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A good posture, both when you’re sitting and standing, is key to avoid some body aches. If your body and spine are properly aligned, your entire organism will feel the benefits and you can not only relieve but also prevent pains. Here are some exercises you can do at home to adjust your muscles and bones to the right posture.
Good posture is also known as a neutral spine, as there shouldn’t ideally be no deviation in the human figure. To keep your body equally and healthily supported, the muscles surrounding your spine should be balanced and the bones there need to be correctly positioned.
If you wonder whether your posture is right when you’re sitting, check that your feet are resting flat on the floor with even weight on both hips. Your back should be mostly straight and your shoulders should be thrown backward but not tensed. Additionally, there should be an invisible straight line connecting your ears with your collarbones.
When you’re standing, your knees shouldn’t be completely extended. This will put an extra burden on them and they'll end up feeling unnecessary tension. Instead, you should perceive a slight bend on your knees, caused by the fact that your knee joints aren’t being locked.
A good posture brings lots of benefits. For instance, it reduces your lower back pain, because a bad sitting position puts more pressure on the posterior structures of the spine, including the intervertebral discs, facet joints, ligaments, and muscles. Good posture also contributes to avoiding the headaches caused by remaining muscle tension in the back of your neck. When you’re sitting, you can use a lumbar roll or rolled towel to support your natural lumbar curve. To find your ideal spinal posture when sitting, you can rock your pelvis back and forth and find a position in the middle of those ranges.
If you achieve to keep a neutral spine during your everyday tasks, you’ll probably feel more energized. This happens because your muscles and bones aren’t overstressed and you may feel less fatigue. Even your breathing can be improved by it, as you wouldn’t be compressing your lungs and they’d have more space to expand.
This exercise helps to strengthen and engage your gluteal and abdominal muscles, and also relieves your lower back from any tension. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Lift your hips and lower torso off the ground by contracting your gluteus maximus muscles. Then, slowly lower your hips back down. Your abdominal muscles should remain tight.
2. Head retraction
This movement strengthens the neck muscles that are often weak and stretched out. Lie on the floor on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Pull your chin down until it touches your chest and hides your neck. Hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds and repeat it 10 times.
3. Torso twist
This exercise helps to strengthen your side abs, your obliques, which need to be active when you’re sitting or standing. Start by sitting on the floor with your knees bent. Lift your feet off the floor and tighten your abs. Try to keep your balance as you rotate your upper body and elbows from side to side.
4. Neck stretch
This exercise helps to relieve pressure and correct existent tension. You should stand in front of the mirror with a straight spine and neck. Now, loosen your jaw. With your head and neck in a neutral position and your eyes looking forward, turn your head slowly from one side to the other to stretch your neck muscles.