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5 posture exercises to maximize strength

Joe Frollo Wed, 02/17/2016 - 12:35pm

Strength training is not limited to weight rooms and vigorous training regimens.

Body weight and correct posture are where young athletes should start to start developing muscles, prevent bad habits and protect against longterm pain, tension and consequences.

Dr. Rubina Tahir recently offered five exercises on Stack.com that anyone can do at home to improve movement patterns and improve strength.

  • Chin tuck. Texting and reading on mobile devices promote slouching. Neck muscles work to keep the head upright. Strengthen them by protecting posture and standing tall. Place two finger pads on your chin, then gently push your chin back. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times.
  • Scapular retraction. Hunching over homework puts strain on the mid-back, which creates an imbalance between the front and back of the body. This misalignment can lead to poor sports performance. To offset these effects, use shoulder blade pumps or scapular retractions. Squeeze, hold for 20 seconds and repeat 10 times.
  • Pectoral stretch. When you slouch, your shoulders follow your head forward. That leads to tight, shortened chest muscles. When you open up your chest muscles, it's easier to sit and stand up straight. With your arm straight out to the side, place your palm on a wall. Rotate your body so that you feel your pecs stretching. Hold for 20 seconds and repeat 10 times.
  • Pelvic tilt. The lower back functions like a chain. Each link depends on the other links to be strong. If stress is added to the neck, the lower back must work harder to compensate and keep things in alignment. To strengthen the lower back, perform pelvic tilt exercises. Lie on the floor and roll your pelvis backward so that you are pulling your belly button toward the floor. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 10 times.
  • Towel roll. Roll a towel into a log and place a rubber band around each end so it won't unravel. Lie with the towel under your neck and keep your feet flat. Stay in this position for two minutes. It will open up the joints in your neck, stretch the front of your neck, increase your neck range of motion and get rid of stiffness caused by sitting hunched over at a desk.