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Deepness's avatar

How can I improve my posture?

Asked by Deepness (1135points) June 3rd, 2009 from iPhone

I slouch. Physically, I am in shape. I’m in the gym aggressively 4–5x a week. Sitting or standing upright feels totally unnatural to me. I try to do it but a few minutes later I’m hunched again.

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9 Answers

julia999's avatar

In theatre we played as “oracles” who were strict, serious, cloaked and with straight posture. We practiced walking upright and smoothly by placing a book upon our heads! Putting shoulders back and standing upright displays confidence, which is another great reason to do it! It also gives the impression of alertness and respect, so it’s well worth working on :)

hearkat's avatar

In the gym, do you do core-specific exercises? Sucking in your abs is just one part of it… but your whole back and shoulders are also your core. My trainer has me doing a bunch of core work and I notice a huge improvement. I can’t sit here and describe all the moves, but many of them require me to keep my balance, which is easiest when you engage your core muscles. There are tons of websites, like LiveStrong.com and SparkPeople.com with fitness tips and videos. Yoga and Pilates classes would also help.

Lupin's avatar

Listen to your Mother! You’ll look much better.

bonus's avatar

Sit up straight!
I had a very thoughtful girlfriend in high school who always told me to do so.
I hadn’t realized how bad I was slouching all the time.
After all these years, I am grateful for her input.

Supacase's avatar

I just had physical therapy for pressure point pain, which was caused in part by bad posture. I was told the main muscles involved were lower abs and trapezius. A good way to remind yourself to sit properly is to keep your feet flat on the floor with a rolled up towel behind your lower back. Do not sleep on your stomach. Back is best, on your side with a pillow between your legs is ok.

sdeutsch's avatar

Rather than thinking about sitting up straight or having good posture, try thinking about a string coming out of the top of your head, and pulling straight up. A lot of the time when you think about “sitting up straight”, you end up just using your muscles in a different wrong way (the way you think they should go), and it’s hard to maintain the position. If you just think about your head being pulled straight up, it sort of lets your muscles fall into the right positions on their own, and in the end it’s an easier thing to maintain.

If you find that you really can’t fix your posture on your own, you might want to see if there are any Alexander instructors in your area. Alexander is great for teaching you to use your body properly, and a good Alexander teacher can give you specific things to think about that will help you improve your posture as you go about your normal day (what to think about as you sit down and stand up, that sort of thing).

Good luck!

bonus's avatar

@Supacase Just reminded me that I was at the Physical Therapist a few years back. Apparently, I have a tendency to let my shoulders roll forward and, in particular, my right one hangs lower than the left, probably due to being right-handed and favoring over many years of working so hard with my hands.

Anyhow, they gave me a series of small exercises to work on (all of which I have lost). One, I remember was to, when driving, lean all the way back in the seat with both shoulders pressing equally into the seat and touch the back of my head on the headrest. Of course, you need to have the seat upright enough to do this but, in the course of commuting, this flexed the muscles in such a way as to build them back up properly. There were other things too.

If you have medical insurance, you should look into seeing the therapist yourself. They can give you ways specific to your habits of preventing damage down the road.

ru2bz46's avatar

All my life, I slouched; that’s what guys do. My first wife always had a great posture, and I guess I envied her a bit. A couple years ago, I started exercising, yoga specifically. The core exercises were the key. Every move you make starts with your core. Today, I have good posture. When your core is strong, it’s perfectly natural to sit up straight. I feel funny when I slouch.

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