Been hunched over a computer all day? Getting the slouch you never wanted?
You know you’re supposed to get up and move around every hour – but hey – you’re in the creative zone and can’t stop now!
Time to re-assess your work-station?……..
- Get a new chair.
- Change the level of your computer.
- Readjust your keypad height.
- ………and you’ll get to it! But……….
Sound like you? Well, you’re not alone!
Your body is in a slightly forward position for a lot of your day. At your computer, reading a book or magazine, at the kitchen bench cooking, driving your car – and the list goes on.
Over time this subtle shift in position, has an effect on your posture. And you see the results as you get older.
If you look at your Ma or Pa and compare their posture to how they were 5 to 10 years ago – there’s usually a big difference. They seem shorter and definitely more rounded through the upper body.
If you become aware of this, you can start to make changes in your exercising routine and in your sitting and standing habits.
This rounded position also has a negative effect on how you breathe.
If your shoulders are slightly rounded forward and your chest is sunken in, this compresses your diaphragm. So long, deep ‘tension-releasing’ breaths are history!
Shallow breathing becomes the norm! This is NOT good for your stress levels or the muscular aches and pains in your body!
Being in that slightly rounded position for long periods of time starts to shorten the muscles in your chest. Putting pressure on your back muscles and neck.
Check Your Current Training Routine
It’s important to strengthen the muscles in your upper back. This allows you to pull your shoulders back nautrally. And give you that ‘look at me’ upright posture again. But at the same time you’ve got to spend time stretching out the muscles in your chest – to allow this back strengthening to happen.
Are you doing enough ‘back of body exercises’? Exercises that work on strengthening the muscles that pull your shoulders back? AND enough stretches to open up your chest?
If the answer is yes – Good For You! – you’re creating balance in your body.
If the answer is ‘no’…..this exercise below, will stretch out your chest muscles and get that healthy spine curve in your ‘hunched over’ back again!
Chest & Back Opener Stretch
You can do this before your workout AND after your workout too.
- With knees bent, gently lower yourself down onto the roller so it sits just under your shoulder blades.
- IMPORTANT: If you can’t get your head comfortably on the floor – place a folded up towel or two, under your head for support. This will decrease the curve in your spine. Then you can gently allow your spine to open up in this position over time.
- If you touch your neck, it should feel relaxed – if not, make your head support higher. If you need your head support to be quite high, that’s perfectly ok. Make it as high as you need to.
- You can have your arms above your head or splayed out to the side. Wherever they feel comfortable.
- Play some chill out music and stay in this position for 3-5 minutes – or however long feels good for you.
- Breathe deeply and try to let go of any tension in your body.
When you’re ready to come up – tuck your chin in towards your chest first. Then start rolling forward slowly. This avoids putting any pressure on your neck.
You’ll probably feel some tightness through your spine as you come up. Don’t be alarmed! You’ve just been gently stretching it in the opposite direction, so this is natural!
Roll to the side and go immediately into Childs Pose
- Feet together, knees wide apart.
- Allow yourself a minute or so to really sink into this pose and let your body go.
Always work with what your body is giving you each day. Never try to force this type of stretch.
It may take your body a few days to open up, a few weeks or a few months. You’re unique. So don’t judge yourself. Just be consistent with your stretches and with your back strengthening exercises.
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PS. Ready to get toned muscle back on your body? But need motivation? Check out my 20 minute Muscle Toning Programs. Designed by a woman in her 50’s FOR women in their 50s…..click on the link here……….