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Building strength, balance, power and grace from within

What is good posture?

Posture is the position in which you hold your body upright against gravity while standing, sitting or lying down.  Good posture puts the least strain on supporting muscles and ligaments while creating an appearance that looks more confident.

Your spine has 4 curves which act to make the spine strong as it absorbs shock. When these curves are aligned properly, there is less stress on the the joints, ligaments and muscles.

Benefits of good posture

  • Keeps bones and joints in the correct alignment so that muscles are being used properly.
  • Decreases the stress on ligaments holding the joints of the spine together
  • Improves circulation
  • Helps prevent back and neck pain.
  • Contributes to a good appearance.
  • Decreases risk for arthritis by promoting even load on joint surfaces.

Requirements for Good Posture

  • Normal joint range of motion
  • Flexible muscles
  • Strong postural muscles
  • Balanced muscles on either side of spine
  • Awareness of your posture vs. ideal posture

Standing up Straight!

  1. Stand in front of a mirror with feet hips width apart. Allow your ankles and knees to soften so they are not locked.
  2. Rock back and forth until your weight is centered in the middle of your feet.
  3. Pull your tummy in activating your transverse abdominus muscle. Your transverse abdominus is your body's corset-it narrows your waist as you pull in.
  4. Allow your chest to widen as you bring your shoulder blades inward toward your spine and downward towards your pocket.
  5. Relax your shoulders and allow your neck to lengthen as if there is a string pulling at the top of your head.
  6. Look straight ahead.

Exercises for Good Posture

  1.  Finding neutral position in your low back
    • Lay on your back with your knees bent
    • Flatten and arch your low back by rocking your pelvis
    • The midpoint between a flat and arched back is neutral
    • You can repeat this in a seated or standing position
    • Maintain neutral spine throughout the day
  2. Chin Tucks
    • Sit or stand tall with spine in neutral position
    • Gaze straight ahead
    • Shoulder blades down and back
    • Pull your head back and up tall
    • Hold position 5 seconds/repeat 10x
    • Maintain this position while performing the following exercises
  3. Shoulder Blade drops
    • Allow chest to widen as you bring your shoulder blades down and back
    • Hold 5 seconds/repeat 10-15x
  4. Chest (pectoral) Stretch
    • Stand in a doorway with one foot in front of the other
    • Place hands on door frame level with your head
    • Gently lunge forward until you feel a comfortable stretch in the front of your chest
    • Hold stretch 20 seconds and repeat the arms in a Y position
    • If you have a physioball of foam roller, lay on your back with arms outstretched to the side
  5. Shoulder Stretch
    • Lay on your back with your spine in neutral, arms to side by your hips
    • If your ribcage is popping up, allow it to drop
    • Raise your arms toward ceiling and then overhead to floor
    • You may find that your ribcage moved to help you touch the floor. Try again, this time not allowing your rib cage to move. Stretch your arms up and over.
    • Repeat 10x
  6. Upper back (thoracic) Stretch
    • You will want to purchase a half foam roller for this one. A half foam roller is a foam roller that is cut so that it is flat on one side and curvy on the other
    • Place roller flat side facing down
    • Lay perpendicular over foam roller at the level above your bra strap (not a girl?-still got the idea, right?)
    • Lay in this position for 20-30 seconds