What is posture? 

Posture is the position in which someone holds their body when standing, sitting, or lying down. Good posture is true alignment so the joints are stacked and there’s not too much pressure through the muscles. 
Good posture involves training your body to move, and rest, in positions where the least strain is placed on supporting muscles and ligaments during movement or weight-bearing activities. Improving posture can reduce pain, reduce fatigue, and increase energy, confidence, productivity, health and overall well-being. 
At Fire & Earth we offer postural assessments to look at your static posture to see if there are any imbalances that could cause or are causing pain and discomfort. Our postural assessments also include manual tests that check how well your muscles and joints are working together and if there are any imbalances to be corrected. 
Here we've outlined some exercises to improve your posture. If you aren't sure what is causing the issue, please book an appointment so we can assess it for you. (Sometimes the pain isn’t necessarily coming from where you think it is, so it’s worth getting checked out!) 

What causes bad posture? 

Repetitive movements 
Sitting at a desk for too long 
Chronic injury 
A negative mindset can place your body in an incorrect position 

Top tips for improving your posture 

Strengthen your core, glutes and back. 
Stretch your neck and pectoral muscles whenever you can. 
Check your desk set-up and your driving position. 
Move often, try not to stay in a static position for too long. 
Think about your posture when working, sitting or watching TV. 
Book in for a postural assessment. 
Do your exercises! Make them part of your day-to-day routine 
Correcting your posture will feel awkward at first. This is because your body has become used to sitting and standing in a particular way. Good posture has to be practised, it’ll become second nature eventually, but it isn't something that can be corrected overnight. 

Exercises to help improve posture 

Posture is really an individual thing. Everyone is different, and you may benefit from specific exercises and stretches that are tailored to you. 
Strengthening your core, glutes and back will really help with your posture, so try exercises like planks, glute bridges and back extensions. 
A 'hunched' or rounded back is really common, especially if you have a desk-based job. This is often a sign that you have a tight chest and a weak upper back. This can cause shoulder and upper back stiffness. 
One of the ‘best’ exercises for posture which would be the pec stretch to prevent rounded shoulders. 
Bend your elbow 90 degrees, and rest your forearm against a door frame or wall, with your fingers pointing towards the ceiling. 
Lean forwards creating a stretch across your upper arm, front shoulder and slightly into your chest. 
This exercise stretches the pectoral muscle. 

What next? 

We all build bad postural habits over time - even if we try not to. For example, through sitting at a desk all day, holding babies on your hip or not stretching before and after exercise, we all build weakness and alternations in our movements. An assessment will show these and give you an awareness of how to change them. 
Those who have recurring pain or are underperforming will particularly benefit from having a postural assessment. Awareness is the first step to understanding and correcting any underlying issue. If you are concerned about your posture - or any specific condition, please contact us, as we’re here to help. 
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