Chair Posture Improving Exercises
What is good posture? Most people will automatically situp in a “ram rod” straight position and may even pull their shoulders back a bit too. This, however, is NOT good posture.
A good posture refers to the “three natural curves that are present in a healthy spine. From a front to back view, the 33 vertebrae in the spinal column should appear completely vertical. From the side view, the cervical or neck region of the spine (C1-C7) is curved anteriorly, the thoracic or upper back region (T1-T12) is curved posteriorly, and the lumbar or lower back region (L1-L5) is curved anteriorly.
Many factors effect posture including poor standing, seated or sleeping habits, stress, occupation and sporting imbalances, past injuries and even genetics play a role in it too. Seeing a chiropractor is your best bet in helping restore any faulty posture but any great chiropractor will also assign the proper stretches needed to help.
Here is my favorite stretch to improve posture. I like it because it’s so simple and targets many “often” problem areas like the hip flexor, chest and forearms. It’s called the “Samson stretch” that involves a few steps:
1. Lace fingers and turn palms outward while locking arms, and then push arms and hands out to horizontal.
2. Push hands forward and head back, then look straight ahead
3. Push arms overhead as you push hands hard towards ceiling
4. Keep arms perpendicular to floor and keep palms turned to ceiling
5. Lunge as far forward as possible with one leg and let the trailing knee settle to ground
6. Push hips forward feeling stretch in front leg and back
7. Maintain push to ceiling and gaze forward as you hold for 10-20 seconds
8. Repeat with other side.
A last recommendation for improving posture, particularly if you are seated a great deal of time is to have a spinal assessment done. They can tell you if you have weaknesses or problems that can be addressed through additional exercises.