ATLETA Fitness

The Importance and Benefits of Good Posture

Bondi PostureWhen we were kids it seemed to be that parents were always telling us to keep our back straight, stand up tall and keep our chin up. Of course when you’re young it just seems uncomfortable and annoying. As much as it pains some people to admit it, though, they were right. The importance and benefits of good posture are extensive, and make correct posture a necessity for your health and well-being. Good posture can help with:

Better Appearance

Improved Strength

Decrease in Joint and Muscle Problems

Decreased Injury Risk

Better Appearance

Having good and correct posture will make you appear taller and more confident. Correct posture will ensure that your back stands up straight, helping to avoid hunching over (Thoracic Kyphosis) or sticking your hips and stomach too far forward (Lumbar Lordosis). ATLETA Good postureGood posture ensures a balance between the 3 curves in the spine, maintaining the back in a strong, upright position. Good posture will also ensure your shoulders are held back, stopping them from rolling in. This improves male and female body image and helps boost self-confidence. On top of the visible benefits of good posture are the strength and fitness benefits good posture offers.

 

Improved Strength:

Building muscle with bad posture is like the man who built his house on the sand – no matter how strong the construction may be, if the foundations are unstable then the whole house is at risk of collapsing. Effectively, good posture gives you the strong foundations off of which you can build muscle, strength and improve your health. This also contributes to you looking great! Good posture will make sure you build muscle and ‘tone up’ in the correct way, without aggravating muscle imbalances within the body which would lead to chronic pain down the track. Good posture not only helps you look and feel great, but it also dramatically reduces the chances and severity of joint problems or injury.

Decrease in Muscle and Joint Problems and Decreased Injury Risk:

Correct and good posture will help you maintain healthy and strong joints, as correct posture keeps your body from moving in harmful ways. A strong, tall back position alleviates heavy stresses from the spine, and ultimately decreases the risk of back problems or chronic back pain. Good posture also means that your back and chest muscles are working in correct proportion to each other, and helps to maintain a strong upper body and keep your shoulders from getting injured.

Core imbalances can develop from extended periods of sitting, like many of us do at work each day. Good posture helps balance out stresses across the core and legs, removing excessive stresses from hip flexors and lower back muscles, and instead balancing this out with improved core activation and better upper body muscle mechanics.ATLETA group training

It’s all good and well to know why good posture is important; but HOW do we achieve this? We’ve compiled a list of different exercises and methods to get you standing up straight and looking great!

Exercises:

Core

Core stability comes in first and foremost, when considering good posture. Without a strong core, there is no base to build up a strong body. Core strengthening exercises need to include abdominal exercises, oblique (twisting) exercises, isometric core exercises and lower back and glute exercises. This ensures a stable and strong ‘box’ where your core is, allowing you to build a stronger frame and better posture form here. Exercises for this region could include transverse ab flexions (lying on your back, flexing your stomach), Russian twists, crunches, mountain climbers, glute bridges, back extensions and a host of other core exercises.SUP for core and posture

Lower Body

From the core you can work up or down, to strengthen the upper body and build support from the lower body. Training the lower limbs and stretching out the hip flexors ensures that good posture comes from strong legs and a strong core, rather than tight hip flexors and weakened hamstrings. Managing a balance between quads and hamstring strength , along with glute control, will help build a stable lower body base off of which to build good posture. Lower limb exercises should include deadlifting exercises, including single leg, straight leg, Kettlebell and barbell, as well as squatting exercises, hip thrusters, single leg stability and lunges. This will ensure a balanced lower body and create the perfect foundations for good posture.

Upper Body

Working up form the core and you will start to strengthen and stabilise the upper limbs and torso. Having a strength equality between your chest and back (push and pull) will help to improve your posture and balance out your body. Exercises such as rows, pull-downs, push-ups and presses are great to ensure a push-pull balance. This will also improve your scapula control, to stop it pulling too far forward or back. Push movements will help keep your scapula from ‘winging’ out as your serratus anterior strengthens, and stabilises the scap. Furthermore, rowing exercises will improve your rhomboid and trapezius action, helping to keep your shoulder blades back and upright, keeping you in a nice, comfortable position for good posture.

Strengthening the shoulder rotator cuff will help to alleviated pressure that can build up on the neck and upper trapezius. Internal and external shoulder rotation exercises, as well as front and lateral raising exercises, will strengthen the shoulder rotator cuff and help maintain a relaxed neck during seating or standing. This all helps to maintain that good posture we’re all about!

Want more information on how you can train for Great posture?

Contact us

ATLETA’s ‘Spring into Summer’ Group Training is running Tuesday and Friday mornings 6:30 am in Centennial Park. Sign up with a friend now, and both your first weeks are free! Click here for more information on the benefits of group training.

Written by Johann Ruys

 

 

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