Unfortunately, my posture is not too good these days, and I can’t pin all the blame on my age. When I sit down, at a desk or otherwise, I tend to slouch, which I know is a bad habit. But I didn’t really realize just how many problems this habit might be causing my health. Luckily I found this amazingly easy stretch, which I have started doing every day. I can tell you it’s worked wonders for me, my health, my confidence, and my old back. If you want to reap the same benefits I’ve had, all you need is a strap of some kind...
What happens when we slouch over at our chair? The first thing we notice is a worsening posture. When we stand or walk we often incline forwards, which makes the experience more uncomfortable and too tiring to enjoy. Furthermore, a hunched back can even reduce the ability of your lungs to function as they ought to, reducing their capacity as much as 30%. The lack of oxygen that this would lead to can cause:
• Shortness of breath;
• Vascular diseases;
• Gastro-intestinal issues;
• Back and shoulder problems;
• Clenched jaws, leading to:
To remedy or avoid these kinds of health problems, here is one simple exercise you can perform yourself every day. All you need is a strap, a belt or a towel to help you open up your shoulders and chest again. This pose will get your body realigned as it should be, so you can strut your stuff like a model on the cat walk.
1st step: Take your strap (or strap substitute) in your hands and spread it as wide as your arms will let you.
2nd step: Now lift the strap over your head. Hold it about 30 degrees away from you, over your back.
3rd step: While holding this position, take three to five deep breaths (20 seconds). You can repeat this procedure as many times as you see fit.
You will feel the stretch causing tension across your chest, shoulders, biceps and elbows, if you are performing the exercise correctly.
One thing to avoid: Do not push your bottom backwards and your rib cage forwards, as this is a kind of shortcut that will remove the benefits of the stretch. Try, instead, to maintain a straight body, holding your ribs directly over your pelvis.
source: avoid pushing your chest out like this.
You can even use a door frame for a strap
If you do not have a strap, you can actually achieve the same benefits by holding onto a door frame. Just place your hands on the opposite sides of the door frame and ever-so-slightly take a step forward, so your arms are aloft at a roughly 30-degree angle away from you.
Confidence in public
It should only take a minute or so out of your busy day, but it’ll make all the difference in the world to your posture. That’ll bring the health benefits talked about above. But, what is also worth bearing in mind, is the confidence you'll get from knowing that you have good posture when you are out and about in public.
Watch: Jill Miller demonstrates and explains this amazing stretch