Bad posture is a plague these days, with a lot of people having posture problems in one form or another. Although we can never generalize, most of these problems are caused by our lifestyle in general. Most people sit at a desk for majority of the day, hips bent and shoulders hunched over. A basic recipe for disaster. What you need to realize is that posture problems will not only affect your muscles and cause you muscle and joint pain, it will also likely affect a lot of aspects of your health. Getting back into good alignment can get you feeling better in more ways than one. The best posture support you can find, is going to be corrective exercise. Without a doubt, fixing your muscle imbalances, getting stronger, and reminding your body of the position it needs to be in will rid you of your posture problems, and all the health issues that come with it.
Common Posture Problems
As I said before, generalizing is not great, but here I go again. As a general rule people tend to have similar posture problems. Life these days leads to us all having similar issues. Hunched shoulders and sitting down all day. When we stay in one position long enough, our muscles start to think that this is normal. To put basically, our muscles learn and adapt, and if everyday we are telling our pecs to stay in a tight and shortened position, and telling our hip flexors to be in a tight and shortened position, then chances are they are going to stay in a tight and shortened position! Not only will these areas cause problems, but the muscles opposing these actions become lengthened, tight and weak. Your upper back muscles are always on stretch, this can actually cause upper back muscle pain, and cause them to be weak and tight. Likewise, thanks to reciprocal inhibition, when your hip flexors become tight, your glutes tend to turn off. You need these working to ensure proper body mechanics, as well as avoid lower back pain.
Four Stretches & Exercises To Help Your Posture
Considering what is the normal problems that people will suffer from, here will will discuss four ways that you can get better posture support, without have to resort to using a posture support brace. I have given you examples that you can do at home. If you find that they help you, reduce your pain and make you stand up straighter, you can do more aggressive approaches in the gym.
Pec Stretch: You pecs will be tight if you have rounded shoulders. You need to stretch them. Here is a basic pec stretch.
Upper Back Strengthening: It is likely that you upper back muscles are weak and tight. You need to strengthen up this area in order to get your shoulders back. if you have a resistance tube at home you can do this exercise. In the gym do the seated row or lat pull down. Check out this post on upper back stretches for more information about this topic.
Hip Flexor Stretch: You need to stretch your hip flexors if you are sitting down all day. Here is a great hip flexor stretch.
Glute Strengthening: Strengthen your glutes by doing bridges at home. This easy looking exercise is actually quite hard. Start with two legs if you need.
Now you know how to get should and back posture support, of course, everyone will have different problems. However if you are like most of the world these days and are sitting at a desk for endless hours, then try these simple exercises at home, and see if you feel better.