Sit up straight, Girls! Your posture is more important than you think! Not only does it help you convey the confidence and strength that every girl should have (think Beyoncé) but it can actually affect your health. Having poor posture, according to posture specialist and chiropractor, Dr. Marr, “causes fatigue, poor digestion, back pain, neck pain and a slew of other health problems. It also makes you look 10lbs heavier and 10 years older.”
Do these posture-improving exercises and stretches in the comfort of your home and workspace to improve your posture, strengthen the spine and core, improve your health, all while channeling your inner Beyonce, get it girl!
This movement stretches out the back and strengthens the spine, working to keep the spine and your posture healthy and strong. As the starting position, come up from the plank position, peel your body upright from the floor through lengthening your arms first, then extending your head and spine. From this position you slowly position yourself on your hands and knees, rounding your back up like a cat. Keeping both hands on the floor, slowly put one foot out after the other, lifting the lower back without straightening the legs, slowly stack your vertebra one at a time, rolling yourself up keeping the chin tucked in. Once you have rolled all the way up, gently unroll your neck, standing up straight put your arms out to the side and deeply inhale.
This exercise strengthens your core muscles, which become weak with poor posture. To get into the plank position, lay on a yoga mat, flat on your stomach with your feet against a wall. Slowly get up onto your elbows, keeping your legs and neck completely straight, lift your entire body up, only stabilized by your straightened forearms and toes. Keep the stomach pulled upward, navel into the spine, don’t forget to inhale and exhale. Hold this pose for 60 seconds, keeping your head, neck, back and legs in total alignment.
Please note that you need a fitness ball for this stretch. This movement stretches the front of the body and back muscles to improve the posture. Kneeling behind the fitness ball, place your feet flat against a wall and drape your body over the ball. Slowly begin to straighten the legs, simultaneously squeezing the glutes and lifting the upper body off the ball using the core muscles. Hold this pose for 5 seconds, slowly move back into beginning pose where the body is draped over the ball and repeat five times.
To best understand how important working on your posture is, Dr. Marr compares how poor posture affects the body versus how good posture affects the body.
Bad Posture: Hunching→ Raised Diaphragm→Shallow Breathing→ Not Enough Oxygen in the Muscles and Brain→ Weak muscles, fatigue
Good Posture: Standing up straight→ Relaxed Diaphragm→ Full Breaths→ Oxygenation→ Strong muscles, Increased Energy!
To get optimum results try these above exercises along with many other posture-improving exercises, always remembering to be mindful of the core, sucking the navel into the spine. Consistently practice posture-improving exercises in order to keep the spine strong and healthy for life.
Written By Chelsea Clishem: From San Diego, California to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, this bicoastal girl loves all things travel, beauty, nutrition, fitness, fashion and entertainment. Chelsea graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara where she began her journey to be an entertainment journalist. Chelsea drops the word ‘fabulous’ on the regular and believes it’s ‘okay’ to freak out with good music and fashion!