Improving your posture may be low down on your list of health priorities, but it’s actually a lot more important than you think.
Great posture means you’re standing tall, like a string is lifting your head up. It improves breathing, which in turn reduces stress, limits the risk of injury and can make you look instantly slimmer.
When it comes to exercises that help, it’s all about your core.
Also read: This Quick Workout will test Your Core
Why core matters for posture
Core exercises focus on building strength in the muscles of your trunk – made up of your pelvic floor muscles, transverse abdominis, internal and external obliques and rectus abdominis.
Unlike the more isolated abdominal exercises (like crunches), core exercises engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously. The result is a smaller, firmer midsection and a more agile core.
By incorporating regular complete-core workouts into your overall fitness routine, you’ll achieve:
- Improved posture, less chance of postural dysfunctions like thoracic kyphosis aka hunchback
- Reduced back pain, particularly the lower back
- A stronger link between your upper and lower body, beneficial in functional movements (walking, running and squatting)
- A smaller waist and more shapely appearance
- Greater coordination (excellent for playing sports like tennis, netball, golf, and everything else)
- Better lifting ability – weights, a heap of groceries and kids!
Corrective exercise experts say all movements should begin with engaging your core so you don’t compromise your spine and risk misalignment, pain or injury. A well-trained inner unit unconsciously switches ‘on’ prior to lifting, throwing or pushing, and can save you years of back pain.
Be mindful of your form when doing your core workouts, if your back starts to tire, take a break. Likewise if you find you’re not holding your form, rest for a while. Pushing through an uncomfortable workout is not worth risking an injury.
5 exercises to improve posture
- Plank on toes
- Oblique mountain climbers
- Side Crunch
- Core rotations
Try incorporating these exercises into your weekly regime. Just 12 reps of each, with a one minute plank and 30 seconds of each leg for the aeroplane is great for building core strength.