Getting Better Results All Starts With Improving Posture
More often than not, many do not think twice about their posture and how it affects their health. But since you actually want to know how to improve posture, you’re already doing a lot better than most! When it comes to athletic training, strength training, or bodybuilding, improving posture is vital to your sustained success.
If you want to know how to stop slumping and slouching, you’re in the right spot.
What Does It Really Mean to Improve Posture or Correct Posture?
If you feel like you have poor posture, or it can be improved, I can certainly guarantee you are right. Especially if it’s difficult to stand, sit, lie down or simply be comfortable for long periods of time.
By improving your posture, you take your old habits and instill new ones that are optimal for the health of your spine, vertebrae, joints, ligaments, and muscles.
Basically, you are rewiring your body to keep your bones and joints in natural alignment, so your muscles can develop to their maximum potential.
Are You Willing to Fix Your Posture for Good?
This is more or less a friendly reminder that in order to change anything about your health for good, it needs to be approached with a long-term perspective.
Just like strength training, improving posture takes time. Without consistency, dedication, and a clear mental picture, posture correction can easily fall to the wayside with no results to show for it.
Although relief and a sense of luck is common at first when starting out to fix your posture, slipping back into your old ways is almost too easy.
Understand that the price for fixing forward head posture and fixing rounded shoulders is a grand one – there is no point to sugarcoat it.
However, if you have what it takes and are ready to arrive day after day with persistent discipline in the posture department, you can and will change your life forever.
The Key to Posture Correction
Mindfulness. Yep, that’s right – being highly aware of your overall stance, gait, and sitting positions is what it really comes down.
After a while, it will come naturally to check in with your body. But at first, it may take some getting used to “being in your body” in the present moment.
If you have trouble with literally feeling different sections of your body without moving at all, meditation or other mindfulness practices may be helpful to you.
This is important because you can quickly and effortlessly check in and see if your posture needs to be changed. Your head might be leaning forward, shoulders slumped, etc. and you’ll instantly feel it because of a strong mind-body connection.
To begin with, a mirror is a great starting point for anyone to check in with their posture.
From there, you can see what is working and what is not. Moving your shoulders back, head back, and standing up straight in general all may feel exaggerated at first.
But that’s normal – it feels dramatic going from poor posture to improved posture because you’re breaking through old habits that are engrained in your muscle memory.
Posture Exercises for Optimal Relief and Strength
To help you get started on the right foot, here are a couple of posterior chain exercises for fixing rounded shoulders, forward head posture, and to reverse and prevent slumping.
Inverted Ring Rows
By using gymnastic rings, TRX bands, or secure bar, inverted ring rows are perfect for fixing rounded shoulders. And if you’ve been wondering how to stop slumping, ring rows are what you want to keep in your back pocket.
Start by lying on the floor and reach up and grab the rings or bar with an overhand grip.
Pull up and keep your body in a straight line.
Really try to pull so far that your scapula retract as much as possible to open up your posture.
Then slowly lower down again, and keep repeating.
Throughout the pull, be mindful of exactly where your posture is to keep improving it.
Think of being ready to do a bear crawl, but upside down. As a heads up, this may be uncomfortable the first time around because you may not be used to such a view.
On a mat or surface you are comfortable with, start with sitting with your legs bent facing forward and arms behind supporting your torso.
Try to point your fingers behind you completely if your flexibility allows for it.
Hoist yourself up with your feet forward and knees creating a 45-degree angle.
Same thing with your shoulders, hands, and torso.
You can feel your chest and hips open up to the sky.
Feel free to take your head back to be reversing and fixing forward head posture.
How to Improve Posture While Sitting
Let’s face it, technology has made many of our lives a lot easier than generations past. A good chunk of our time is spent sitting – either for work, school, eating, socializing, relaxing, etc.
With bad sitting posture, it is common to tuck your hips and butt forward like a baby being carried – which is exactly where we all had our poor posture instilled.
As you keep on improving your posture through postural exercises, don’t let it escape you while sitting.
Remember to keep your glutes and tailbone be a proper base for the rest of your spine and head.
Although there is a natural curve to your spine, there should be a noticeable vertical alignment – nothing too far in or out. Try to think of it as sitting with your ‘tail’ sticking out, which is what our bodies evolved to do with great ease.
Once your bottom and hips are in place, your vertebrae can stack appropriately on top of each other.
You’ll feel that it takes no effort at all to sit up straight anymore because once aligned, your vertebrae will do all the work effortlessly.
Find the perfect balance of not tucking your pelvis too much and not protruding your butt back too much.
Your tailbone, scapula, shoulders, and top of head should all be vertically aligned to sit ergonomically correct.
Improving Your Posture Won’t Happen Overnight – Dedicate Yourself to the Long-Term
Keep in mind your posture when you lift weights or engage in athletic activity as well.
Your performance, long-term form, and strength will all greatly improve with improved posture. Improving posture might just be what you need to smash through a lingering plateau.
Patient persistence is your best friend while improving posture. But improving posture is only the first step – it’s time to test it out for yourself!