Power poses for good posture

Power poses for good posture

Posture power exercises and poses can transform and ignite your body. Our posture should be our only focus within fitness and body health. An improved posture will ensure improved digestion and greater oxygen absorption. It will evoke higher confidence and will give superior muscle strength, mobility and aligned body function.

Grandma was right with all that nagging as having a good posture looks good. It helps you to develop strength, flexibility and balance in your body. These can all lead to less muscle pain and more energy throughout the day. Proper posture also reduces stress on your muscles and ligaments, which can reduce your risk of injury.

Improving your posture also helps you to become more aware of your muscles, making it easier to correct your own posture. As you work on your posture and become more aware of your body, you might even notice some imbalances or areas of tightness you weren’t previously aware of.

The best way to improve your posture is to focus on exercises that strengthen your trunk. These are the abdominal and low back muscles that connect to your spine and pelvis.

Slouching doesn’t just look lazy; it also causes neck and back pain, decreases oxygen flow to your muscles and reduces flexibility, upping your risk of injury. Posture improvements all combat chest tightness and strengthen the muscles that pull back the shoulder blades to build better posture. It’s one of the major muscle imbalances in people.

Our posture also affects our breath and oxygen levels. It’s extremely common for many to hold their breath in a poor posture positi+on without even realising it. When we inhale, our body absorbs the oxygen in the air and uses it to create energy (also known as ATP), which is needed to keep the muscles moving while working or in movement. Holding your breath while performing an exercise or being in an incorrect position while working makes it harder to take in enough oxygen, which can increase blood pressure, muscle fatigue and lacklustre brain function.

I encourage you to improve your posture. Add these eight combination exercises to your regime and they can have you standing strong and breathing better in no time.

Grab some light (2–7kg) dumbbells or a medicine ball and tackle this workout to not only look more confident and absorb more oxygen but certainly maintain an improved and visible power posture. No equipment handy? You can use your body weight. Complete 12 repetitions or hold for 12 seconds and complete three sets.

1 Walking lunge with twist

1

Stand up tall with your feet shoulder-width apart. Using a medicine ball or dumbbell, hold it directly in front of you with both hands, your elbows bent about 90 degrees. Step forward with your right foot, lowering your body into a basic lunge position. Twist your upper body to the right from your midsection. Keep your core engaged. Squeeze your glutes and be careful to not rotate your knee.

2 Squat press

2

When the hips are below the knees in the squat, push both legs into the ground to stand up and at the same time press the dumbbells overhead by straightening the arms. Slowly return the weights to the shoulders.

3 Standing single leg deadlift

3

Start with the kettlebell on the floor, hinge down, pick up the bell, return to the top position and then hinge back and return the bell to the floor, and then let go.

4 Bent-over row

4

Place a dumbbell on each side of a mat or flat bench. Place your right knee on the end of the bench. Bend your torso from the waist until your upper body is parallel to the floor, while placing your right hand on the bench in front of you for support.

With your left hand, pick up the dumbbell with an overhand grip. The palm of your hand should be facing into you. Keep your lower back straight. This is the start position. Using your back muscles, pull the dumbbell straight up to the side of your chest, keeping your upper arm close to your side. Exhale as you do so.

At the top of the movement, hold for a count of one and squeeze your back muscles.

5 Standing leg stretch or reverse warrior yoga pose

5

From Warrior II pose (with the right knee bent), bring the left hand down to rest on the left leg. Inhale and lift the right arm up towards the ceiling and reach the fingers away from each other. Look straight ahead or up at the ceiling. Keep the right knee bent, pressing into the feet with the legs strong. Sink the hips down toward the floor and relax the shoulders. Breathe and hold for 6–12 breaths.

To release, inhale and move the arms parallel to the floor coming back into Warrior II. Repeat on other side. If this is too difficult, complete the laying leg stretch as seen in images.

6 High plank

6

The high plank pose helps to relieve pain and stiffness throughout your body while strengthening your shoulders, glutes and hamstrings. It also helps you develop balance and strength in your core and back, both important for good posture. Come onto all fours and straighten your legs, lift your heels and raise your hips. Straighten your back and engage your abdominal, arm and leg muscles. Lengthen the back of your neck, soften your throat and look down at the floor. Make sure to keep your chest open and your shoulders back. Hold this position for up to one minute at a time.

7 Cobra with hip rotation

Cobra will help you strengthen your back and improve your posture. Lying on your stomach with your hands under your shoulders, press down into the earth and lift your upper body, drawing your shoulders and the back of you toward the back of the room. Hold this pose for five breaths. Relax and repeat.

The more you can take the weight off your hands, the more your back will benefit

8 Abdominal — single leg raises with crunch toe taps

7
 

Lie on the mat or weight bench longways keeping your body straight. Keeping your legs straight, lift one up until it is at a right angle to your upper body. Raise your weight into the air and lift your chest towards your toes, moving the weight towards the feet. Lower back down again in a controlled manner and return the body and weight to flat position. Repeat on the other side.

Belinda Norton

Belinda Norton

Belinda Norton is health and fitness educator and personal trainer with 23 years’ experience. She is a published author of Fit Mama and writer for Kid Spot, and shares her women’s wellness and body alignment expertise. Belinda is a mother of two teens, speaker and children’s health advocate. Connect with her at blivewear.com or Instagram @Belinda.n.x.

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