Muscular imbalance and physical stress are caused by poor posture. Slouching can compress internal organs and put stress on the neck, shoulders, and lower back. So, what can be done to improve posture?
The spine should be aligned to its natural S-shape, which allows the body to function at its strongest and most balanced position. Stresses on the joints, muscles, spine, and other body parts are minimized when the spine is aligned correctly.
Three simple exercises using dumbbells help correct posture problems and maintain a neutral spine:
- The standing T: With a dumbbell in each hand, stand in a neutral position with your arms stretched out in front of your body at shoulder level. Slowly move your arms to the sides, with palms down, to form a T. Hold the position and then return the arms to the front of the body. Try to do 12 to 15 repetitions.
- The standing Y: With a dumbbell in each hand, stand in a neutral position with your hands down to the sides. Keeping your arms straight, raise them above your shoulders to form a Y. Pause and return to your starting position. Repeat this exercise 12 to 15 times.
- The standing L: With a dumbbell in each hand, stand in a neutral position with your arms bent forward at the elbow at 90 degrees. Slightly bend the knees and bend the torso forward at about 45 degrees with your elbows close to your body. Slowly extend your forearms so they are parallel to the floor. Bring your arms back into your body and repeat 10 to 12 times.
For more information on posture and a video demonstration of these exercises, read the complete article.