Balancing a book on your head, imagining holding a ball between your shoulder blades, puffing out your chest – all ways of ‘improving’ your posture that don’t actually work. Despite what ‘My Fair Lady’ might have you believe, great posture doesn’t come from being able to balance a book on top of your head whilst elegantly strutting around a parlour. Don’t get me wrong, good posture is important in all walks of life – especially during a workout, but old wives’ tales aren’t going to get you anywhere!
Why is posture important?
There’s a reason The Hunchback of Notre Dame looks so strange (apart from the actual facial features!) Bad posture might make you look like a shrinking violet, but it can also be bad for your health. First things first, good posture can completely increase your confidence, inside and out! Try standing in front of a mirror, and see how you look with your current posture. Now straighten up. See the difference? Good posture can take pounds off and show how confident you are on the inside! Healthwise, good posture helps your muscles and joints by keeping them in proper alignment, as well as keeping your spine strong. It also aids in digestive health – when you’re slouched over, imagine all your organs compressed together – not ideal to keep everything running smoothly!
Correct that posture!
Okay, so you wanna get a start on correcting your posture – we’ll lay out the 3 basics you need to know: sitting, standing and lying down.
With your feet firmly on the floor and knees bent, roll your shoulders back and tilt your pelvis slightly forward. You’re in perfect position when your ears, shoulders and hips are in line and you’re sat comfortably straight.
Stand straight, but make sure you don’t overcorrect and become stiff. Keep your feet hip-width apart and relax your shoulders, pulling them back and down. Your knees should be straight but not locked. Last but not least, raise your chin.
This one is different for specific people – only you know which way is most comfortable for you! It’s suggested that you don’t sleep on your stomach, and if you’re most chilled lying on your side, a pillow between your knees will maintain the alignment of your spine.
Easy exercises that help posture
Posture doesn’t just change in a day (I wish!) but there are multiple exercises you can do that’ll aid you in your quest for the perfect posture. Another great way to prep for good posture is yoga, so throw your leggings on and get to a class!
Inhale, raising your shoulders towards your ears. As you exhale, roll your shoulders backwards, pulling your shoulder blades down and towards each other.
Planks will strengthen your core – a key component in good posture! Get into a pushup position, and then rest on your forearms. Keep your back straight, balance equally on your arms and toes, engage your core and hold.
Lie on your stomach, with your arms extended above your head. Lift your shoulders off the floor, bringing your head with them and making sure your head is still in line with your spine. Return to your starting position and repeat.