Posture is something that most people know is important, but not something that is deemed important enough to do anything about it. Despite countless numbers of people complaining of lower back pain, tight shoulders etc up and down the country its very rare that anyone actually does anything about it.
Today we’re going to look at what typically contributes to bad posture and how we can fix it.
Chest Up, Shoulders Back
First off let’s look at the upper back and shoulder region. When posture is bad around here you’ll typically see either shoulders rounded forward and a curve or even hunch in the upper back. While there are plenty of people who have this naturally, most of the time this comes as a result of either the modern life in which we’re sitting at computers, using our phones etc or can come from a lack of confidence or anxiety/depression related issues.
In terms of the muscles and what’s going on, the problems that occur here are generally the chest muscles and middle back muscles become tight and the upper back/rear shoulder and even the neck muscles become weak.
To fix this, we need to focus on stretches to help the flexibility of the tight muscles (Chest and Lats) and strengthen up the weak ones (Trapezius, Lats (Again) and rear shoulders)!
- Rear Delts – Rear Delt Flyes, Facepulls, Batwing Row
- Traps – Upright Row, Shrugs, Deadlifts, Rack Pulls
- Lats – Lat Pulldown, Seated Row, Single Arm Row, Bent Over Row, Deadlift
Lock it Back
The other bit of bad posture that we have to look at is the lower back/hips region. In this instance you’ll tend to see the hips tilted forward (Called anterior pelvic tilt), the bum stuck out and the lower back curved inwards (Think most girls who pose for Instagram). This is seen a lot in pregnant women, but is extremely common in everyone else too.
What is happening here is the hip flexors and lower back are tight and the core/abs, glutes and hamstrings are weak. This is what can generally cause lower back pain for a lot of people!
- Hip Flexors and sometimes Quads
- Lower/ Middle Back
- Glutes – Hip Thrusts, Glute Bridges, Glute Bridge Walkout, Lunges, Step Ups, Deadlifts (And variations of that focus more on lower body)
- Hamstrings – Deadlifts (And variations of that focus more on lower body), Hamstring Curl Machines, Step Ups
- Core – Plank, Rollouts, Single Arm Row with only hand on a box/bench, Deadbugs, Hollow Back Holds (Best one are probably planks, dead bugs and hollow back holds has they ‘lock’ the body into the correct position)
There’s a hell of a lot more to it than that and I could have babbled on for weeks about all the different stretches and strengthening exercises to help make your posture better, but that should give you a brief overview as the what is going on, what is wrong and what you need to focus on to fix it!