Ever since you were young you’ve been told to correct your posture… and guess what?
It’s not going to stop now.
The reason your parents, your teachers and now your trainers go on and on about good posture is that it is essential for good health.
For one thing, having good posture can actually trick your brain into feeling more confident. Standing up straight literally makes you more motivated and improves your attitude.
Having good posture means you are using your body the way it was designed to be used. This puts less strain on your spine, your ligaments, and your joints, optimising all your movements for better efficiency and performance.
Good posture also opens up your lungs for better breathing so you can optimise your training.
If you’re a sloucher, now’s the time to make a change. These tips and movements can help:
First, have a practice. Stand up straight with your feet hip-width apart and take a look in a mirror side on. Correct your stance by:
- Rolling your shoulders back and down
- Leveling your hips to reduce any arch in your back
- Drawing your belly button inwards and up to tighten your core
Make sure your head is centered, with your earlobes in line with your shoulders. Drop your ribs towards your hips (not too much) to prevent your upper back from arching.
Your posture should be symmetrical and balanced. A quick way to get it right is to imagine a helium balloon attached to the very top of your head, gently pulling you upwards.
Exercises for better posture
Good posture is key in CrossFit as it means you can perform every move with less risk of injury. The following moves will help boost your stance:
Yep, your core has a lot to do with your posture. Keep it strong and you will find it easier to stand up straight.
Squats will help you practice moving while keeping your back straight and core strong.
Hip Flexor Stretch
If you spend a lot of time sitting, whether it be driving a car/truck or sitting a desk your hip flexors will get tight. This is bad news for your lower back.
Hit a hip flexor stretch daily to open those hips back up and protect your lower back.
If you do yoga you will have experienced this move, which releases the tension in your glutes. For this stretch, you need to be face down towards the ground, with one shin as parallel to the wall or to the front of your mat as possible. Ease forwards as much as you can and hold for a minute.
Note: this move can be tricky at first if you are very tight but it does get easier!
Due to spending a lot of time in poor postural positions, we become really tight in the thoracic spine. The Thoracic spine basically runs from the base of your neck to the bottom of your ribs. A healthy thoracic spine should have the ability to flex and extend properly.
We find most people are a little stiff due to sitting and standing with poor posture. Foam rolling is a great way to gain some of this mobility back!
Start by rolling the roller slowly up and down your upper back. You can assist by arching over the roller gently. This never should be painful, so go at your own pace.
Get started on your road to better health today!