While a good posture can shave off a few kilos and make you look confident, it also helps to improve your body’s strength and balance. Bad posture often means that some joints, muscles and bones take on a lot more stress because they have to compensate for your imbalance. Not only are you left looking like the Hunchback of Notre Dame, but you will experience severe pains and possible injuries.
Here are a number of exercises which you can try in order to fix bad posture or to maintain a good one.
The child’s pose is usually included in a stretching or yoga workout programme. It stretches and lengthens your spine, glutes and hamstring. It also releases tension in your lower back and neck.
To do the child’s pose, start by sitting on your shinbones with your knees together. Your big toes should be in contact with one another and your heels should fall to the side.
Bend forward from your hips and walk your hands out in front of you. Then sink your hips back down toward your feet.
Put your forehead on the floor while keeping your arms extended. Hold for a few seconds while breathing into the back of your ribs and waist.
Sit with your spine extended and your legs stretched out in front of you. Bring your elbows into your sides and make blades with your hands.
Reach your arms upward diagonally while inhaling. Then press your palms down toward the floor while exhaling and further extending your spine.
Inhale again and lift your arms up to your ears. Keep your shoulders relaxed and your chest wide. Then exhale and open your arms to the side, further extending your spine.
Return to the starting position and repeat.
Another stretching or yoga exercise is the forward fold. This exercise releases tension in your spine, hamstrings and glutes. It also stretches your hips and legs.
Stand with your big toes touching as well as your heels slightly apart. Bring your hands to your hips. Bend forward from your hips in addition to bringing your hands toward the floor.
If your hands don’t touch the ground, you can use an object to rest them on. Reduce the size of the object once you’re getting comfortable until you can reach the floor with your hands.
Bend your knees slightly while softening your hip joints. Allow your spine to extend and stretch.
Bring your chin into your chest and let your head fall to the floor. Hold this pose for a few seconds and return to the standing position.
Sitting with your spine extended and legs together, bring your palms into the mat next to you. Roll your shoulders back and down. Keep your chest open, arms straight and your toes pointing down to the mat.
Slowly lift your hips up. Kick one of your legs up as high as you are able however keep your waist still. Bring the leg back to the floor and kick up the other leg.
It can be hard to maintain a good posture when you are sitting at a desk for most of the day. However, including spine-stretching exercises into your workout programme can help to improve your posture.
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