Why do you have bad posture and how can you treat it?

Why do I have bad posture?

There are many reasons as to why you may have bad posture.  They include: Injury and muscle guarding, disease, bad habits, weak muscle areas and genetics. When we injure a muscle, our brain automatically tries to prevent from adding insult to that injury by locking the muscles in the area that may cause spasms. Those spasms will reduce painful joint movements. This whole process causes other muscles to come together to support that weak area which results in bad posture. Habits such as slouching in a seat or hunching over while texting are examples of everyday habits that take a toll on our posture. All of these causes are preventable and curable with the correct treatment. 

What should I do to improve my posture?

Improving bad posture involves not only working on breaking bad life habits but incorporating the correct exercises to strengthen your core, back and shoulder muscles. Core and back muscle exercises move your torso by flexing and extending your spine while also stabilizing the spine so it aligns in its natural position. Shoulder exercises will strengthen the shoulder blades while also pulling back the shoulder blades to reduce slouching. Strengthening these areas will improve overall bodily fitness levels and posture.

What are some exercises to improve my posture?

Plank

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Go into modified push-up position with your elbows bent 90 degrees and both forearms resting on the floor. Position your elbows directly underneath your shoulders and look straight toward the floor. Your body should form a perfectly straight line from the head to your heels. Your feet are together with only the toes touching the floor. Hold for as long as possible while keeping the abdomen and lower back muscles tight

 Leg Lifts

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 Lay down flat on the ground with your legs fully extended and raised upwards. Point your toes and set your neutral spine. Then brace your core so your back doesn’t move while having your legs raised. As one leg lifts, lower the other. Do 10-12 reps on each side maintaining a strong, braced core while relaxing your shoulders and maintaining your breath.

Bird Dog

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Begin on all fours with your knees directly under your hips and hands under your shoulders. Pull in your abs and keep them tight while reaching out with your right arm and extending your left leg. Make sure to not let your ribs sag toward the floor while keeping your pelvis secure. Then return to the starting position and alternate your arm and leg. 

Wall Angels

Stand with your back against the wall with your arms out to your sides while bending your elbows. Rotate your arms so that the back of your hands are touching the wall directly above your elbows. Slowly move your arms up and over your head while focusing on maintaining contact between your elbows, hands, and the wall, and then lower your arms. Only go as high or as low as you can to ensure your hands and elbows are always making contact with the wall. 

Back Extensions

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Lie face down, extending arms straight above your head and extending your legs behind you. Keeping your head in line with your spine, gently lift your shoulders as far off the floor as possible, while also lifting your legs for a few seconds to cause a stretch in the back. Once completed, return to the starting position.
 

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