How To Improve Posture
8 Easy Steps

Learning how to improve posture with the eight easy steps outlined here can improve your health and overall well-being.

Before you head to the gym to pound out some exercises for posture, you need to understand the relationship between structure and function. In other words, how does posture affect motion and how can your daily activities affect your posture?

Posture Is a Product of
Structure and Function

Posture is both a conscious and unconscionable action.

Nature, in all its glory, will cause a creature to assume a posture best suited for its behavior or action. In other-words, if you function as nature designed you will develop a posture as nature designed. If your daily actions are that of an unnatural manner your structure will follow.

If normal structure is permitted to develop, through both a conscious and unconscious effort, then normal function will more easily be executed unconsciously.

Likewise, if you habitually perform a function that forces you to assume an abnormal posture in order to perform that function, you will eventually (unconsciously) develop an abnormal posture when not performing that action or when at rest. This can be seen in swimmers that have a rounded shoulder posture due to over-development of their anterior shoulder muscles (pectorals) relative to their posterior shoulder muscles (rhomboids).

So you see one will affect the other. Structure (posture) dictates function (motion) and function affects structure.

Factors That Influence Posture

For the most part you are not born with an abnormal posture; although, some postural characteristics may be inherited, as can be seen in scoliosis, hyperlordosis, pigeon toed, and excessive pronation.

Watch a toddler who is in the early stages of walking. You will witness what is probably the closest thing to perfect posture. It is only after years of abnormal daily habits, activities, and postural positions that you start to witness the onset of abnormal posture. As the years go by this postural attitude becomes more entrenched and you end up with your specific or individual posture... good or bad.

Posture can be impacted by many factors. Some of which are:

  • Habits.
  • Lifestyle.
  • Fitness.
  • Psychological.
  • Shoes.
  • Occupational.
  • Furniture.
  • Injury.
  • Structural deficits.

Correct All Structural Deficits First

How do you maintain a great posture or develop one after years of possessing an abnormal posture?

A poor or abnormal posture needs to be corrected with the right kind of posture exercises. However, you must first correct for any other structural deviation, deficits, or imbalances that may co-exist. Remember, structure determines function. You must have normal structure or you can never have normal function.

Some structural deficits can be one or more of the following:

Once these are identified and you are taking appropriate actions to correct them, you will then be able to more fully correct your posture through proper exercises.

Before you go and start doing just any exercise for posture, you will first need to identify:

- Overly restricted muscles and joints.

- Muscle imbalances in weakness and flexibility.

After you have identified the specific muscles that need to be addressed you will be better able to choose the appropriate exercises to affect those muscles.

Posture Exercises

Here is a list of some of the best basic posture exercises that should be incorporated into everyone's exercise routine. These are starting blocks. Master them and you are well on your way to improving or restoring normal posture. They are:

  • Walking.
  • Resistance training:

            1. Pull-downs.

            2. Rowing.

            3. Dumbbell Incline Bench Presses

            4. Dead-lifts.

            5. Leg presses/squats.

            6. Core stabilization.

            7. Neck extensions and/or retractions.

  • Stretching:

            1. Pectoralis stretch.

            2. Hamstrings stretch.

            3. Supine overhead pullovers.

These are basic. You need to assess all your muscles for balance in strength, flexibility, and endurance. After you master these you can then incorporate other exercises that specifically target those muscle that are unbalanced. This is best done by a posture expert, chiropractor, physical therapist, or exercise specialist.

These specific exercises do not have to be in addition to your regular workouts. They should be part of your overall routine and can be easily performed with little or no addition to the time you spend working out.

How To Improve Your Posture

Follow these simple 8 How To Improve Posture Steps:

  1. Identify and correct structural deficits such as: flat feet, pronation and short leg.
  2. Become consciously aware of your posture and strive to improve it while standing, sitting, sleeping and at work, hobby and play.
  3. Assess your muscle imbalances and work to achieve proper balance with specific targeted exercise.
  4. Walk daily with full, brisk strides, head held high and arms swinging naturally. Walking is probably the best posture exercise you can do.
  5. Sit in chairs that help to maintain proper posture and use a lumbar cushion when possible. This is especially important while driving or riding in a car and when watching television or while at your desktop computer.
  6. Sleep in a bed designed to give you proper support while allowing for the comfort needed to achieve rest. Fatigue will negatively influence your posture throughout the day.
  7. If you suffer with depression or other psychological health concerns it can very well effect your posture. If so seek professional help. Exercise and walking are essential and should be part of your treatment program when treating depression and other psychological and emotion health issues.
  8. Maintain a normal weight. Do not judge your weight by what is average. Average today is not normal. A normal weight will positively affect your physical, mental and social well-being... all of which will influence your posture.

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