Renowned physiotherapist Nick Sinfield has many a time mentioned the 8 most common posture mistakes plus tips on how to correct them through strength and stretching regimens. People who have back pain complications may not see the full benefits of posture correction efforts. However, they’re likely to notice a considerable improvement in back muscle tension.
If you’re looking to correct your posture, it’s best to prepare to the fact that the initial stages may be quite a challenge. This is because the body already has an optimum mode that it has already gotten accustomed to. That however, doesn’t mean that it’s an unachievable feat. Not at all. With a little bit of practice, you’re certainly going to embrace good posture as a lifestyle.
Other than giving you peace of mind about your health, a good posture will help you better portray assertiveness, confidence and a poised demeanor. Without further ado, let’s get down to listing some of the most common posture mistakes with tips on how to correct them.
Slouching in a Chair
While it’s true that a little slouching never hurt anyone, when done over extended periods, the practice can have a negative impact on your health. This is because slouching tends to strain sensitive muscles and soft tissues in the body. If left unchecked, the strain can elevate and create painful muscle tension.
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To avert all this, it’s best to adopt proper sitting habits. At first, you may encounter difficulty getting it right since your muscles are already accustomed to a certain degree of comfort. Despite this challenge, it’s best to withstand the pain since it’s only a matter of time before you become accustomed to the new position.
To correct slouching postures, you need to exercise muscles in the buttocks and core plus the back extensions. Some of the recommended exercise to correct a slumping posture are planks, bridges, and back extensions.
Sticking Your Bottom Out
If you happen to stick your bottom out while seated, then the odds are you’re likely to suffer from hyperlordosis. The condition arises after your lower back becomes extremely curved almost akin to the “Donald Duck” pose.
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It’s also important to note that other activities like pregnancy, adorning heels and excessive weight around the belly region can also cause you to acquire this kind of posture. To correct this condition, it’s best to perform a couple of core and buttock strengthening exercises, plus some thigh and hip flexor stretches.
Planks, standing thigh stretches, side-lying leg raises and hip flexor stretches are some of the other exercises you can perform to correct the posture.
Ideally, you need to conceptualize an imaginary string attached atop your head pulling you upwards, then, work towards correcting your standing posture. Once you achieve perfect body alignment, it’s easier to maintain a natural spinal curvature. All you have to take care of is ensure that the shoulders and neck are parallel with the hips.
Standing with a Flat Back
When you stand with a flat back, there’s high chance that you’ll stoop forward. This is because the pelvis is tucked in and the lower back is curved. Standing with a flat back can be quite frustrating since you’re going to have difficulty standing over lengthy periods.
Muscle imbalances are the key reason as to why people adopt this curved back posture. You can also find yourself with the condition if you happen to sit over extended periods of time. The practice is quite dangerous because it leads to upper back and neck strain problems.
To rectify your posture, you’re going to have to do exercises that focus on strengthening the core, rear shoulder muscles, neck region, and back extensions. Exercises like chest stretches, planks, back extensions, pull-ups, and side-lying leg raises are excellent ways to achieve proper posture.
Leaning on One Leg
When you lean on one leg you put a lot of pressure on a single side of your lower back and hip. This is quite different from the typical scenario where the buttocks and core muscles are what help you maintain your posture.
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If you lean on one leg over long periods, you are likely going to develop some muscle complication in and around the pelvis area. These issues can further develop to become muscular strains affecting the buttocks and lower back.
To avert this scenario, it’s advisable to use both feet to support your weight. Other exercises like bridges, planks, and side-lying leg raises are also great remedies.
Hunched Back & Text Neck
Many people who have desk jobs find themselves hunching over their keyboards due to the numerous hours they spend working on projects. This phenomenon is usually an indicator of a weak upper back and a tight chest.
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If you happen to have an office job that requires you to sit long hours typing away at your computer, it’s great to be alive to the threat and explore the ways you can remedy the condition. Spending long hours texting on your mobile phone device can also cause the hunched back condition.
To correct a hunch back, you need to explore exercises that focus on chest stretches, upper back relief, plus neck and rear shoulder strengthening. Doing pull-ups can also help relieve pain.
When you spend a lot of the time you’re seated reaching for the mouse at your desk, then its time to think about changes you can make to become more comfortable. Constantly reaching for the mouse can be quite strenuous since there’s a high chance to trigger neck fatigue and muscle tension accumulating in the shoulders, arms and upper back.
Some of the tweaks you can implement for comfort include having an extendable keyboard tray or having the mouse in close proximity to the desk. Ergonomic keyboards come highly recommended since they provide a good base for the wrists to rest. The carpal tunnel syndrome, a condition where the middle fingers of the hand are bent inward or outward, is usually caused as a result of straining for the mouse. Ideally, the middle fingers on an arm are usually in line with the forearms in a straightforward fashion.
Poking Your Chin
When you sit too low, face a screen placed too high to see or have a hunched back, you’re likely to develop the poking chin posture. To correct the posture, you have to put in the work to improve your sitting habits and exercises.
To get started on the back towards wellness, you have to make tweaks to your normal day-to-day engagements. For an upright posture, it’s best to work on the simple things like:
- adjusting the seating
- lengthening your neck upwards while your chin is tucked
- pulling in the tummy muscles
- moving the shoulder blades down and back towards the spine
It’s hard to tell whether or not you have rounded shoulders all on your own. To check if your body structure is in order, you have to stand in front of a mirror and relax your arms while they are by your sides.
If you notice that your knuckles are facing forward, then, that’s an indicator that you have weakened upper back and a tight chest. These two qualities usually manifest in the form of rounded shoulders.
Poor posture habits, emphasis on particular exercises like chest strength, and muscle imbalances are the key reasons why rounded shoulders usually appear. To correct the condition, you have to do some exercises that strengthen your core like bridges, planks, chest stretches, and pull-ups.
Cradling the Phone
Unbeknownst to many people having the phone between the ear and shoulder region tends to place a lot of strain on the shoulders, neck and upper back muscles. This is because the shoulder and neck regions are not naturally designed to maintain that position over extended periods of time.
If you spend vast amounts of time cradling the phone, you’ll start to develop muscle strain issues on the sides of the neck. To remedy the situation, you have to get accustomed to holding the phone with your hand or simply make use of the hands-free mode. By doing so, you’ll have eliminated the need to stress and the neck will be in a neutral position. The hands are also free to perform other tasks.
Chest stretches, neck stretches, and neck rotations are some of the recommended exercises that will help you regain full control of your neck and achieve proper posture.