Stretches to Help With Posture
Stretches to Help With Posture
Our bodies adjust to the positions we spend the most time in.
If your typical day consists of sitting at your laptop or desk for 8 and 12 hours per day, and then reclining for a few hours in the evenings to catch up on your latest show, you’re not the only one. Americans sit on average for 13 hours each day according to an investigation carried out in 2013. Add up all those hours and you’ll see why our posture is more slouched, curved, and aching. If the term “poor posture” recalls memories of your mother saying to you “sit straight!” then keep in mind that in this instance, mom knew best.
When we have poor posture, certain muscles within our body — like the back, neck, and shoulders get shorter. Our bodies adjust to the postures that we spend most time in. However, as time passes these muscles may create more health problems.
Poor posture can do more than simply affect the physical structure of your body. It affects numerous aspects including how our bodies produce hormones, how our blood flows how we feel inside our body, and the way we’ll be able to move when we get older. It’s possible that we don’t instantly recognize the harm the posture of our body is causing but our bodies do.
The body can associate closed or slumped-over, postures with stress, resulting in the release of cortisol. Contrarily the more open or high-power postures can release endorphins, and even testosterone, which is a dominant hormone that can help reduce anxiety and boost feelings of confidence.
In addition, not only can your posture affect your health and height but it also affects your mental well-being and the way you perceive yourself. If you want to be a better person try these seven stretches each morning to increase your blood flow and loosen muscles that are tight and improve your awareness of your body so that you can be tall and straight as you head out of the front door.
- Begin by placing your hands on your knees.
- Extend your knees as much as shoulder width away.
- With your bottom feet up and your big toes against one another.
- Bring your hands forward extend your arms straight to the mat’s front or lay your arms across the floor with your body.
- Slowly, begin to lower your hips to sit on the heels.
- Relax your face on the floor.
- Breathe in here for 5-10 minutes of deep breaths.
The reason it works: The Child’s Pose assists you in exploring your range of motion within your shoulders, by stretching your arms high above your head. It also assists in lengthening and stretching the spine which is often in a slump after years of poor posture.
Standing Forward Fold
Muscles exercised in the neck, shoulders, and Hamstrings
- Start by placing your feet hip-width apart.
- With a wide bend in your knees to help support and even out your body’s form inhale while you lean forward on your hips and lengthen your torso’s front.
- Turn your arms. Secure each elbow using the opposite hand. The crown of your skull should hang downwards. Put your heels on the floor while lifting your seated bones toward the ceiling.
- Take your shoulders off your ears. Let your head and neck drop.
- Extend your legs to the point that you feel a stretch in your muscles of the hamstring. Try to engage the quadriceps muscle in order to help the muscles in your hamstrings relax.
- If you can maintain your torso extended as well as your knees in a straight line, put your fingertips or palms on the floor near your feet.
- Let your body relax deeper into the pose every time you exhale. Letting your head hang free while you feel the tension rolling off your neck and shoulders.
- Keep your pose on for approximately 30 seconds.
What it does is stretch the hamstrings, open the hips, and may assist in relieving tension in the neck and shoulders. It can be a hefty stretch for the hamstrings so make sure you don’t overdo it. Instead, let the shoulders’ tension to release.
Muscles trained: back the chest, back, abs
- Begin by standing on your feet. Your wrists must be placed beneath your elbows, and they are then stacked underneath your shoulders. Make sure your fingers are spread out against the ground to increase stability. Keep your knees in a stacked position over your hips your toes uncovered, and the tops of your feet placed on the ground.
- The length should be extended from your tailbone down towards your neck, ensuring your neck is level and your head is a couple of inches from your finger. This is the starting point.
- Start your Cat phase. After exhaling, you can tuck your tailbone into the ground and use abdominal muscles to pull your spine towards the ceiling, creating the appearance of a cat dressed in Halloween. The lengthening of your neck. Letting your head extend towards your chest so that your ears drop down your biceps.
- After exhaling, “swoop and scoop” your pelvis into the cow position, so that your stomach is lowered towards the floor. Your chest and chin should be lifted and look up at the ceiling. The shoulder blades should be widened. Take your shoulders away from your ears.
- Cycle through Cat-Cow several times. Be cautious not to put stress and pressure on your head or neck.
The reason it works is because this sequence of movement can assist in improving the awareness of your spine which is a major component of poor posture. The Cat-Cow movement is best done through the core and pelvis to ensure that when you inhale, you’re making an anterior tilt of the pelvis to ensure that your tailbone faces the ceiling. When you exhale, you are creating a lateral tilt such that your tailbone will be looking to the earth.
Muscles trained: back and chest muscles and abdominals
- With your legs about hip-width apart and your knees bent put your hands on your front or rest them on your thighs for extra stability.
- Keep your legs static. Start with the Cat (upward) stage When you exhale, bring your tailbone in using your abdominal muscles. This will push your spine towards the ceiling. This will create the appearance of a cat from Halloween. Increase the length of your neck. Let your head reach towards your chest while keeping the alignment of your spine.
- After exhaling, “swoop and scoop” your pelvis into the Cow position until your stomach is lowered towards the floor. Your chest and chin should be lifted and look up at the ceiling. Spread your shoulders and then draw your shoulders back from your ears.
- Ride Through Standing Cat-Cow a few times.
The reason it works It stimulates various muscles in the back. It will help you increase the awareness of your back’s position about your body. If your work requires you to be in the same place all day, you should take a break and then cycle through Standing Cat-Cow a few times to counteract the negative effects of sitting for long periods.
Muscles exercised: abdominals abductors, obliques glutes, and shoulders
- Begin on all fours and keep your hands spread out slightly.
- Take one step back, then step back with the other.
- Maintain your core active and active, while keeping your pelvis neutral. Bring your tailbone towards your heels. Keep your legs in motion in a way that you’re pulling upwards on your kneecaps and your quads. Push back your heels to ensure that your calves are engaged as well.
- By placing your elbows under your shoulders, make space between your ears and shoulders so that you have an occasional stretch. To ensure that your chest doesn’t sink, puff to open to the area between your lower and middle back until the shoulder blades shift away from each other.
- Take 3 to 5 breaths in 10 rounds.
The reason it works: If you notice that your hips or stomach sink, try tilting your pelvis a bit toward the forward direction. But should you find that this is too much, lower your knees to the floor and keep your core tight and your pelvis in a neutral position. This pose requires awareness of your posture of the spine as well as engaging the abdominal muscles. This core strength is crucial to encourage correct posture.
Muscles trained: Hamstrings, calves, hips,
- Begin by doing all fours.
- Toes should be tucked in and you can lift your hips and lift your sitting bones to the ceiling.
- Bring your heels back towards the mat, but do not allow them to move on the floor.
- Lower your head, then stretch your neck.
- When you are there, ensure your wrists are aligned with the edges of your mat. To relieve the stress on your wrists press into your forefinger’s knuckles and thumbs.
- Take at least three deep breaths.
The reason it works: It is useful for opening the chest’s anterior wall and shoulders, which are often round due to excessive work at a desk. If you practice regularly, you may be able to ease back and neck discomfort caused by poor posture. You may even end up standing up higher, and more upright.
Make sure to draw your shoulder blades back to make room in the neck. If you are prone to squeezing your shoulders up towards the ears, this could indicate that you’re not having enough strength in your upper body. When your shoulder muscles start to tighten bend your knees, move into child’s poses, and let it relax until you’re ready to take the position once more.
Thoracic Spine Rotation
Muscles trained: back and chest muscles, abdominals
- Begin on all fours by spreading your fingers slightly.
- Put your left hand behind your head however, keep your right hand firmly to the ground ahead of you, with fingers spread.
- Your left elbow should be rotated to high in the air while breathing. Then stretch the upper part of your torso and hold for a full breath, both in and out.
- Return to the beginning position. Repeat for 5-10 breaths.
- Repeat the switch and then change arms.
What it does The exercise is a stretch and increases the mobility of the torso area, focusing on the thoracic spinal column (the upper and middle back). It also eases stiffness in the middle and lower back. The ability to move the spine thoracically is essential for loosening the tightness of your back muscles. The purpose of this exercise is to move the muscles throughout the spine in its entire range of movement.
What Science Suggests About Posture and Stretching
There currently needs to be evidence that directly links stretching and better posture however, science, as always, is working to uncover the evidence. A study in 2010 research study indicates that stretches may improve posture. Several researchers from the University of Sao Paulo believe that it can be beneficial enough that they’re currently seeking participants to participate in a clinical trial looking into the relationship between stretching, improved posture, and lower back pain due to sitting.