Poor posture has become one of modern society’s most common ailments, and sources of pain.
Almost everyone we know suffers or has suffered from some form of back pain, neck pain, or has developed knee complications later on in life, if not all of the above.
An estimated 80% of men and women experience chronic back pain at some point in their adult lives.
The stats for neck and hip pain are equally astounding. This is no surprise given that nowadays, we:
- Sit more and move less
- Work more and sleep less (especially quality sleep)
- We are hunched over on phones, computers, or in cars
- We deal with more chronic stress and anxiety than we ever have, causing tension in our bodies
This may seem gloomy and bleak at first, but fixing our posture is within our control and can be accomplished through incredibly simple exercises, that anyone can do anytime, wherever they are.
They revolve around the three elements of ALL functional movement, which are explained below:
- The Scapular retraction: Roll your shoulders up, back, and let them fall back down. This should feel like you’re squeezing your shoulders blades closer together and walking around like you’re ready to fight someone (in reality you look upright).
- The Pelvic tilt: Tighten your core like a fighter ready to take a punch. This will force your hips to tilt forward and under your spine. You can do this standing or lying on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor.
- The Hip hinge: Start in a standing position (with your shoulders retracted and pelvis tilted)) then lean your hips back to sit into a chair or squat down.
These 3 simple, yet powerful, elements allow our bodies to move with ease, strength, and prevent unnecessary injury.
All pulling, pushing, lifting, squatting, and even sitting require proficiency in these movements in order to prevent injury and maintain an upright posture.
So with this in mind, how can we retrain our bodies to have good posture both on and off the exercise mat?
Here are some exercises for each element, and you can watch a video tutorial of these movements here
- The Scapular retraction: Rolling your shoulders forward and backward. Scapular flys, band pulls, neck stretches
- The Pelvic tilt: Pelvic tilts, pelvic tilt knee raises, dead bugs, bird dog, straight arm planks with pelvic tilt.
- The Hip hinge: Sitting/standing with perfect form, body weight squats, single leg deadlifts, split squats, runner’s lunge hip stretch.