Gym

Uplift your performance

How posture can affect training and results

Believe it or not your physical performance can be more affected by your day-to-day activities than by your actual training. In fact, if you’re not doing any posture correcting exercise, you’re almost certainly experiencing the knock-on effect of imperfect body mechanics. How do we know? Because almost everyone is imbalanced in some way.

Exercising to improve your posture will relieve stress on organs with more efficient blood flow, improved digestion, breathing and heart function as well as helping you to avoid damage to joints, bones and muscles. The icing on the cake? According to studies, you’re likely to notice a more positive mood and higher self-esteem as you stand tall and easy!

To give you an example – if your daily routine is to sit for long hours, your glutes become weak. Their primary role is of hip stabilisation and extension. But by sitting all day your hip flexors become short and tight, limiting your range of motion. Weak glutes are a real problem when it comes to stability and powerful hip extension. This will certainly affect your lifts at the gym.

The following exercises are all designed to improve your posture using nothing but your own body weight, so you can do them anywhere, anytime.

Shoulder Rolls

This simple stretch can work wonders for relieving tension in the shoulders and is particularly useful for cyclists or people who spend long hours staring down at a phone or hunched over a keyboard.

HOW TO 

While sitting or standing, with your chin tucked in, inhale and raise your shoulders toward your ears, slowly completing a rotation up, back, down and round again.  Repeat five to 10 times at least twice a day.

Chin Tuck

Leaning forward when using a phone or a computer causes the head to stick out forward. This hurts the spine and can cause back pain. This exercise will re-align the neck to its natural position.

HOW TO 

Stand straight and pull the head backward, without tilting. You can use your hand to tuck your chin and push the chin back.  Push and hold for 15 seconds and repeat several times.

Wall Angel

Leaning forward when sitting tightens the chest muscles and curves the upper back. As a result, the shoulders are pulled forward and the upper back becomes curved. Wall angels stretch the front of the shoulders and stretch out the chest.

HOW TO 

Stand with your back against a flat wall. Your glutes, spine and head should all be against the wall. Keeping the back of your fingers against the wall, slide your arms up above your head, without increasing the arch in your lower back. Repeat as often as you want to.

WALL TRICEP PRESS UPS

Another great exercise to help correct rounded shoulders.

HOW TO 

Stand arm’s length from the wall, with hands shoulder width apart. Push through the palm of your hands, keeping your shoulders DOWN.

Glute Bridges

This is a great exercise for weak gluteal muscles. It will strengthen the lower back muscles and the glutes, which are essential for good posture.

HOW TO 

Lie flat on your back and bend your knees. Place your hands beside your hips and lift your butt off the floor as high as you can. Hold for 2 seconds at the top then slowly lower the body to starting position and repeat. Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

PLank

Weak abdominal muscles force the pelvis to tilt forward and the back to be arched. Therefore, you need to strengthen the abdominal muscles.

HOW TO 

Lie flat on your stomach. Place your forearms on the floor (facing forward). You can lay your hands flat to the floor but don’t grip them together. The elbows should be directly below the shoulders. Lift the torso and thighs off the floor and keep them aligned in a straight line. Hold that position for at least 30 seconds.

Marching Bridge

This exercise strengthens gluteal muscles and promotes hip stability.

HOW TO 

Start in bridge position, lift hips and keep them level as you alternate lifting each leg. Complete 10 alternations.

Seated Twist

This is one of the best posture correcting exercises by lengthening through the spine. It’s easy to do anywhere. In fact, it’s practically designed to be performed during a long day at work.

HOW TO 

If you can, sit on the floor, but this one can easily be done from a chair. Place feet on the floor, exhale and use the right arm of your chair to twist your shoulders gently to the right. Your abdomen and chest will be facing the right arm of your chair. Hold this position for a few breaths before returning to the starting position and repeating on the other side. Repeat throughout the day.

Cat Camel

This is an excellent way to loosen the spine, combating stiffness – try it first thing in the morning.

HOW TO 

On all fours, make sure your wrists are under your shoulders and knees are directly beneath hip bones. Arch your back into an upward arc while lowering your head – hold for 3 seconds. Then slowly and smoothly bring your back down and into an opposite “under” arch and hold for 3 seconds. Repeat as often as comfortable.