For many of us, myself included, we go every day slouching in our chairs at our desks. Bad posture is common, and it’s probably the reason for your back pain. I know it can be hard to stretch or force yourself to correct it sometimes, but it’s actually simpler to fix than you might think! Don’t let bad posture take over your health.
Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. Consult with your healthcare professional to design an appropriate exercise prescription. If you experience any pain or difficulty with these exercises, stop and consult your healthcare provider.
How Posture Affects Your Health
We may think that sitting upright for hours on end can be exhausting, and you’d be right. Especially for those of us who work at a desk. But bad posture is infinitely worse for your health as it can increase your risk of back pain, lower blood circulation and cause tightness in your chest.
But bad posture is infinitely worse for your health as it can increase your risk of back pain, lower blood circulation and cause tightness in your chest. Correct posture, on the other hand, has a whole range of health benefits such as:
- Relieving shoulder, back and neck pain
- Improving digestion
- Providing mental clarity
- Balancing hormones
- Enhancing breathing
- Reducing stress
You can target these muscles and tone them with a really simple exercise called the ‘locust pose’, aka shalabhasana in yoga. It helps strengthen the back, torso and leg muscles which will correct your body posture.
How to Do the Locust Pose
- Lie on your stomach with your forehead touching the floor, hands flat at your side with palms facing down
- Extend your legs to be hip width apart, focus your weight on the tops of the feet
- Gently elevate the upper body with the head up as high and comfortably as possible
- Inhale and elevate the head up looking ahead
- While exhaling, raise your hands and fingers parallel to the ground
- At the same time, raise your legs up (you can raise one leg at a time for several seconds if you can’t do both)
- Hold for 60 seconds and repeat 5-10 times
- Release the pose by lowering your legs, torso and arms at the same time slowly
You can also do some really simple exercises throughout your day. Give these a try the next time you’ve been sitting at a desk for a few hours!
More Back Pain Relieving Exercises
Aching back pain is one of the most annoying problems you can have on a regular basis. Many people look for a way to get rid of this pain, claiming that it is their posture, so they start doing little exercises that they believe will help them.
The truth is that getting rid of back pain is much easier than some people think. If you’re looking for quick back pain relief there are little exercises you can do to get great results.
You will definitely notice a difference when you use these exercises for the first time, so give them a try!
Here are 5 simple exercises you can start doing today to get rid of back pain:
1. Resist Keeping Your Chin Up
You’ve heard this one before, but it is actually doing more bad than good. Instead try and lengthen your neck by placing a cloth on top of your head and pushing your crown into it. This will lengthen the back of your neck and push your chin down in a relaxing manner.
2. Roll Your Shoulders Back
To get immediate relief slowly push your shoulders up, then pull them back and drop them. Let your arms hang by the side of your body. This will relieve some of the tension you are experiencing in your back, it is also a great way to straighten out your posture.
3. Lengthen Your Spine
This is something many people did not believe was possible, but it’s really easy. Take a deep breath and stretch out your spine while sitting up straight. As you exhale maintain the height you’ve reached, and then continue to do this until you are satisfied. This is a great way to stretch your back and strengthen abdominal muscles.
4. Don’t Sit Up Straight
This is a common misconception about helping both back pain and posture. Sitting up straight is actually doing more damage than good for your back. Instead, you should be rolling your shoulders back to open up your chest, and take deep breaths as you do this to stretch and lengthen your spine.
5. Squeeze Your Glutes When You Walk
Squeezing your glutes as you walk will strengthen your lower back muscles, as well as the glute muscles. This will help to keep you perky through all walks of life. People have been doing this for years and it has worked magnificently.
I have tried these exercises before and they have worked very well. They are easy to do and can be done almost anywhere. Despite the fact that people may look at me while I walk around with tight glutes, all of these exercises have been beneficial to my back problems.
Give these exercises a try and record your results. The best part about these exercises is that they don’t take much to do. Strengthening your back and improving your posture is very important, especially when you get a little bit older and things don’t work the same as they used to.