7 Tips and 4 Exercises to Improve Your Posture

It is important to have a good body posture as it boosts your confidence and leaves people a good impression. It also diminishes the chances of getting injured, reduces the excessive load on your skeletal muscles and assists in efficient movement. In contrast, poor posture may cause headaches, backache, injury to your rotator cuff and many other similar problems. So, how to have a good posture?

How to Improve Posture

1. Keep Your Body Straight While Standing or Sitting

In a good standing posture, the weight of your body should be evenly dispersed to all sides of your feet, i.e. front, back, right and left sides. While sitting, use an office chair that has proper features to support your back muscles. Align your ears, shoulders, and hips in one plane and avoid prolonged sitting. To ease your back muscles, you can change your position by sitting forward at an edge of the seat with your back straight.

Sitting on the balance ball may help in achieving a good posture. In this position, the lower abdomen is made to move forward, which enhances the lumbar curvature and shifts the shoulders behind. This mimics the sitting on edge of your office chair.

Always avoid bad postures such as uneven crossing of legs, inclination towards one side, hunching back and shoulders or slanting your head.

2. Get Up and Keep Changing the Positions

Sitting in one posture for a prolonged duration may tire your muscles. To relax them, you acquire lazy positions such as slouching and slumping. However, these poor postures may further aggravate the pressure on your neck and back muscles instead of relaxing them. Therefore, you should keep on changing the positions. If you are sitting in an office chair, take rest every half hour for two minutes by stretching, standing or walking.

3. Try to Use Posture-Friendly Ergonomic Props and Office Chairs

Posture-friendly ergonomic props take the load off the spine and ergonomic office chairs are specifically designed to support the back muscles. While sitting at work or driving in a car, you can use footrests, lumbar back supports, pillows or towels to decrease back strain.

It is also important to use proper corrective eye lenses and to keep your computer screens at an eye level. This will prevent tilting your head forward which may unnecessarily strain your neck muscles. Simply following the aforementioned tips addresses the problem of how to improve posture.

4. Wear Supportive Footwear

Daily use of high heels affects the body’s center of gravity and deteriorates your posture by compensatory change in the alignment of the skeleton. To avoid discomfort while standing for a long time, support your leg on a foot rest, wear supportive shoe orthotics or stand on a soft rubber mat on the floor.

5. Remember to Keep Good Posture During Activities

It is equally important to keep notice of ergonomics and posture during activities like walking, lifting weights, typing something or talking on the telephone. Trying to walk tall while keeping your shoulders behind also prevents injury to the back. These injuries mostly occur due to the awkward movement during lifting or twisting.

6. Observe Your Sleep Posture

Improper sleeping positions may also result in pain in your back and neck muscles. While lying on your side, place a pillow in between your knees to avoid dropping your knees down on your back. If you are sleeping on your back, place a pillow underneath your knees. This will open up the joint spaces in the spinal cord. Sleeping in a prone position increases the possibility of straining your neck muscles.

7. Consider Visiting a Chiropractor

Chiropractic biophysics (CBP) is an invasive technique that provides an effective solution for the problem of how to improve posture. Its philosophy lies in creating an environment that corrects individual’s health and body posture. The overall procedure of CBP is based on re-educating the spine’s tendons and ligaments to correct the postural deformations and misalignment. In CBP, equipment called traction is used to correct the spine posture. This technique takes months to work but the end results are permanent.

Exercises to Help Improve Posture

1. Yoga Sit-Up

  • Lie on your back and keep your legs straight.
  • Flex your feet and place your arms above the level of the head.
  • Gently press your lower back towards the floor. Then pull your belly in and up towards spine while exhaling.
  • Slowly move up with your arms off the floor, and then roll up your shoulders and head one vertebra at a time until you assume a sitting posture with your abdominal muscles pulled in.
  • Slowly, move back to the previous position and repeat the procedure three to five times.

2. Crossover

  • Lie on your back while keeping your palms behind the head.
  • Lift your chest off the ground and pull your knees into the chest, while keeping your lower back touching firmly on the floor.
  • Exhale while moving your lower abdomen inward and upward towards the spine.
  • Then, bend your one knee towards your chest and extend your other leg straight and slowly rotate your body towards the side of bent knee.
  • Now, try the same sequence on the opposite side. Repeat the exercise five to ten times.

3. Cobra Pose

How to improve posture? Try this exercise.

  • Lie flat on your belly and place your palms onto the floor at the level of ribs.
  • Keep your legs straight and press your feet into the floor.
  • Now, exhale while contracting your abdominal muscles inward and upward towards the spine.
  • Stretch out through your spine and slowly lift your head and chest up from the ground.
  • Make sure that you only use your back muscles. Avoid pushing down into your arms for lifting up.
  • Keep your hip bone on the floor and look down to relax the neck muscles. Slowly move your lower back down.
  • Repeat the procedure three to five times.

4. Plank Pose

  • Start this exercise on your hands and knees with your palms in line with your shoulder.
  • Extend your legs straight and tuck your toes inward.
  • Pull your abdominal muscles inward and upward towards the spine and look down into the floor.
  • Hold onto this position until you get tired.
  • Take a little rest and then repeat the entire procedure while pulling the abdominal muscles in and up to prevent sagging of your lower back during exhalation.
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