Sitting too long at a desk or slumped on the sofa, breastfeeding, bottle feeding, pregnant bodies or standing holding something heavy for too long – they ALL affect your posture. How we sit and stand is so important to take pressure off the back and shoulders, so try some of these release exercises to help release back or neck pain/tension ….
If you have a weak core, especially those who are post natal and want to get back exercising, your posture can mean you are not ready physically to withstand the extra ‘load’ from the exercising body. A pregnant body causes big postural changes – an increased weight from the growing baby tips the pelvis forward into an anterior position – this means your hip flexors at the front can get tight as they are always ‘on’ or ‘shortened’. It also means your glute muscles can’t function as well as they are lengthened so lose strength & become ‘lazy’. This can also apply to those who have desk/sitting jobs & then your shoulders tend to curve forwards too!
So what can you do about it?
- Start thinking about how you sit or stand
- Think – Shoulders down – Right shoulder blade to left bum pocket & left shoulder blade to Right bum pocket (don’t push chest out and hold shoulders back – it will just get tighter)
- Get an exercise band, hold both ends – circle it all around your head & upper back – Right arm up & over the left side of head, take it down to your lower back then bring your left arm up & over right side of head – try & keep your body still, avoid pushing hips forward!
- Pull band apart in front of you & without pushing hips forward lift it up & over your head & down to your bum, then bring it back over head (avoid holding breath!)
- Stand by a wall about 1 foot away side on, extend your R arm behind you so it is on the wall. Take a step forwards & into the wall & let the arm move with you. Step back and put arm/hand slightly higher on the wall, step in & forward again – repeat the move with your hand moving up the wall & then back down the wall (good one for carpel tunnel too!)
These are just a few ideas to think about MOVING your upper body – notice when your shoulders are up by your ears, or you are slouching! Shrug them and relax. Change how you are sitting / standing – you will begin to notice your bad posture more. Set up little reminders around your house (little dots, stars) and whenever you see them spend 1 min standing in neutral and thinking posture! The more you get into the habit the more you will start to improve and will use the right muscles to support your body!