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Exercises for better posture
Old 12-15-2006, 12:24 PM   #1
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Exercises for better posture

One thing that I notice is that as age creeps up, time is spent in front of the computer, etc, posture seems to deteriorate. This is especially true with rounded shoulders and head seeming to lean forward rather that straight. Been exercising regularly for years and have taken up yoga.

So, the question is, any suggestions about exercises or stretching routines that help with erect posture?
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Re: Exercises for better posture
Old 12-15-2006, 12:42 PM   #2
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Re: Exercises for better posture

IMO Yoga (particularly the classic Hatha Yoga as it focuses so strongly on correct form) is outstanding for posture. After a yoga session or practicing yoga for a while I notice that I am standing taller and quit slouching. It's really pretty amazing.

So many of the yoga poses emphasize lengthening of the spine. The mountain pose is classic of course, but I find I gain benefit from any of the standing poses plus the sun salutation series. Things like cat-cow help with flexing, and the spinal twists can really help too.

Of course - correct form in the poses is essential if you want to get the posture benefits.

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Re: Exercises for better posture
Old 12-15-2006, 12:48 PM   #3
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Re: Exercises for better posture

I often wondered what people mean by the word "posture."

Unfortunately, with wear and tear, the spine tends to solidify in within certain ranges. When that fixed position is forward (hunchback in the extreme) it's called a kyphosis. Forward in the lower spine, it's lordosis (usually congenital). To the side, it's scoliosis. When it's both, it's kyphoscoliosis. Practically speaking there is not much you can do about it other than extreme surgery, and that's usually in kids.

Osteoporosis accelerates kyphosis in particular, so prevention is important (exercise, vitamin D, adequate calcium and, in selected cases, medication [biphosponates]).

To the extent you can temporarily "straighten out" it is not one of the above and perhaps exercises to strengthen those muscles can be modestly helpful. Stretching, focused exercise as in yoga, etc. can markedly improve flexibility, another component of what I think most people mean by posture.
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Re: Exercises for better posture
Old 12-15-2006, 06:58 PM   #4
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Re: Exercises for better posture

Stretching the pec's (pectoralis minor and major) is important in reducing a rounded shoulder posture, along with strengthening of the scapular musculature to help hold the shoulders back (mid trap, rhomboids, lower traps).

With so much of our daily activities being forward-based (i.e. on the computer) it is no wonder that most of us have a rounded shoulder/forward head posture.

Also, hip flexors and hamstrings tend to tighten up in many individuals. So stretches for these muscles can certainly be helpful in many cases. Of course it all depends on each individual and their specific problem(s).

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Re: Exercises for better posture
Old 12-15-2006, 08:13 PM   #5
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Re: Exercises for better posture

Any exercise regimine is more than most people with kyphosis undertake or have undertaken. (IMO) You are way beyond the hump (pun intended) in the normal curve by even asking. Resistance exercise and wholistic stretching progams like yoga and pilates are an answer. Unless your day to day routine involves lifting and pulling significant loads with intermittent stretching (like a cat), one needs to do things to compensate for the stress of repitivie passive postures imposed by our industiral model hutch stations. Weights, machines and yoga and/or pilates are the post industrial remedies.
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Re: Exercises for better posture
Old 12-15-2006, 09:13 PM   #6
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Re: Exercises for better posture

Originally Posted by tio z
So, the question is, any suggestions about exercises or stretching routines that help with erect posture?
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