3 Simple Ways To Fix Your Posture
1: Fix your mid-back
A lot of lower back pain sufferers are told to sit up straight. This is a huge error as most people I see in the clinic are already too straight. The spine is meant to have curves to allow load to be distributed evenly.
The area where most people are restricted is the mid back. This area becomes very flat and a lot of people have what we call in clinic ‘a flat mid back”.
Here is an exercise that will help you open up that ‘a flat mid back”.
Standing wall press:
1. Stand facing a wall and place both hands on the wall.
2. Keep your feet shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent.
3. Straighten both arms and maximally round out your back as you tuck your bottom under you.
4. As you inhale through your nose, gently press into the wall with both arms as you attempt to fill or expand your upper back with air.
5. Exhale through your mouth as you maintain this position.
6. Hold this position while you take 4-5 deep breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth, attempting to expand your upper back with air upon each inhalation.
7. Relax and repeat 4 more times.
In the pic below you can see how flat the spine ‘a flat mid back” is from the shoulder blade to the neck, the spine is vertical in inclination. The pic on the right shows the slight curve that should happen in the mid back area.
2: Fix your shoulder height.
Most people have one shoulder lower than the other and this can cause a lot of painful symptoms like neck pain and shoulder pain.
Just get someone at home to check if your shoulders are even and the try this simple intercostal rib stretch to see if you can balance them out.
1. Lie on your right side with your left leg slightly behind your right and both legs bent at about a 110-degree angle.
2. Place your left knee on a 2-inch bolster, keeping your left leg behind your right.
3. Straighten your right arm keeping your trunk upright.
4. Drop your right chest wall by slightly bending your right elbow.
5. Place a balloon in your left hand.
6. Press your left knee into the bolster, engaging your left inner thigh.
7. Press your right knee down into the mat, engaging your right outside hip (buttock).
8. Keeping your left inner thigh and right outside hip (buttock) engaged, inhale through your nose.
9. Exhale slowly into the balloon as you begin to let your right chest sink to the mat.
10. Pause three seconds with your tongue on the roof of your mouth to prevent airflow out of the balloon.
Here is a before and after of one of our clients. See on left the right shoulder dropped and after the session they are level by doing the exercise above.
3: Fix the way you stand
If you are the type of person that hates ques then you probably hate standing and will generally have to lean on something.
Next time in a queue look at the different ways people stand. Some will be the learners - just have to get the body against something to take the pressure off. Others will have one leg that they put the full weight through and then the people that alternate are probably the ones with the best movement. Most people love standing on one leg and don't even notice they have a second.
The first test is simple with your two feet together and knees straight and see how much you can sit into each hip. If one side is restricted then you should work on loosening that side.
Left Posterior capsule stretch.
1. Place your left foot behind you on a 2 to 6-inch block or step.
2. Keeping both feet flat, slowly shift your left hip back. Keep your weight through your left mid-foot/heel.
3. Rotate your trunk to the left by reaching for your left knee with your right hand. You should feel a stretch on the outside of your left hip (buttock). Pull your left knee in slightly and feel your left inner thigh engage.
4. Hold this position while you take 4-5 deep breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth.
5. Relax and repeat 4 more times.
Here is a before and after of one of my clients this week - this difference was made in one session. On the left he is trying to get off his right leg but doesn't have the control on the left side. After doing the exercise above this is the after pic on the right.