3 Exercises For Better Posture

Ustrasana (camel pose)

Your posture is an important part of your overall health.  Maybe you stand up straight when you can and you’ve never noticed any back pain, but are you really taking care of your back?  Having good posture is not just about standing up as straight as an arrow; good posture is about an aligned spine that is healthy and strong.  Even though you might not have any back pain and your posture is good, you might not be doing enough to protect your back and ensure the best posture possible.

Having healthy posture requires strengthening your back and your entire body.  To alleviate the pressure on your lower back, it is crucial to have a strong core.  There are some simple exercises you can do to help improve your posture, and these exercises don’t include dead lifts and squats.  These are simple, low-impact exercises that can improve your posture and your core.

Swimming

You don’t need a pool and a swim cap to do these core strengthening moves.  Swimming is a pilates exercise that mimics doing freestyle in the water.  It also targets your back, glutes and shoulders.  While lying on your stomach, open your arms and legs so your body forms an X position.  Gently extend your spine and lift your opposite arm and opposite leg off the ground.  Make sure your spine is aligned with your head facing down.  Slowly move your arms and legs up and down, alternating each side. Not to mention, this exercise gives you a chance to buy a new, sporty swimsuit for all of the in-water exercises that you will be trying out. 

Balancing Side Plank

We have all heard of the plank, but have you ever tried the balancing side plank?  This modified plank requires you to begin on the side plank position.  This will help to strengthen your core and your oblique muscles.  Tighten your abdominals and bend your knee closest to the ground.  With your opposite arm, extend it up into the air.  Hold for 10 seconds and repeat on the opposite side.  Make sure your back is straight and you are engaging your ab muscles. If you don’t maintain the proper form during a plank, it is often hard to see the intended weight loss results. 

Camel Pose

This exercise is great to stretch your chest, thighs and hips.  It can also engage your abdominal muscles and strengthen your core.  Start in the prayer position, and sit straight up with your knees on the ground and legs extended behind you.  Slowly arch your head backwards and attempt to touch your hands to your heels while tightening your abdominals the whole time.  Hold for 30 seconds and then rest.  Try this stretch a couple times for best results. Having tried this stretch myself, it is best to perform Camel Pose near a padded service. Oftentimes, when we try to lean our head back, our whole body wants to topple with it. Don’t be embarrassed if this happens to you the first couple times, as it is definitely a pose that gets better with time and practice. 

Most importantly, never begin any new exercise program without first discussing the routine with your physician to make sure that these exercises are appropriate for you.

 

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Used under a creative commons license by Richard Wanderman

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