3 Exercises To Improve Your Posture

Photo Credit: Skoivuma CC-BY-3.0
Posture is the position of your body when you stand up. Poor posture can cause health problems, including sore muscles, misaligned spine, constriction of blood vessels and nerve pain. Bad posture can also affect your gait when you walk and can cause your body to be off balance, putting you at risk for a fall and injury. Often bad posture is a result of weak muscles that support your back and pelvis. Weak muscles make it difficult to stand up straight. You also tire easily if your muscles are weak. Try these three exercises, three times each week to help strengthen the muscles that contribute to good posture:
Sit-ups help to strengthen your abdominal muscles and improve your posture. Lie on your back on the floor on a carpet or exercise mat. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands on the floor, palms down, on either side of your hips. Lift your upper body off the floor toward your knees. Stop lifting your body when you feel the muscles in your back and abdomen tense. Roll back down and repeat this exercise 5 to 8 times. Increase the number of repetitions when your muscles are stronger.
Back arches strengthen your abdominal muscles and your back muscles. Lie down on the floor on your stomach and cross your ankles. Place your hands on your back, palms up. Lift your upper body off the floor by arching your back. Hold the lift for a few seconds and then relax. Try to do 5 repetitions.
Pelvic lifts strengthen your pelvis, abdominal muscles, buttocks and hamstrings on the back of your thighs. Lie on the floor in the same position, as if you are going to do sit-ups. Support your upper body with your shoulders and your arms on the floor by your hips. Lift your pelvis off the floor toward the ceiling. Hold for a couple of seconds and then lower your body back to the floor. Do 5 repetitions. Progress to 10 repetitions by adding a lift each week.

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