Posture for Exercise

How to Have Good Posture for Exercise

Good posture during exercise can have a dramatic effect on your health. It’s important to understand that you should always strive to have good form during your exercises which usually translates into correct posture. Not only does it prevent lower back injuries and strains, it helps with proper joint movement which also prevents injuries in areas like the shoulders and knees. It also helps to engage all the proper muscle groups which the exercise targets which can improve the effectiveness of each workout.

See Also: Yoga for Posture

Let’s take a look at what we’re talking about here with each area of the body. One of the most common exercises that people tend to avoid because they feel a strong risk of injury is the squat. Even though this exercise can be highly effective in strengthening all muscle groups of the legs as well as the lower back and abs, most people avoid it all costs. However, if proper form is used during the squat, risk of injury is avoided while helping the body to perform essential movements. To perform the squat properly, the chest should be kept up with proper back alignment in order to keep the shoulders from rounding forward and improperly engaging the hips. This puts more strain on the knees and usually puts an individual off balance as well, all of which dramatically decreases the engagement of the quadriceps and ankles.

The bench press is another common exercise that can be performed incorrectly if attention isn’t paid to one’s alignment. Bench press targets your chest, triceps and arms. By keeping the shoulders slightly back and shoulder blades brought in, the spine is properly pressed against the surface of the bench allowing the body to properly push the weight forward without straining the back. Most people tend to lift their lower back during the bench press which moves the body out laterally instead of on a natural vertical track.

Pulling exercises such as the seated row are great for building strength in the back and arms. It can help strengthen the area around the spine for those with weak backs. By keeping the chest up it prevents the shoulders from protracting and forces them to bare the load of the weight instead of the weaker lower back. Below is a video with a great example of using proper form during an exercise:

Maintaining good posture while exercising is essential for safety and effectiveness. Although it may not feel natural at first, keeping a neutral spine is the key to performing each of these exercises properly. Keep your spine lengthened upwards, shoulders back toward your shoulder blades and your chest slightly out. Keep your hips back slightly to maintain a natural S curve in the spine with your face forward while your head is relaxed. Focus on smooth natural movements.

Natural posture in exercise is the same as in any other activity. With stronger muscles comes a more solid core and back which can protect your spine and back from injury. Focusing on your posture will keep you healthy well beyond those who don’t place as much emphasis on their musculoskeletal health.

May 11, 2014 |  by  |  Form

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