Have you ever seen an elderly person walking down the street and they look like Quasimoto form the Hunchback of Notre Dame? I’m not sure about you but even as I’m typing this my mind is hyper focused on mu posture because I don’t want to look like that when I’m in my 80’s, 90’s or even my 100’s. Most of the time this type of posture is acquired over years of poor posture and positioning. Yes there are some genetic, structural and disease pathologies that can cause this posture to like what Quasimoto had. The ultimate goal is to not let our seated, desk bound lives to take control of how we look, feel, and move. We should be able to have and keep good posture without having to think, or set reminders to “sit up straight”.
Having good posture comes from many different variables. First, we need to have the mobility to get into a good posture. If we lack this, the rest does not matter. Mobility will always come first to set ourselves up for success. This means we need to loosen up our upper back, neck, chest, hip flexors, and lower back muscles. Below are some of my favorite mobility exercises to fix your posture.
Thoracic opener, on Peanut-
This one is great to start off with to help increase thoracic extension to improve our mid back position.
Peanut neck mobility-
The neck is a key part to posture, for where the head goes the body follows. So if our head goes forward our body will follow.
Getting the pec muscles in the front to loosen up can be a helpful to allow up to open up our chests to get into a better postural position.
Band hip opener-
The hips are our foundation with sitting, if they are not in a good position the rest of the body will fold into poor posture.
Low Back Mobilization-
The little joints in our back can limit our ability to move appropriately. If you can get joints to move better you will move better.
Low Back Rollout-
Low back stress through the muscle are often caused through poor posture. If you can loosen them up and increase their usability posture will improve.
MOBILITY BEFORE ANYTHING. Get moving better first then you can focus on getting stronger and increasing postural awareness. Try to work through different areas of the body to see if you can fix your problems. If you have neck pain look and make sure your low back is moving and is not the source.
Look out for Part II next week where we will go through how strength will help improve posture after you are moving normally.