Exercises to Improve Your Posture – Why Is It Important for Women?

Posted on Oct 9, 2018 in Health

As you were growing up, your mom and grandma were most likely nagging you to keep your back straight, your chest out, and stop hunching your neck and head. If you found their advice to be annoying back then, you most likely appreciate it now as proper posture is important in more ways than one for a woman, affecting not only the way she looks and the feel she gives off when walking down the street but affecting her health dramatically as well.

Proper Posture – General Discussion

How It Benefits You
When sitting down

When you are sitting down, you tend to focus on what stands in front of you, as you inadvertently push your head forward your body following it closely, resulting in a loss of balance. This action increases muscle fatigue, and it does all the more harm as your spinal ligaments are stretched uncomfortably, leading to back and neck pain.

Correct way to sit: Sit with your shoulders straight and squared, keep your thighs at a right angle to your calves, the head must stand upright at all times, and the heels, back, and neck should be aligned. Make sure the feet are flat on the floor and that the thighs are parallel to the floor as well.

When standing up

Most people tend to hunch and have an improper posture when they stand up, walk, and do various activities that have their bodies in a vertical position. In women, this hunched position really affects their entire appearance as they lose their femininity and that delicate look. Of course, aesthetics aren’t the major issue here as this health detriment position does a lot of harm to your body as a whole, causing issues like sciatica, neck, and back pain to appear.

Correct way to stand: Your shoulders should be back and kept in an aligned position, knees should slightly bend to release any pressure on the hips, stomach muscles should tighten a bit to provide strength for the core, and the chest should sit in a perpendicular position to the ground.

Posture in Regards to Pregnancy and Birth

A proper posture during pregnancy is important as little strain is put on your back if you practice it. Although the growing belly and the extra weight will make it seem a bit more difficult to keep a correct position as you lay, sit, stand, and walk, it’s essential for the proper development of the life growing inside of you, and it will make childbirth easier for you as well.

How to stand correctly:

  • Keep the chin in and the head up straight;
  • Keep the chest forward and the shoulder blades back;
  • Knees are supposed to be straight, but not locked;
  • The feet should point in the same direction to make sure you won’t lose balance;
  • The stomach must be pulled in and up;
  • Make sure you avoid standing in the same position for too long.

How to sit correctly:

How to sit correctly when you drive:

  • Use back support at the curve of your back;
  • Keep the knees at the same level or higher than your hips;
  • Move the seat as close to the steering wheel as you can, but make sure that it doesn’t push in your belly;
  • Place the lap belt under the abdomen, and the shoulder belt between your breasts.

Exercises that Help Improve Posture

#1 – Prone back extensions – 3 sets, 10 reps
  • Lie flat on the floor on your stomach;
  • With your palms facing up, place your arms at your sides;
  • Pull back the shoulders and lift your head, legs, and arms off the ground at the same time;
  • Maintain the position for 10 seconds and release;
#2 – Dumbbell row – 3 sets, 10 reps
  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand;
  • Stand up with your feet hip-width apart;
  • Keep your back flat, hinge slightly, and keep the upper body section at a forward angle;
  • Sit with your elbows tight to your body;
  • Squeeze the shoulder blades together as you slowly bend the elbows and pulls the weights towards your chest;
  • Lower your elbows slowly.
#3 – Jumping rope

This exercise doesn’t require much in the way of explanations as we all know how to jump rope. However, what you should do is try to pace yourself and not hurry as you might inadvertently hunch your back as you are rushing. Instead, take it slow and focus on maintaining a straight position of your back when you are performing the exercise.

#4 – Glute bridge – 15 reps
  • Lie on your back and bend your knees;
  • Place your feet on the ground shoulder width apart;
  • Try to get your feet as close to your glutes as you can;
  • Position your arms at your sides with your palm facing down;
  • Contract the glutes and core, and push in your feet to lift the core, hips, and glutes off the ground;
  • Keep your shoulders and head on the surface while you are doing this;
#5 – Elbow plank – 30 seconds
  • Stand in a kneeling position;
  • Put your forearms on the floor and keep your shoulders over the elbows;
  • Extend your legs behind you and make sure that only the toes touch the ground;
  • Once your body is in a straight line from head to toe, the exercise has begun.
  • Make sure that you keep your shoulders back, the glutes down, and your core tight.