Workout Wednesday - Straighten Up and Fly Right

By: Stacia Naquin Email
By: Stacia Naquin Email

With jobs that either keep you behind a desk, or cause repetitive motions, proper posture becomes lost. But if you implement exercises that strengthen the muscles that get neglected and lengthen overly worked muscles, you can begin to regain balance back in your body.

Since most actions that we perform occur in front of us our shoulders, chest and lat (latissimus dorsi) muscles become tight. One exercise that can help is called Y T I. This exercise helps gain strength in the back of your shoulders and back while lengthening the front side of your shoulders and chest.

It can be done by being face down on top of a stability ball and either using light weight or no weight at all. You start by taking your arms and extending them up in the shape of a Y. Keep your thumbs up. Next, lower your arms slightly and raise them up with your thumbs still up in the shape of a T. The last move is to lower your arms slightly again, but this time with the back of your hands facing up you are going to raise your arms up over your waist. Repeat this entire movement 10 to 15 times.

The next exercise helps strengthen your glutes (gluteus maximus), which can cause tightness in your hamstrings and hip flexors when neglected. Many postural issues stem from week glutes. This exercise is known as The Drinking Bird. It's the beginning phase of learning how to do a proper deadlift. Standing up straight with your arms extended out in front of you, bend foward at the hips. Pay close attention to your lower back and hamstrings. If you're maintaining correct form, you should feel a stretch in your hamstrings, but nothing in your lower back. If you're feeling a stretch in your lower back, you're more than likely moving more than just your hip joint. Make sure to keep your entire back straight through the entire movement. You can return to standing straight once you feel the stretch in your hamstrings. Try repeating this 15 to 20 times.

The last exercise is for strengthening your core. This usually goes hand in hand with strengthening your glutes. The two muscle groups help to keep your pelvis level. This can help in many ways regarding posture. This exercise is known as Birddogs. You are going to be on your hands and knees. Your hands should be aligned underneath your shoulders. Bend your elbows slightly and draw in your belly. this should create a "table" with your back. Once in this position, raise an arm and opposite leg out to parallel with the floor. Hold that position for 3 seconds and then return to the starting position alternate arms and legs and repeat. Try doing 20 total raises.

Remember, you will benefit from balancing your posture in many ways. It will help prevent injuries, as well as give you more range of motion and freedom in your movement. These exercises and others can help improve posture and help you enjoy a better quality of life.

For more ideas regarding posture and other fitness related topics, you can reach me at 24 Hour Fitness, 719-244-9532.

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