Improving Posture with Mobility
Posture can be a complicated topic to cover. There are many factors which influence our posture including our balance system, stability, emotions, habitual positions, sports, disease, etc. When I cue a client for better alignment, I usually cue more length through the body. Lack of mobility can lead to poor posture. Below are 4 mobility exercises you can try to improve your posture. These are full body mobility exercises, so they focus on lengthening long muscle chains in the body versus just stretching or releasing one tissue. I suggest focusing on one exercise at a time. I’m going to suggest a lot of repetitions because it takes time for your tissues to respond to movement. Disclaimer: If you have pain, broken bones, osteoporosis or any other illness or injury that may be impacted by exercise, do not perform these exercises.
Articulated Bridging with Arms Overhead
To initiate, roll pelvis back, imprint your spine to the ground and roll up one vertebrae at a time. Pause at the top and arc arms overhead. Try to keep your elbows straight and arms as close to the ground as possible. Roll back down one vertebrae at a time. Repeat 25-30 times.
Plank to Downward Dog
Start in a plank position with your spine in a neutral position. Lift your hips and push through your hands to get to a downward dog position. Do your best to not round the back or tuck your tail under. Some of you will feel a huge stretch through the back of your legs. Try to get your heels to the floor. Hold down dog for 5-10 seconds then move back to plank. Repeat 15-30 times.
Lunge with Spine Rotation.
Start in a lunge position with shoulders and hips squared towards the floor. Try to keep your bellybutton pointed forwards as you spin the upper body towards the front leg. Keep your head in line with your spine and look towards the arm that is reaching. Hold rotation for 10 seconds. Un-rotate and repeat 10 times. Use a box if you can’t reach the floor with your hand.
Half Kneeling Side-bending
Kneel with one knee on the ground. You can use a box or chair next to you for extra support. Side bend towards the front knee and reach one arm overhead. Some of you will feel a big stretch through the side of your body. To increase the intensity (which may not be necessary for some of you), try rotating your chest towards the ceiling. Hold 10 seconds. Come back to upright and repeat 10-20 times.
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