Posture – How To Improve Yours At The Gym Pt.2
In our last post we discussed how detrimental poor posture can be, not only to your training but also to your health and wellbeing. We also looked at 3 different ways you can begin to change your posture for the better while in the gym. If you haven’t read that post yet, you can find it by clicking on this (click here to read the last post).
As we stated before, if you want to move well, improve your strength, reduce your risk of injuries, breath better, and in general put your body in a more advantageous position to improve your health (literally) you’ll want to improve your poor posture. That’s why today, we’ll be looking at 2 more ways you can improve your posture while you’re in the gym.
1.) Lay On A Foam Roller
Laying lengthwise on a long foam roller can be quite therapeutic for the spine, and it helps improve posture in a very gentle and gradual way. Most people have trouble with a rounded upper back and head that reaches forward, due to sitting all day long at work, driving, and staring at their phone. By laying on the foam roller, you’ll give your spine a chance to lengthen, and slowly reduce the rounding of the upper back and forward carry of the head. Try laying on the foam roller after each workout, and before bed each night. Begin with 1 min, monitor how you feel the next day and in the time afterwards. If you’re not sore, begin to work up to 2 mins, 3 mins, and eventually 15 mins at a time.
Here’s some technique tips …
- Sit at the end of the foam roller, your tail bone should be right at the end of the roller. This way when you lay back, your head will also be laying on the roller.
- Lay the arms out at your sides, like a “T” with the palms facing the sky. This will help open up the chest. It’s ok if you can’t straighten the arms fully, it’s alright to keep a bend in the elbows if needed due to tension/lack of flexibility.
- Keep the knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and feet wide. This will help you feel stable and safe.
- If laying flat is tough on your neck, as it is for many people, it’s most likely due to the forward head posture and rounding of your upper back. Try placing a small rolled up towel under the back of your head just enough to keep the neck straight and long, maintaining the natural curve in the neck.
- Relax and breath deeply for the time you’ve chosen
2.) Work On Opening The Chest/Shoulders
Often times the shoulders, ribs, and chest become quite tight and “locked down” due to our modern lifestyle. However, they can also become tight and influence poor posture, reduced ability to breath, poor movement, and pain from imbalanced training programs. If you focus on pushing exercises like bench press, flys, push ups, and more, without equally focusing on pulling exercises that train the opposing muscle groups, it will easily lead to the look and problems that come with poor posture.
This is why it’s important to make sure you have good mobility in the shoulders and scapula (shoulder blades). This will help open the chest, ribs, and shoulders, not only allowing for better movement, but also improved posture, health, and reduce your risk of injuries.
Lucky for you, we have a series of blog posts about improving your shoulder/scapular mobility, try following them in the order shown here.
If you follow the suggestions in these past two blogs, without a doubt you’ll slowly begin to improve your posture, movement, and health. On top of that, you’ll also reduce your likelihood of overuse injuries, or degeneration of your joints due to poor posture. Remember, your posture won’t change over night, it took a while to end up with poor posture, and it will take a while to restore it. But with consistency and practice, you’ll be standing taller in no time – without effort at all.
If you don’t know where to start, and you need some guidance – our Wynn Fitness Personal Trainers are here to help. They’ll help you become a stronger version of yourself! Contact your closest Wynn Fitness and set up a meeting, they’re waiting to work with you.