It is not uncommon to hear someone say that they have poor posture. Although there is an ongoing debate on what constitutes "good" posture, we do know that the body will adapt to the demands placed upon it. If we take a look at the typical desk posture, we can see that the muscles responsible for internal rotation (pectorals, subscapularis, latissimus dorsi) will become tight while the muscles in the back (rhomboids and lower traps) will become weak. The exercises in the video below target to reverse this muscle imbalance.
Here are a few tips to get the most out of these exercises:
Lunge with Reach
In this exercise, you should feel a stretch in your hip flexors (quads and psoas) and also on the front of your chest (pectorals). When holding the dowel (a broomstick works well for this too!), place your hand on the top without gripping onto the dowel. This allows the shoulder to move more freely and avoid impingement.
Think of this exercise as a reverse posture drill. Once you wrap the band around your hands, you will do the opposite of what you would do while at a desk. Start by spreading your fingers apart, then extending your wrists.Next externally rotate your shoulders and then push your shoulders out to your sides. The final part of the exercise is to take a couple breaths through your stomach. Then reverse the motion slowly.
The key to this exercise is to make sure all the motion comes from the shoulder. This means you have to engage your core so that you do not move through the lower back. Keep your elbows straight and hold the end position for five seconds.
The brilliant thing around this exercise is you don't need to be in the gym to benefit from a row. Use a band and tie it onto something (a door works great, but be sure to lock it so the band doesn't snap at you). When pulling the band, don't let your shoulders go past your body. This will prevent the head of your humerus from translating forward.
Improving your posture is like creating a new habit, the more you do it the better off you will be. Let us know what you do that has helped improve your posture!