Whether we are standing, sitting or lying down, gravity exerts a force on our joints, ligaments and muscles and posture simply refers to the body’s alignment and positioning to help us look better, but also ensuring we move more economically so no one structure is overstressed.
In our modern day lives, posture suffers due to life style choices and genetics. There are range of specific exercises that we encourage clients to do to build strength however, it is important to speak with an exercise professional if you have any specific postural concerns.
The following back and core exercises will help improve your posture by strengthening your supporting muscles so you stand straighter and pull your shoulders back.
Cable seated row
Set the appropriate weight on the weight stack and using a close grip bar, grasp the bar with a neutral grip, keep your legs slightly bent and sit upright with your shoulders back and down. From this starting position pull the handle into your stomach, squeeze your shoulder blades together, pause and then slowly lower the weight back to the starting position. Your back should remain straight at all times. For each exercise repeat 3 sets of 12.
This works all the muscles in the back and allows you to lean backwards while using gravity to increase the intensity of the movement. Stand facing the anchor point, lean back with your arms straight with palms facing each other. Keeping your torso stiff as a board, pull your body toward the anchor point and squeeze your shoulder blades together and return to start again.
Standing cable twist
This exercise works your abdominals and lower back. Stand on one side of the cable at chest height, arms straight and legs shoulder width apart. Bend the knees slightly, engage the core and pull the cable across your body to the other side, twisting your torso, keeping your arms straight.
Plank hold on a Swiss ball
Beginner – Position the ball so the top of your chest is resting on the ball and place your hands around the ball. Your body needs to be in a straight line, feet on toes, pull in your belly button towards your spine and head in line with your back. Work at staying balanced on the ball. Hold position.
Advanced – complete the exercise with straight arms and hands on the ball