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The Importance Of Maintaining Good Posture

The Importance Of Maintaining Good Posture

As you go about your workout session, one thing that you might want to stop and consider is the posture that you’re utilizing. Far too many people completely overlook posture and how it’s impacting their performance or their everyday lifestyle activities.

Posture can have a profound influence on how you feel, function, as well as your overall health. Including back training exercises in your workout regime to make maintaining proper posture is a must as is making sure that you’re staying consciously aware of your posture throughout the day.

Let’s have a quick peek at some of the important postural related points to keep in mind.

Why Posture Is So Critical

First, let’s stop and consider why maintaining good posture is so critical to success. When most people think about maintaining good posture, the first reason that jumps out at them is simply so that you can look more attractive.

It’s true – standing up straight can take up to 10 pounds of body weight off your frame, so using good posture is an excellent way to improve the way you look.

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But there’s far more to it than just that.

Using good posture is going to influence a number of things such as your risk of experiencing lower back pain, your energy levels, as well as your focus and concentration.  If you’re constantly in a slouched position all day long and not using good posture, this is going to mean that there’s far less oxygen coming into the body and low levels of oxygen are one of the contributing factors to fatigue development. Therefore to help boost energy levels, proper posture is a must.

This will open up the lungs, allowing you to take more oxygen into the body, which then moves into the muscle as well as the brain cells, enhancing your overall level of energy. In addition to this, by using proper posture and keeping good spinal column alignment, you’ll be able to play any sports or other activities that much better as well.  Using good posture will make you more stable on your feet, able to change directions quickly as needed.

Habits That Lead To Poor Posture

Slouching at Work

    Now that you can see why posture is so important, what habit of yours could be leading to poor posture? One of the top bad habits is bad work ergonomics.

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    If your desk or chair isn’t at quite the right height for you, this can definitely influence your ability to sustain good posture.  It would be well worth it to have an expert come in and check how you’re sitting to ensure there are no problems.

    In addition, another bad habit that leads to poor posture is little to no activity. The more often you’re sitting down throughout the day, the greater the chances will be that you aren’t using good posture.

    Movement allows you to stand upright and decreases the amount of compression stress on the spinal column, which can be in part what leads to poor posture in the first place.

    Finally, the last bad habit that could lead to poor posture is over-training your chest muscles without enough focus on the back muscles.

    It’s important that you develop good balance between chest and back training because otherwise the chest may become overly strong and start to pull the shoulders forward, creating that rounded appearance that you definitely don’t want.

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    Add a few more back exercises into the mix and you should be able to offset this.

    Fixing Your Bad Posture

    Good Posture

      After learning the bad habits that can lead to poor posture, what habits should you have in place to help you develop optimal posture?

      First, make sure to set a reminder at your desk at work.  The working hours are when most people tend to let their posture slide the most, so it’s vital that you’re doing something to constantly remind yourself to sit up straight. A useful app I’d recommend for creating good habits is Strides. Set a timer to go off once per hour and when it does, do a quick check over your posture. Are you sitting up as straight as you could be?

      Another way to practice good posture awareness is to stand straight up against a wall and think of pressing your back into the wall.  This will help you establish whether you have a strong swayback going on, which could immediately mean there is an excessive amount of strain on your lower back.

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      If you can fit more than a hand between your lower back and the wall, you need to be working on improving your posture.

      You can also do this same exercise on the floor and think about pressing the lower back into the floor as hard as possible by squeezing the stomach and holding it there for a count of 20 seconds.

      After which, release and repeat again four or five more times. This will help you gain better control over your postural position and hopefully train your body so that when you’re standing, you automatically utilize better posture overall.

      Finally, when doing your workout sessions, make sure that you do have some exercises for the back muscles included.  Good back building exercises include bent over rows, pull-ups and lat pull-downs, single arm rows, Supermans, as well as reverse hyper-extensions. These will also strengthen the muscles that are required for keeping good posture, so you’re less likely to fatigue when trying to maintain it.

      Also be sure to perform some exercises to strengthen the core as well, as a strong core is also vital to good posture management.

      So there you have the key points to remember about sustaining good posture. Make sure that you aren’t overlooking these as you go about your training program. Posture is so often overlooked, but it’s a critical error that could significantly hinder the progress you see in other aspects of your fitness development.

       

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      Last Updated on August 15, 2018

      7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

      7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

      Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

      Video Summary

      Why is it important to train up our core strength?

      There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

      This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

      Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

      In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

      One Exercise, multiple benefits

      There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

      By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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      When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

      Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

      In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

      What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

      What will happen when you start doing planks every day

        1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

        Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

        • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
        • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
        • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
        • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

        2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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          Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

          Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

          3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

            Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

            4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

              Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

              A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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              A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

              On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

              5. You’ll improve overall balance

                Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

                6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

                  Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

                  7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                    Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                    How to hold a plank position

                    1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                    2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                    3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                    4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                    5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                    6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                    7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                    Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                    Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                      How to improve your plank time gradually

                      1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                      2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                      3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                      Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                      Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                      You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                      • Prolapse
                      • After prolapse surgery
                      • Pelvic pain conditions
                      • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                      • Previous childbirth
                      • Overweight

                      Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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