Posture is a huge issue because most of what we do during the day leads to poor posture. We hunch over our phones, our desks, while driving, and then at home when we sit on the couch. Proper posture is part strength, and part practice, but it can yield tremendous returns if you make better posture a regular habit.
This informative blog includes:
- Common issues & pain related to poor posture
- Causes & Challenges of Poor Posture
- How To Fix Posture & Build Strength
- How can Man Flow Yoga help?
Common issues & pain related to poor posture
- Shoulders rounding forward while sitting or standing.
- Back and neck pain (text neck / computer neck)
- Stiffness in the shoulders & spine.
- Feeling lethargic and anxious throughout the day (a significant effect of poor posture)
Causes & Challenges of Poor Posture
- Most of us work in environments that are not conducive to proper posture. Sitting at a desk, squinting at a computer, and commuting lead to stiffness in our back, neck pain, and shoulder discomfort. This can can get worse and become chronic neck, spine, or shoulder pain with time and repetition.
- Our physiology is tied to our mental and emotional states. Poor posture saps your energy, dampens your mood, and decreases your confidence.
- Not all fitness activities make you safe from poor posture-related issues. Having bad posture leads to improper movement during exercise, which can increase your risk of injury (particularly in your shoulders, back, and spine), decrease the overall effectiveness of your workout, and make day to day movement painful or uncomfortable.
- Having poor posture affects every aspect of your movement. Sitting with poor posture on a regular basis teaches your body to get comfortable in that position. This leads to a huge decrease in strength and mobility throughout your entire body, including your shoulders, neck & spine, core, hips, and even your knees and ankles.
How To Fix Posture & Build Strength
- In order to fix your posture, you need to ensure you are doing corrective exercises on a regular basis. To successfully counter the position you find yourself in when sitting or standing with poor posture, at a minimum these exercises should include hip opening postures, shoulder stretches, back strengthening, spinal movement, and core strengthening.
- Yoga – but not all yoga is the same. In order to fix your posture with yoga, you need a yoga program focused on holding corrective postures for a longer period of time; to help counter the typical rounding of the spine and hunched shoulders you find yourself in when sitting with poor posture. Fast-moving vinyasa style classes can be helpful, but are not the most effective method to fix posture.
- Posture is part strength, and part habit. By building strength in the muscles of the shoulders, core, and upper-back, you build the muscular strength required to hold yourself upright with proper posture. Developing the mindfulness to have proper posture during the day comes through repetition and practice, which happens when you engage in exercise that reinforces proper posture on a regular basis – usually at least 3 times per week.
- A combination of postural correction exercises (such as the backbending, spine-strengthening, chest opening, and hip opening postures found in a yoga program) and resistance training (bodyweight, bands, or weights) to target the pulling muscles of the upper-back and shoulders. This is the most effective combination of exercises to improve your posture.
The Bottom line – the more time you spend strengthening the muscles and improving the mobility in your body that leads to proper posture, combined with practicing the mindfulness required to maintain proper posture even when you are not exercising, the more significant improvements you will notice when it comes to posture.
How Man Flow Yoga helps
- I have a program made specifically to improve posture called The Posture Fix. It is entirely made up of workouts designed that address the most common weaknesses that cause poor posture, and helps to make proper posture a daily, regular habit. This program calls for 30-40 minutes per day for at least 3 days per week.
- Almost all of my workouts reinforce proper posture, and help to address to direct causes of poor posture. Improved posture is one of the most commonly reported benefits of following a Man Flow Yoga Program. We also have exercise tutorials that show you how to do complementary non-yoga pulling exercises such as pull-ups and rows to help you develop the necessary shoulder and upper-back strength for proper posture.
- Which “path” is right for you? We’ve developed “Paths” at Man Flow Yoga to help people understand the appropriate programs and workouts for their particular goals and challenges. People interested in improving their posture typically fall into one or more of the following categories: (1) At Home Yoga for Physical Training, (2) Injury-Prevention & Rehab, or (3) Yoga for Athletes.