until you have created a double chin.
  3. Hold for 3-5 seconds and then release.
  4. Repeat 10 times.

 

Back Extension

Strengthening your core muscles will help your posture considerably. These are the muscles in your torso, such as the abs and back. This exercise will help strengthen the back.

  1. Lie on your stomach with your forehead on the floor and your arms by your sides, palms up.
  2. Keeping your eyes looking downward at the floor, contract your back muscles so that your torso lifts off the floor. Imagine your body lengthening from the crown of your head through to your fingertips.
  3. Pause, lower and repeat 5 times.
  4. Next, bring your arms out straight over your head so the palms are resting on the floor in front of you (the same position as diving).
  5. Keeping your arms and head fixed, lift both legs together. Imagine them lengthening.
  6. Pause, lower and repeat 5 times.

 

Backward Arch

When fixing your posture, opening your chest muscles is just as important as working on your back muscles. To strengthen your back you need to allow your chest and abs to loosen. You can do this via a couple of different exercises. For this one below, you will need a physio ball.

  1. Lie backwards over the physio ball with your feet on the floor, knees bent and hands on your hips until you feel balanced.
  2. When you are sure you’re balanced, take your hands off your hips and stretch your arms wide to the sides.
  3. Your neck and head should be relaxed on the ball.
  4. Take a long, deep breath through your chest and your stomach.
  5. If it is pain free, hold the position for one minute, enjoying the feeling of your chest muscles stretching.

 

Doorway Stretching

If you don’t have a physio ball, another exercise that is good for opening your chest that you can do anywhere is the doorway stretch.

  1. Stand in a doorway, bend your arm at the elbow and lift it parallel to the floor, with your fingers pointed towards the ceiling. Place your hand on the doorjamb.
  2. Very slowly lean into your raised arm so you are pushing against the doorjamb for about 10 seconds.
  3. Release and then do it again, but this time with a slight lunge so that your chest moves forward, past the doorjamb. Do this for about 10 seconds.
  4. Repeat three times on each side.

 

Shoulder Blade Pinch

You’ve strengthened your neck and your back and loosened your chest, now you need to concentrate on your shoulders. You need to make sure they are back, down and relaxed in order to have good posture. This exercise is quick and simple and you can do it anywhere.

  1. Keep your shoulders down.
  2. Squeeze your shoulder blades together, as though you are trying to hold a pencil between them.
  3. Hold for 10 seconds.
  4. Repeat several times a day.

 

Continue to do all of these exercises regularly while also seeing your chiropractor. You should also stretch regularly throughout the day to make sure you don’t stiffen up and fall back into your bad posture habits. Some quick and easy stretches include:

  • Move your head slowly from side to side to stretch your neck.
  • Extend your arms behind your back and clasp your hands together and raise them, opening your chest.

Raise one arm above your head, then bend it at the elbow so the hand goes behind your back. Reach the other arm so that the opposite hand reaches the fingers from the top hand. Stay like this for about 30 seconds.


April 30, 2016
Georgina Smith