THE BACK STORY
POSTURE IMPROVING EXERCISES
Sitting every day puts us at risk for chronic back pain.
Read on for posture improving moves you can do at work.
This movement opens the front of your upper body while simultaneously toning the underused posture muscles of the upper back so you can STAND TALL.
- Stand with your back up against a flat wall and place your feet about three to four inches from the base of the wall. Keep a slight bend in your knees. Keep your tailbone, lower back, upper back, and head against the wall. You should barely be able to slide hand between curve in low back and wall.
- Raise your arms up with elbows bent at a 90° angle so your upper arms are parallel to the floor and squeeze your shoulder blades together, forming a letter "W". Hold for 3 seconds.
- Straighten your elbows to raise your arms up to form the letter “Y.” Make sure you are not shrugging your shoulders up to your ears. Repeat 10 times, starting in the “W,” position, hold for 3 seconds, and then raising your arms into the “Y.” Do 2-3 sets.
Foundation Training is a simple solution that gives you the means to change the way you move and correct the imbalances caused by our modern habits. No matter your age or your fitness level, this puts you on the path to health, wellness, and vitality. The Founder is the baseline position for Foundation Training, and is one of the safest ways to fix back pain and strengthen the posterior chain.
- Stand with your feet hip-distance apart and shift your weight to your heels and hold your chest up high. Expand yourself as big as you can.
- Take a deep breath and expand the back of your ribcage as much as possible, as you pull the hips back behind your heels, keeping your chest high.
- Keeping a very slight bend in the knees, reach your arms forward as your hips pull back, reach as far as you can with your hips pulling away from hands while your chest lifts up.
- Take 2 or 3 deep breaths and reach your hands a little further forward and a little higher, hold this position for another 10 seconds.
- You should feel the tension in your low back, adductors, glutes, and hamstrings; these muscles let you know your Posterior Chain is active.
Doorway Chest Opener
This stretch will loosen your tight chest muscles. Each position should feel good. Discontinue if you experience pain and see your licensed healthcare professional.
Position A: Starting with your arms bent as though trying to put elbows in back pockets, stand in a doorway with your right leg a half step through doorway. Place your hands on door frame, take a deep breath into the belly and as you slowly release breath, lean forward until feeling a comfortable stretch in chest and upper arm. Hold for 15-30 seconds. Now switch to the left leg forward and repeat.
Position B: After completing position A, release stretch by stepping back. Now slide your hands up so your arms are at 90 degree angle and step the right leg through doorway and feel stretch in chest, shoulder, and upper arms. Breathe, hold stretch as above, then switch forward leg and repeat.
Position C: Same as above but reach comfortably above head (see diagram) and repeat as in position A and B.