Five Tips to Improve your Body Posture
Practicing good body posture on a daily basis is essential to prevent muscle and joint ailments. With our natural body posture, our structure works correctly, but this can gradually change throughout our lives.
Improve your body posture with these recommendations
If we manage to limit those changes, we’ll have made huge progress towards healthy aging. Let’s look at five tips to help us maintain the correct body posture.
1. Watch your hips
The first tip has to do with the general alignment of the body. Our modern lifestyle causes our hips to reverse or rotate backwards.
We can easily check if our hips are in retroversion when we sit down. If you notice that you support your weight behind the ischial tuberosities (the bones we notice in the glutes when we’re sitting), it means that your sitting posture is quite poor. By correcting this posture and sitting in front of these bones, you’ll automatically notice how the rest of your back straightens out.
Another way to make sure that your hips are in the right place is through exercise. Having flexible hamstring muscles and strong quads will help to tighten the pelvis properly, instead of it going backward.
2. Straighten your back
The classic indication that our parents used to give us is very true. We should listen to them, no matter how old we are.
This tip goes beyond just sitting properly, which is vital for many body structures. The advice also includes bringing out your chest or enlarging the thoracic cavity.
Doing this not only prevents the appearance of humps, but it’s also important in maintaining a balance between the anterior and posterior core muscles. If we’re always working with spinal flexion, the front muscles will remain contracted, while the posterior muscles will always stretch out.
Both muscles must work and contract correctly to maintain the proper body posture and take care of our spine’s curvatures.
We must also note the importance of keeping our abdominal muscles held with some tension when we’re sitting and standing. Tucking your tummy is important for good posture, as it reduces stress on the spine.
3. The shoulders also make a good body posture
As for the shoulders, modern life also tends to affect them negatively. Our daily life consists of actions that require us to lean forward. Using a computer, eating, writing or reading are some examples.
If we let ourselves go, our shoulders will end up leaning forward due to a muscle decompensation. To counteract this, we must become aware of the importance of bringing the shoulders back and down. We can compliment this action with the aforementioned “chest lift”. They’re all essential steps to maintain a good body posture.
In this sense, exercises for the back muscles can really help. If we work the muscles that allow us to move our arms in all directions and not only the biceps, deltoids and pectoral muscles, we’ll be able to improve this aspect.
4. Don’t forget about your neck
The last stop in our body tour is the neck. First, we have to realize the importance of relaxing the neck muscles. Once again, if we’re always using the computer, eating, reading, playing video games or performing similar actions, our neck muscles will always be tense.
We should learn to relax the neck muscles through exercise. Some movements we can do are: back and forth circles with the shoulders, lifting both shoulders alternately and, of course, gently tilting the head side to side, up and down, and then side to side again.
It’s also important to learn how to breathe correctly with our diaphragm. If we use a lot of upper breathing, we can end up using our neck muscles to help us when we inhale; this isn’t the right thing to do.
Lastly, we must keep a couple of things in mind. First, try to bring your head back slightly. Second, keep a distance between the chin and the base of the neck that’s a little bigger than the size of your fist. If it’s significantly larger, this means that you’re stretching the anterior muscles and contracting the posterior ones.
5. Your body posture when walking
Finally, it’s important that you also walk appropriately. You must walk with your feet hip-width apart. Swing your arms gently and don’t forget about the other tips we’ve talked about. In other words, walk with your abdominal muscles slightly contracted, your back straight, the shoulder back and down and your neck positioned correctly and facing forward.
It’s important to mention that structural problems in our feet may also cause alterations in our body posture. If you have a foot problem, the rest of the body will try to compensate for it, and it may cause pathologies in other structures. In this case, you must visit a podiatrist who can prescribe insoles that adapt to your feet correctly.
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- Programa conductual de higiene postural para la prevención del dolor lumbar. Gómez A. Tesis de la Universidad de Murcia. 1997
- Postural Hygiene Program to Prevent Low Back Pain. Méndez F., Gómez A. Spine. Volume 26, Issue 11. 2001 (1280-1286)