Best Posture Tip
It seems that more and more people, even at a young age, walk around with a curved upper back. Sadly, we have come to expect to see this in older members of society, but it is shocking to see it among the younger generations. If only they knew this best posture tip, they could avoid increased back problems as they get older. Please share this with everyone you can.
The muscles in your body are continually stretching and contracting as they go about their business of moving our skeletal frame. When one exercises and is active, you can put your muscles through a wide range of motion. But unless you stretch your muscles, this range of motion might not be so wide. Even though very active, a body builder will in general have a more limited range of muscle motion than someone who practises yoga or Pilates.
This is because our muscles have memory of the range of motion that we demand of them. If we do not continually remind our muscles to stretch to the best of their ability, they will tend to contract. This is naturally a vicious circle – the less we ask our muscles to do, the more they contract, and the more they contract, the less we are likely to push our muscles and stretch them.
This lack of stretching explains why so many older people have very curved upper backs. The muscles of their back, neck and abdomen get used to the memory of being in a curved position.
But why do so many younger people have such poor posture? It is because they have their heads bent forward over their smart phones for far too many hours every day. Also they obviously do not know of this best posture tip! The muscle memory in their necks, upper backs and abdomens will cause them to have a permanent curvature of the upper back unless they take steps to overcome this. If they continue as at present, in future years they will be plagued with neck and back issues.
So What is the Best Posture Tip?
On the left in the photo at the top, Tim is applying the tip and on the right he is not. The difference may not look enormous, because he generally has good posture, but if you look closely you will see that he is straighter on the left and there is more of a curve to his upper back on the right.
All you have to do to use this best posture tip is
- place the forefinger of each hand on the top of your hip bones,
- place your thumbs on your lowest rib and
- then stretch your chest upwards in order to maximise the distance between forefingers and thumbs.
You should feel a good stretch in the abdomen and an expansion of your chest. When you do, your shoulders will naturally be in the correct position as a result of this best posture tip. You do not have think about shoulders back, chest out, stomach in.
Just maximise the distance between the top of your hip bones and the lowest rib, the muscles will do the rest and you will be in the sweet spot.
In the photo below, the top image shows a more contracted torso and the forefingers and thumbs are closer together. The bottom image shows the stretch using the best posture tip and greater distance between forefingers and thumbs.
There are two additional benefits of adopting this best posture tip on a regular basis.
- You are expanding your chest and making it easier to breathe deeply into your diaphragm rather than shallow breathing in the top of the chest only. Remember oxygen is vital to all our cells and body functions, so getting plenty of oxygen into our systems through deep breathing is really important.
- You are strengthening and stretching the muscles of your abdomen which will result in a firmer stomach, trimmer waistline and improved core strength.
This best posture tip is so simple to use and put into regular practice. So in future, whenever you are walking, standing in a queue, shopping, sitting, please think about this and see how long you can do it before old habits take over. When they do, as is inevitable, just recognise that your posture has changed and then implement the best posture tip again.
Having no intention of ending up with curved upper backs, Edith and Tim at CoolWellbeing Foundation.
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