Simple Steps for a Straighter, More Confident Posture
Back pain is something most of us experience at some point. Sports injuries, car accidents, pregnancy, health conditions and aging can all contribute. While nothing replaces medical care when it's necessary, did you know that good posture could also play a pivotal role in alleviating pain?
You've probably heard that good posture is important (it can even contribute to weight loss!), but it can be difficult to reverse bad posture habits without a strategy. We recently came across a Harvard Medical School article with some great tips. Start implementing these changes and see if helps reduce your pain:
Perhaps you've heard fitness or dance instructors tell you to imagine a string or a straight line going through your body from the floor up through your back and then out the top of your head. As Harvard's experts put it, "Picture yourself as a ballerina or ice skater rather than a soldier at attention." This imagery should prevent you from slouching forward or letting your lower back sway. It's also useful to imagine a cord pulling your rib cage up and forward, increasing the length of your torso.
- Shoulder blade squeeze exercise
For this simple physical therapy exercise, sit up straight in a chair with your hands on your thighs. Keeping your shoulders down and your chin level, squeeze your shoulder blades together by slowly drawing your shoulders back. Hold for five seconds and repeat three or four times.
- Chest stretch
Stand facing the corner of a room with your hands up laying flat against the two walls, keeping your elbows about the height of your shoulders. Place one foot in front of the other and bend your front knee. Exhale as you lower into the stretch and hold for 20-30 seconds. Be sure to keep your back straight and your head up so you feel a stretch across your chest.
- Arm-across-chest stretch
Athletes will likely be familiar with this stretch. Hold your right arm straight in front of you and then grab your right elbow with your left. Pull your right arm across your chest towards your left shoulder. Hold for 20 seconds and then repeat on the other side. Repeat three times per side. You should feel the stretch in the upper arm and shoulder.
BONUS TIP: Improve posture with a waist trainer
One of the benefits of a waist trainer like the Sculpting Vest Waist Trainer by Amia is that it improves your posture whenever you wear it. This can be especially helpful if you don't know what good posture should feel like or look like. The flexi-boning in the garment provides firm, yet comfortable compression around your midsection. This not only slims your waistline by 1-4 inches, but also gives you a corrected, more confident posture. Win-win!
Changing your posture will require regular effort. Do the exercises and practice the imagery throughout the day—set an alarm on your phone every hour if it helps. And wearing a waist trainer through all of your everyday activities will help teach you how you should be holding yourself all of the time. Check out our wide selection of waist trainers to discover which one is best for you.