3 Stretches To Help Your Posture

I get this question a lot, so I figured I should probably share the answer with you as well.

“How do I improve my posture?”

“I feel like my shoulders are slouched forward – is there anything I can do to fix this?”

You can absolutely fix this, even if you have been sitting at a desk for most of your life and feel like it’s a lost cause. It’s never too late – the body is “plastic” and adapts to exactly what we do.

This goes both ways. This is why our body gets so good at being in a slouched position. But this is also why we can re-train our body to shift back to a more optimal alignment.

The truth is that you have a bit more work a hard of you if you have been “stuck” in this posture for a longer time. However, this just means it requires a bit more consistency on your behalf. It is completely doable.

I would suggest taking 3-5 minutes to do these stretches, 3 times a day – once in the morning, once mid-day/afternoon and once in the evening before bed. Here is my challenge to you – give it a try for 3 weeks, 3 times a day. I assure you that you will look AND feel different.

These stretches are designed to restore proper function to your upper body joints & muscles. This will restore muscular balance and enable you to maintain a more optimal alignment during static postures (sitting) & dynamic movements (any activities of daily life). As a result, you will be enabled to alleviate tension in your neck and/or back.

Try it out now and be sure to comment with your progress! If you’re having difficulty and want to set up a free 30-minute consultation with me, email me now and I’d love to help!

Lying Chest Opener Stretch

Shoulder Drivers

Child’s Pose Reach

My Go To Stretching Routine

I thought I would share my go to stretch routine. I do this after any type of workout in order to lengthen my muscles, maintain flexibility, and to ease the delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) that is bound to make an appearance the next day.

If you want to follow along, I would recommend a short pulse raiser to start. Jogging on the spot for a few minutes should prepare you. Let me know what you think?

Rowena x

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Check out more workouts and posts by Rowena on https://www.type1active.com/

Flexibility Training

Yes, some are more flexible than others; however stretching does improve everyone’s flexibility. We sell ourselves short if we don’t stretch when we exercise, whether it’s strength, balance, or endurance training. Flexibility increases the ease of muscle contractions and decreases the likelihood of muscle soreness and tension after workouts. Our range of motion improves, preventing injury. We get to know our bodies better, improving our coordination throughout the day and making other forms of exercises easier.

Maybe while stretching your body, you’ve noticed are different modes of muscle lengthening. Despite how good many of them feel, there are pros and cons and important facts to keep in mind while you’re stretching.

Young athlete preparing with warm up stretches

  • Static Stretching – This slow and sustained movement at one joint requires little energy and decreases muscle tension the possibility of injury by passing the normal range of motion. For example, when sitting on the floor with your legs straight and reaching for your toes, letting your hands fall and being still.
  • Passive Stretching – This type of static stretching requires assistance from another person or force. The person stretching must relax their muscles. For example, when a trainer puts pressure on the back when you are sitting on the floor with your legs straight and reach for your toes, letting your hands fall and being still.

  • Active Stretching – This slow stretch requires the muscle to be moved through its range of motion. For example, when sitting with your legs straight out in front of you and flex your toes towards your face, you are actively contracting the muscles on the front of you leg and stretching the muscles behind your leg.
  • Dynamic Stretching – This stretch requires controlled deliberate movement, actively moving muscles repeatedly through the range of motion, benefits functional range of motion used in daily living. For example, pointing and flexing your toes.

  • Ballistic Stretching – This shouldn’t be confused with dynamic stretching, as it refers to quick bouncing movements, for example when you bounce when reaching towards your toes. The cons far outweigh the benefits and this type of stretching should be avoided.

Where to start? First, determine the proper posture or alignment before starting the stretch. Become conscious of your breath, inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. Inhale as your prepare to stretch and exhale as you relax into the stretch to give yourself greater range of motion. Do not hold your breath. Remain conscious of your comfortable range of motion. Continue this cycle until you feel you can’t stretch any further; until discomfort increases slightly. Slowly inhale and return back to your initial position to allow your muscles to recover to their natural length.

When should a person not stretch? If there is sharp pain or uncontrolled cramping when stretching, stop. If bones at a joint limit your motion, or if you have an unhealed fracture, infection, or inflammation around the joint, or a local hematoma, don’t do it! Wait 8-12 weeks post injury to stretch site, and before that consult with your doctor to make sure your body is up for the challenge.

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