Our posture is suffering and our backs are beginning to get weaker. Why? Most of us sit at our desks slumped in our chairs with rounded shoulders or hunched forward to look at our phones.
How can you RESET that posture? (We also incorporate these movements in our classes such as Guns & Buns, TRX, Pilates and Barre.)
Exercise 1- Doorway Rotation
Stand inside a doorway . Bend your right arm 90 degrees (like you’re giving a high five) and place your forearm against the doorframe. Position your bent elbow at about shoulder height. Rotate your chest left until you feel a nice stretch in your chest and front shoulder. Hold it for 30 seconds. Repeat with the opposite arm.
You can emphasize different parts of your chest by adjusting the height of your bent elbow on the doorframe. The lower your elbow, the more your pectoralis major gets stretched; the higher your elbow, the more you stretch your pectoralis minor.
Exercise 2- Chest press and roll
Simply place the ball between your chest and the wall. Roll the ball around on your chest until you find a “hot spot” — you know you’ve found one if it hurts when the ball rolls over it. When you find a trigger point, stop and just rest on the ball for 10 to 20 seconds. Contrary to popular belief, it’s the pressure, not the rolling, that smoothes fascia and releases tight, knotty muscles. Continue rolling and finding more trigger spots.
Exercise 3- Broomstick roll over
This movement does wonders for loosening up shoulders that have become tight from years of turning inward while slouching. Don’t worry, you don’t actually dislocate your shoulders with this exercise!
You’ll need a PVC pipe or broomstick that’s about five feet in length.
Hold the PVC pipe in front of you with an overhand grip. If your shoulders are really inflexible, start off with a pretty wide grip — as wide as possible. As your flexibility increases, you can begin to narrow your grip.
Slowly lift the PVC pipe in front of you, then over your head, until it hits you in the back/butt area. Then come back to the starting position. Again, do this SLOWLY. If you do it too fast, you’re likely to injure yourself.
Exercise 4- Foam Roller Opener
The thoracic spine composes the middle segment of your spine. When you see someone with a pronounced hunched back, you’re seeing what happens to the thoracic spine when you chronically slouch. After a while, it loses so much mobility that getting back into the correct and healthy position becomes difficult.
To increase mobility so that your thoracic spine isn’t so hunched over, do some extensions on a foam roller.
Place the foam roller under your upper back. Feet and butt should be on the floor. Place your hands behind your head and bring your elbows as close together as you can. Let your head drop to the floor, and try to “wrap” yourself around the foam roller. Begin to roll the foam roller up and down your back, searching for “hot spots.” When you find one, lift your head up and really dig your back into the foam roller. Lay your head back down and continue searching for more hot spots along your thoracic spine.
Exercise 5- Prone (on your belly) V extension
Lie face down on the floor and put your hands above your head in a “V” position with your palms facing down. Lift up your torso, (keep gluts very tight and engaged) just like you would with a back extension while simultaneously externally rotating your shoulders so that your palms face each other at the top of the movement. Keep your head in line with your neck and back. Hold that position for 5 to 10 seconds. Slowly lower yourself down to the starting position and repeat 10 more times.
Exercise 6- Wall Fly
Start with knees slightly bent, and your lower back, upper back, and head pressed against the wall. Arms are also on the wall, with your fingers pushed against it. Think of giving the “It’s good!” football sign.
Move your arms up above your head, like a snow angel. The key is to keep your fingers, entire back and butt, and head pushing into the wall. The tendency will be to arch out. If your backside loses contact with the wall, you’re doing it wrong.
There you go. Perform these exercises regularly and watch your posture begin to routine to normal!