Are you suffering from chronic shoulder, hip, neck or low back pain? Can’t figure out why? Help your body correct its imbalances, caused by excessive sitting and poor posture by doing the exercises mentioned below.
I don’t know many people who are fortunate enough to have a job or lifestyle that requires very little time at a desk, or in the car. Unfortunately, those two positions are awful for posture and can cause all kinds of pain and muscle compensations, if not addressed on a daily basis. Those positions are also factor into the rounded shoulder look, even when you’re not sitting. It’s amazing what good posture can do, just for your perceived confidence and overall look.
To help shift your posture back into balance, it’s a good idea to focus on more pulling exercises (versus pushing exercises) for upper back strengthening, and chest stretches at the end of the routine. I like to do twice as many pulling exercises, to pushing exercises.
Check out one of my favorite postural exercises, called the superman. See the cues below. The superman can be done at the office or at home. Pair this with a good chest stretch like this one, against a door frame. Hold the stretch for about 20- 30 seconds per side. Repeat the stretch anytime you can, throughout the day. Aim to do it at “snack” or “break time”, at lunch, and later in the afternoon. Even a bathroom break is a good reminder to do it.
Here are some cues for the superman exercise:
1. Lift up as high as you can, but don’t create excessive arch in your low back. You should feel this pretty much everywhere! Glutes (butt cheeks), quads (thigh), abs, low back, upper back and shoulders. Head should be in line with your body. Don’t flick your chin up, each time you rise. Your gaze should be slightly in front of your head, at the ground.
2. Reach your arms to the ceiling and squeeze your shoulder blades together the whole time.
3. Don’t forget to breath! Breath out when your are coming down.
4. I recommend doing these at this pace or slower, for 10 reps. Anywhere between 1-3 sets.
Want more more body weighted exercises like these, that you can do anywhere, anytime? Find them here, and learn how to put together an effective exercise routine. Look out for my next post, on low body strengthening and stretching to undo the lower body compensations from sitting.