How to improve my posture?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 26, 2008 1:29 PM GMT
    Dear all,

    For the past several years I am suffering from bad posture. Lack of exercise, sitting in front of the computer for too many hours and reading books are factors, I believe to this health problem.

    Briefly, my head and back slouches to the point that sometimes it hurts. I try to sit up straight and I am regularly swimming and have seen improvement from that but I want to know if there are specific sports or exercises that can help me straighten up my entire back and neck.

    I would appreciate your advice.
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    Apr 26, 2008 2:00 PM GMT
    My chiropractor diagnosed me as having Kyphosis, the rounding of the shoulders and upper back forward.

    To correct this, I had to strengthen my upper back and shoulder muscles.

    Two exercises I do are cross-cable pulls and another one that I dont know the name of. It is a kind of backward shrug (if that makes any sense)

    Cross cable pulls are when you stand with a cable in each hand but its the cable from the other side and they cross in front of your chest. You pull your arms out to the sides. This strengthens the back of your shoulders and upper back.

    In the other exercise, I pull a cable out at shoulder level with one hand. Then with the cable taut, I just pull the shoulder back. It only moves the cable a couple of inches, but it strengthens the back of the shoulders.

    Now I stand straight and tall and it is clearly noticeable.

    Another thing for good posture is strengthening your abs. That may seem funny, but if the abs do their job of holding your gut in the back doesnt have to work so hard holding your body up.

    I just sent an email to my physical therapist to get the names of the muscles for you.
  • UStriathlete

    Posts: 320

    Apr 26, 2008 3:20 PM GMT
    very simple! go to a pilates mat class.

    also, now that you conscious about your posture, just look around to see how many have bad posture and use it as a reminder for yourself. standing in lines, driving your car, etc. there are thousand of bad examples to remind you to stand up tall, shoulder back and down, low abs zipped up or belly button pulled in.

    some parents had some things right, by telling us to sit up or stand tall and take cod liver oil. but their other baggage was no so helpful icon_sad.gif

    remember, it's a work in progress, good luck!
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    Apr 26, 2008 3:25 PM GMT
    Research upper cross syndrome..
    corrective exercises and stretching

    so the objective is to stregthen the weak muscles and build the lengthen mucles (stregnthen rhomboids mid trapz and stretch the sternoclediomastoids, pecs,scalenes)

    good luck !
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    Apr 26, 2008 4:05 PM GMT
    The above exercises are great for you problem but there's another way, stand up straight! That means consciously doing the following, tuck in your ass! Tighten up your butt muscles and pull your hips forward to get rid of the swayback. Then lift your ribs, suck in your gut and pull your shoulders back at the same time. Then tilt your chin slightly down so your skull is resting at the top of the neck bones evenly. Practice that, when you think of it, do that as much as possible. Eventually your body will just naturally do that.

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    Apr 26, 2008 4:17 PM GMT
    Dance lessons... they encourage good posture
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 26, 2008 5:05 PM GMT
    yoga- that's what it was originally created for- to align the spinal column and give one the strength and flexibility to be able to sit in meditative poses for looong periods of time with little effort, specifically being able to sit upright and to let the spinal column stack vertically and support itself.
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    Apr 26, 2008 5:07 PM GMT
    Thanks for the topic, and for the replies. I too have the same problem. I have started the strong and lean work out and have noticed a slight difference in my posture. Also I am concious about it, and correct myself whenever I notice myself slipping. It takes a long time to change the posture habit. Keep at it!
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    Apr 26, 2008 5:23 PM GMT
    That vacuum exercise that RJ has promoted is GREAT!

    Also, if you have lordosis (the curving of the spine forward that makes your stomach stick out), besides the abs exercises to strengthen the abs and hold it all in, do stretching exercises for the lower back to release the back muscles and allow the spine to straigthen up.

    Also stretch your pecs back to release their pull on your shoulders and let them go back too.
  • olden

    Posts: 194

    Apr 26, 2008 7:10 PM GMT
    I would advise checking with a chiropractor before undertaking any exercise program. Bad posture can be a sign of more serious physiological problems.

    I have been developing posture problems over a period of time and finally went to a chiropractor. The xrays showed that my cervical vertibre had grown so close together that they kept me from turning my head freely from side to side and from bending by head over toward my shoulders. It also caused my head to jut forward and rounded my shoulders.

    We have been working on it three days a week for several weeks and my posture has improved greatly and my head and neck are almost upright. It is also nice to be able to turn my head again.

    He has advised against any exercises that put direct downward pressure on the shoulders while making me put my head forward, such as squats and behind the head lat pulls.



    Good luck
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 26, 2008 8:26 PM GMT
    Caslon saidThat vacuum exercise that RJ has promoted is GREAT!

    Also, if you have lordosis (the curving of the spine forward that makes your stomach stick out), besides the abs exercises to strengthen the abs and hold it all in, do stretching exercises for the lower back to release the back muscles and allow the spine to straigthen up.

    Also stretch your pecs back to release their pull on your shoulders and let them go back too.


    Yeah! The vacuum really works. I find myself less prone to slouching these days because of it.
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    Apr 26, 2008 8:49 PM GMT
    do the body Bridge search for videos
  • RyeMac

    Posts: 50

    Apr 26, 2008 9:34 PM GMT
    Very good points czarod...

    Yoga, and Alexander Technique which helps via conscious relaxation thru visualization, is extremely valuable... indispensable i feel!

    Whether standing walking running or working out.... imagine your eyes are at the BACK of your head but still looking foward.... gently permit yourself to give mental guidance in, e.g "allowing my shoulders to be free.... my head balancing effortlessly" .... and visualize as in seeing yourself doing the tasks non critically...icon_smile.gif

    Further allow yourself to be aware of your inhalation/ exhalation ... the ebb & flow of tension....

    ...what is now being permitted is the "unstable balance"...

    Many good books re Alexander technique...Will get back with some titles, authors...
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Apr 27, 2008 11:13 AM GMT
    Yup...the modern lifestyle with working in front of a computer all day
    driving in a car and general lack of the correct amt of exercise definitely leads to bad posture which is really a lack of muscle balance
    we gay men make this worse by over-emphasizing our chest muscles....gotta have those Pecs!
    We make the chest over strong and very tight
    and the back muscles then become weaker in comparison
    this leads to bad posture and back problems
    the way to stop this is ... stretch out the chest muscles during the day at work and before each work out
    start working out the back muscles more and strengthen your core muscles more also
  • rusty_dk

    Posts: 29

    May 01, 2008 3:43 AM GMT
    I had really REALLY bad posture...to the extent that i had to tape my back...if i felt the tape pull it would mean i was going back to my old ways...

    I dont know if goint to those extremes would help you, but psychologically it made me think about it and now i dont have problems. Go talk to someone
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 22, 2008 1:18 AM GMT
    I would like to thank you all for taking the time to help me out with all your invaluable advice. I have signed up for a pilates program this summer. I will let you all know how I am improving. I borrowed a DVD from the library on how to do yoga at home and it is quite helpful on the exercises.