Three ways to improve your posture


Sitting at the office desk for hours on end, not only leads to medical complications, but, also has an adverse effect on your posture. Slouching in the chair or craning your neck forward can result in chronic back pain, shoulder and neck pain as well as spondylitis.

But don’t fret, a bad posture can be corrected. It’s time to straighten yourself out. Here are three exercises to get you started.

Slouch no more:

How it helps:

This exercise helps to strengthen the back muscles that stretch your spine and avoid slouching. Opens up the chest and heart along with stimulating the other organs and is also beneficial for asthma patients.

 

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Image courtesy: http://www.buzzle.com/

 

What to do:

Lie on your stomach with your palms flat on the floor with your elbows bent at 90 degree angle near your ribs.

Inhale while coming up, lift your head and torso without moving your elbows from near the ribs and shoulders pulled down, and pressing the top of your feet into the floor. Return to starting position. Pull in your abdominal muscles, in towards your spine and don’t use your arms to push yourself up.

If you want to increase the intensity, then lie in the same position and stretch your hands behind your back and lift your legs. All the while keeping your torso touching the ground. As if making an inverted bow shape with your body.

 

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Plank Pose

How it helps:

The exercise toughens the love handles and the abdominal muscles along with the shoulder and back muscles, which are vital for a good posture.

What to do:

Lie flat on your stomach with your hands bent at 90 degree angle at the elbow and your legs stretched out as you would be positioned for doing push ups. Inhale and pull the abdominal in and hold it for 30 seconds.

Relax and then repeat, make sure while you exhale your abdominal muscles pulled in, so your back doesn’t dip.

Another variation of the exercise is, instead of your hands, support yourself with your forearms.

 

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Be catty:

How it helps:

The function of this exercise is to strengthen is to increase the flexibility and reduce stiffness in the back without harming the neck muscles. It stabilizes the spine, the back and the abdominal muscles along with the core.

What to do:

Go on to all fours. The knees should be aligned with your shoulders, spaced width apart and your hands should be beneath your shoulders. Pull in your abdominal muscles towards your spine and arch your back skywards. Hold the position for 10 seconds and then relax.

Let the stomach muscles sag towards the floor then bring your shoulders in and arch your back downwards as if, trying to touch the floor with your stomach. Hold this position for 10 seconds. Relax and then repeat the sequence of first arching your upwards and then downwards. At all times keep your head aligned with your spine and reposition the knees to be in the right position. Each exercise should be done using your lower back muscles. Keep the abdominal muscles pulled in at all time to avoid injury.

With the help of these exercises you will be able to relieve the nagging back pain and strengthen your ABS as well as get the perfect posture.