Poor posture is a modern day problem! What causes the rounding of the upper back? Sitting at desks, peering over computer screens, mobile phone use, long hours driving or commuting are often the main culprits. But what is happening in the body when this ‘poor posture’ develops?
The rounding of the upper back (often referred to as kyphosis) results in long and weak upper back muscles which don’t activate when we need them too and over time this means tight chest and shoulders which can limit shoulder mobility. Posture issues can develop to different degrees but if your back starts to round then the problem will only get worse unless you devote sometime to increasing strength, body awareness and over time, better posture!
The good news is, a little goes a long way! You just need to wake those long sleepy muscles up and stretch those tight ones and your posture will start to improve on a daily basis.
Here are some activation exercises put together by Free Spirit Trainer Martin Browne.
- Lie on front, elbows at right angles and lift hands away from the floor.
- Postural extensions: glide hands by your side reaching over the head and back to your side without touching the floor. (You can progress this exercise by keeping your palms facing the floor throughout)
- T lifts: take care to squeeze shoulder blades together as you lift.
- Plank shoulder taps: get used to loading your body weight through one shoulder and then the other.
- Down dog to Up dog: these are challenging! Start small and make the movement bigger as you go. Be sure to warm up your lower back thoroughly first.
Try to do these three or four times a week. 2 sets of 10 is ideal and then you can build up as they become easier and your posture improves.
When walking or sitting at a desk: shrug your shoulders towards your ears and then release your shoulders, drawing your shoulder blades down and back. Think about your chest being lifted up towards the ceiling and walk proud!
Get in touch today to book some sessions in with Mr Browne himself 🙂