Working Out-In, Exercises for Posture
Find your center. Proper standing posture is about alignment and balance. Here are some tips for achieving the correct upright posture:
▪ Place your feet shoulder width apart.
▪ Stand up straight. This is, of course, the key to good standing posture, and bears repeating. As you develop good posture habits, this will become second nature.
▪ Keep your weight on the balls of your feet. When resting on your heels, your natural tendency will be to slouch. Instead, stand up, and make an effort to stand on the balls of your feet. Notice how the rest of your body follows. Now rock back so that your weight is on your heels. Notice the way your entire body shifts into a “slouchy” posture with this single motion.
▪ Keep your shoulders squared. It may feel unnatural at first if you have not developed good posture habits. Like standing up straight, however, this will become second nature.
Pull your head back and up. Picture yourself reaching for the ceiling with the top of your head. Keep your head square on top of the neck and spine as you do this. Not only will this improve your posture, you will look taller and leaner, too.
▪ Square your posture, head upright, so that your ears are aligned over your shoulders.
▪ Raise both arms straight out, alongside your ears, palms up.
▪ Bend forearms in and back, toward shoulders, in an effort to touch your shoulder blades with your fingertips.
▪ Do ten repetitions with both arms, then alternate ten reps for each arm singularly.
▪ Align ears with shoulders as in Exercise One.
▪ Raise both arms out to sides at shoulder height, holding for a slow count of ten.
▪ Slowly lower arms to sides, counting ten as you lower.
▪ Slowly raise arms back to shoulder height, counting to ten as you raise arms.
Do ten repetitions (rep), constantly checking your alignment with each rep. If ten reps are too many to start, do as many as you can. You should at least feel a slight fatigue in the shoulder muscles.
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