Remember when you were a kid at the dinner table and one (or maybe both) of your parents would tell you to “sit up straight” instead of slouching over your plate?
So, my tip for today is to listen to your parents and sit up straight.
Our posture, for lack of a better word, sucks. Hovering over tiny screens, sitting at computers, our general work culture creates a rounded shoulder, collapsed chest, chin dropping and neck down position that we are in for HOURS at a time.
This, in turn, is causing multitudes of problems for us and a continuous stream of clients for chiropractors, massage therapists, trainers, PT’s, acupuncturists, physicians, etc.
So back to posture. Here is a quick way to get your posture on point. Quickly.
- Stand with your knees relaxed, with the weight mostly in the balls of your feet.
- Stare straight ahead, you can tilt your head side to side gently for a quick release.
- Take a breath in and bring your shoulders up towards your ears, exhale and “loop” them back and down, letting your hands dangle at your sides.
- Hold for a few seconds and repeat the process for up to a minute.
The “looping” is what opens you up at the top part of your chest (above the sternum) and towards the front of your shoulders (anterior deltoids).
When our posture is poor, the constant rounding forward of the shoulders ‘shortens’, for lack of a better term, your chest muscles. This quick exercise helps counter that. It may feel uncomfortable at first but as long as you don’t have sharp pain, stick with it.
You can also do this exercise as you take breaks from your desk, while waiting for your coffee at Starbucks or in line at the grocery store. It’s subtle so no one will notice!
It’s also important to work on core strength and stability but we’ll talk about that next week.
Now go run!