July 13, 2024

Posture Pointers by Lisa Wilcox

The quality of your posture can make a big difference in your life. Good posture can make you look and feel younger, stronger and more confident; and can help improve your breathing, advance your sports performance, decrease your risk of injury and improve your bio-mechanical efficiency. And, over the course of your life, good posture can prevent painful physical strain in your joints. Try the following 3 tips to improve your posture:

Find Neutral. This is the position in which the spine is best equipped to deal with external stress and strain. Try this simple exercise to find your neutral pelvis: Lay down on your back with knees bent. Rock your pelvis slowly forward and back, arching the back, pushing the navel to the ceiling then pull navel towards the floor flattening the lower spine. Then settle into a place right in the middle of both extremes and that is your “neutral” pelvis.

Vary Your Position. Counter the damaging effects of constant sitting by standing as much as possible. Try this sitting trick of the trade: sit towards edge of chair with both feet flat on the floor facing forward. Roll your hips forward keeping an arch in your lower back, and pull your shoulders back and down. Try to maintain this seated position for as long as you can to strengthen your spine stabilizers.

Don’t Ignore Your Upper Body. Seek exercises that help reintegrate the natural coordination and rhythm among all your upper body posture specific muscles. Try the following upper body move: stand with feet hip width apart, and arms extended out to your side making a light fist, pointing the thumbs forward (palms down). Circle the arms forward keeping elbows straight making a circle about 6 inches in diameter, 40 times. Then point your thumb behind you (palm up) and circle back 40 times. This will wake up the posture muscles of your upper body, reminding the shoulders to remain down and back.

Lisa Wilcox, Owner of Pro-Motion Fitness, has been working in the fitness industry for 25 years and is a certified Pilates instructor and Posture Alignment Specialist. You can contact Lisa at lisa@promotionfitness.net or www.promotionfitness.net.

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