Poor posture is rampant. It’s easy to sit slumped at your desk at work or stand unevenly if you are waiting in line at the grocery line or concert.
The problem is that every time you slump or stand in poor posture, you are robbing yourself of your height! Over time, you lose an inch, two or even three inches!
And if you are short in height to start with, that adds up! Before long, it’s difficult to drive, reach for items on shelves, and clean out the closet. Your dwindling height becomes evident in family pictures as well.
How to Improve Posture Starts in Front of Your Mirror
Let’s stop this process right now! Learn how to improve posture with this article.
Do yourself a big favor and stand in front of a full length mirror. It’s time to check for posture problems. The goal is to see if you need to improve your posture.
Follow this two-step procedure:
Step 1. What is Your Posture Like from a Frontal View?
Stand with your feet together and look directly into the mirror. Now look at your ears. Move your hair away from your ears if your hair is covering them. Are your ears on the same level or is one higher than the other?
Next look at your shoulders. Are they both on the same level or is one higher than the other.
Next look at your hips and waistline. Are they both on the same level or is one higher than the other? It’s common to have uneven hips, or even uneven leg lengths!
Finally look at your knees and ankles. Are they together with no space in between? Or do your knees appear to be knocking against each other (knock knees or genu valgum)? Or is there a lot of space in the middle that looks like a bow-shape on the edges? This is bowleggedness.
What you want for good posture is to have your ears, shoulders and hips at the same level. Any deviation indicates poor posture or possibly scoliosis.
Step 2. What is Your Posture Like from a Side View?
Here’s where many people start to see that they have posture problems that may not have been officially diagnosed by the medical doctor.
Stand so that you can see what you look like from a side view. You may need another person to help you out with this one, since if you are turning your head to look in the mirror, you cannot see the position of your ear.
What you or your friend is looking for is that an imaginary line connecting the middle of your ear, the middle of your shoulder, the middle of your hip, the middle of your knee and the middle of your ankle is straight, and perpendicular to the floor.
If not, there are posture problems.
Next look for your belly. Is it sticking out significantly from your body? If so, there is an abnormal strain on your lower back.
Does it look like you have a swayback? Do you see a hump in your back such as what the Hunchback of Notre Dame had? Does it look like a hump may be starting? This is called kyphosis and you will need to improve your posture with exercises to improve your posture.
Are your knees locked? In a resting position, when the knees are locked, this puts an undue strain on the rest of the body.
Is your head too far forward? This adds a tremendous strain on the neck muscles and upper back muscles.
The problem is that you probably have never been taught how to have good posture or how to improve posture. The topic takes a little time to explain and most medical doctors won’t have the time in their schedule to explain it.
Exercises That Teach You How to Have Good Posture
The process of improving posture starts with simple exercises. Have you ever heard about how models have to walk with a book on their head? This is an example of one very simple posture exercise.
Here are a few other posture exercises to get started today:
1. Back Against the Wall Exercise, Stomach Scrunch
Stand with your ankles, back and head against a wall. You should be barefoot. Put your hand behind your back in the region of the small of your back. There should be enough room for your hand to fit in there.
If there is too much room, you may have a swayback, which is poor posture. Now squeeze and contract your stomach muscles. Do this 15 times.
2. Back Against the Wall, Belly Dancing
While you are against the wall, bring your feet out from the wall about four inches, making sure your buttocks, back and neck touch the wall. Unlock your knees.
Now the goal is to tip your pelvis back and forth. This is equivalent to squeezing your stomach and bringing every part of your spine back against the wall. When you do this, you will not be able to feel the space between your mid back and low back that is usually there.
Next relax your contracted stomach and back. When you do, you will be able to put your hand between your low back and the wall.
This exercise may take some practice. It’s a motion that belly dancers do very well! Do this 15 times.
When you can successfully do this, you have the ability to correct the position of your pelvis for good posture., and it especially helps for those with swaybacks.
3. Musical Chairs
When you sit in a chair, move your tailbone as close to the back of the chair as possible. Then you will find that you improve your posture immediately with this one move!
Now contract your stomach muscles, in and out for 15 repetitions. Then move to three more chairs in your house and repeat.
You may be thinking to yourself, why bother improving my posture? It just takes extra time! Well not really, and the benefits you get are worth the three minutes you invest each day. Actually, the benefits of good posture are many.
Here are just a few:
1. Mood Improves and Life is Good!
You feel so much better when you correct poor posture and turn it into good posture. Your mood elevates immediately.
Think of it this way: when someone is depressed, what do they look like? Usually their head is down, their shoulders are forward, and they look like the weight of the world is on them. They have poor posture.
Motivational trainers know that just by someone changing from poor posture to good posture, their mood will instantly improve!
2. Less Pain When Poor Posture is Gone
You have less body aches and pains. That’s because your joints are fully supported. Your muscles, ligaments and tendons are not overstretched or understretched.
3. People Perceive You Better and Think of You as A Leader!
You leave a great impression on people when you have good posture. So start doing those exercises that improve posture! Who knows – you may just receive a promotion!
One book that is recommended is the Perfect Posture Program.
It’s an excellent place to start.