5 quick stretches to improve posture
Written by Adam Whatley, Dynamic Osteopaths and Regenerative Medicine. In association with Grenade nutrition.
Does sitting at a desk all day cause you any back pain or discomfort? This can often be related to poor postures, a common cause of many aches and injuries. Team Grenade Ambassador and Exercise & Performance specialist, Adam Whatley, gives you 5 Quick Stretches to help alleviate any discomfort and improve your posture. Poor posture is extremely common and is often a cause of complaints with back, neck and shoulder pain. This is because it causes imbalances and throws the muscles out of normal alignment. Poor posture can also affect our normal walking, which can lead to back and knee pain. It is extremely important to work at correcting your posture, to work with preventative measures and help you avoid all these injuries. Maintaining a good natural posture is essential to preventing posture-related aches and pains. The spine curvature works as a shock absorber, helping to distribute weight along the length of your spine. Adjusting postural distortions can help prevent issues. Carrying out these 6 quick and easy postural corrective stretches can help you re-educate your muscles from getting stuck in a hunched uncomfortable position and to restore normal function. SITTING ADVICE The ideal sitting posture is to sit up onto your butt-bone. This will instantly prevent slouching, creates a healthy lumbar curvature and will automatically pull your shoulders back and keep your head neutral. This will allow for corrective seated alignment, and resist against any detrimental postural imbalances. At the same time it is very important to actively keep your shoulder blades back to prevent the shoulders from slouching.
1. DOORFRAME CHEST STRETCHE This is a very important stretch for the chest muscles, which commonly become tighter and problematic with poor posture. This can then lead to shoulder and neck issues over a period of time, which can then lead to tendinitis. Adopting and maintaining good flexibility across the chest muscles is imperative for maintaining good posture and preventing neck and shoulder problems long-term. To perform this stretch, extend your arm out at a right angle and bend the elbow at 90 degrees. Place forearm against the doorframe (or wall) a gently lean forward, applying the stretch to the chest. Hold each side for 10-15 seconds.
Adam Whatley Posture Stretches 2 2. NECK (TRAPEZIUS) STRETCHES This is a very important stretch for maintaining good neck mobility and preventing issues that are commonly associated with poor posture. Most common issues include neck ache and headaches. To perform this stretch, simply tilt the head to one side, applying light pressure, hold for 15-20 seconds at a time.
Adam Whatley Posture Stretches 3 3. SEATED SPINAL ROTATION STRETCHES Many of us work and live sedentary lifestyles which overtime causes dehydration of our disks through prolonged compression, thus commonly relating to back issues. Maintaining good flexibility throughout the spine is again a very good preventative measure to resist against occurring problems. To perform this, in a seated position, rotate the torso to one side, apply pressure using the opposing arm against the side of the leg (or chair armrest). Hold this position for 30 seconds per side.
Adam Whatley Posture Stretches 1 4. UPPER BACK/SHOULDER BLADE STRETCH Often problems develop within the back of the shoulder blades as they have a very important role in stabilising the shoulder. These muscles can become problematic with poor posture and increased tension can develop in these areas. This can be easily prevented via maintaining good flexibility and posture. To perform this stretch, tuck the chin in towards the chest, extended the arms in front. Interlock fingers and ‘push’ out, feeling the stretch between your shoulder blades. Hold for 15-20 seconds.
Adam Whatley Posture Stretches 4 5. HIP FLEXOR STRETCHES The Hip Flexor muscle attaches from the top of front of the leg up onto our spine. Long periods in a seated position contributes to the shortening and tightening of this muscle, causing increased hip rotation and strain on the lower back. This can cause ongoing postural imbalances and consequently injury. Regular stretching of this muscle will prevent the shortening and help to regulate your hip and spinal position. To perform, in a kneeling position, extend one leg out, keeping the opposing knee on the ground. Shift your weight forward, keeping your torso upright. Hold for 15 seconds then repeat on the other side.
Adam Whatley Posture Stretches 5 Following these quick, easy to do stretches will help you to maintain correct alignment, in turn allowing for injury prevention and optimal muscle function. Optimising posture and alignment is crucial for the body to move through full ranges of movement and this has huge impacts on exercise and performance. Stay tuned to our open coming blogs to see further information and advice on posture, performance and injury prevention.