Understanding the Relationship between Posture and Exercise
Many people unintentionally slouch mainly because of sitting all day or physical inactivity. However, poor posture isn’t an isolated case. It usually indicates weak core muscles and affects how well you maintain your form when exercising.
In the long run, keeping a proper posture may help reduce the exercise-related injuries you experience and support consistent progress.
This article will discuss what makes a good posture, the factors affecting your posture, the effects of improper posture, and some exercises you can try to improve it.
What Does Good Posture Mean?
Proper posture begins when you stand up straight and tall. Your weight sits over your feet and keeps your body balanced. Your chin and shoulders must also be parallel to the floor, and keep your spine straight. Your hips and elbows must be even, and your knees should be pointing straight ahead.
Core muscles that connect your upper and lower body are crucial for maintaining proper balance. Your upper body is more likely to fall forward if you have a weak core. Thus, your shoulders will hunch, throwing off the required balance for proper posture. And a weak core will make the rest of your body compensate. Eventually, it may also lead to pain in other muscles.
Stronger leg muscles make standing and keeping your balance easier, while weak upper back muscles may contribute to slouching.
However, proper posture goes beyond keeping your back straight. A strong core and correct posture let you move around quickly and help avoid back injuries.
On the other hand, disrupted balance can lead to tennis, running, dance, skiing, golf, and weightlifting injuries.
Factors Affecting Your Posture
While injury could cause poor posture, bad habits are usually the culprits. Looking down at your phone for prolonged periods or working at a desk without proper desks can give you a bad back.
Other factors such as shoes with insufficient support, being overweight, muscular imbalances, occupational stress due to poor ergonomics, and inadequate support when sleeping can also contribute to poor posture.
Effects of Poor Posture on Your Body
Besides slouching, poor posture can also affect your body in the following ways:
- Poor posture throws off your body’s muscles and bones, preventing the free-flowing of signals from the sciatic nerve. Individuals may eventually develop sciatica, a pain traveling through the back of the thigh, calves, and feet.
- Improper posture significantly strains the lower back muscles, especially the posterior chain. Eventually, a weak core affects hip stabilization and extension, limiting your range of motion and can lead to hyperlordosis.
- Looking down at a desktop or phone puts a lot of pressure on your surgical spine, shoulders, and neck.
- Poor posture affects how well fluids, including blood, circulate your body, muscles, and nerves.
- Neglecting to correct the imbalances causing poor posture can lead to further muscle and joint damage.
- Exercises to Improve Posture
While you can correct your posture with a supportive brace or set reminders to stand up straight, regular exercise can help strengthen your core and upper back muscles, keep your body balanced, and avoid slouching.
You can add planks, medicine ball twists, reverse dumbbells, downward-facing dog, hip flexor stretch, and foam roller bridge to your exercise routine to improve strength and loosen tight core muscles.
Working Out to Stand Taller
Besides having a better self-image, a proper posture can improve your spine health and help you perform your daily tasks more efficiently. Exercising can give you a healthier body and a firmer back.
Do you want to improve your posture and overall health? We got you covered! The Fit Factor PT is an exclusive, results-driven personal training studio in Wellesley. Contact us now to get started!
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