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Exercises For Posture: Combating a Poor Core

February 20, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 200

My clients often ask me, "How can I improve my posture?" These are usually the same clients that are chained to their office workstations and sitting in front of their computers all day. My first response back to them is always, "what makes you think that you need to improve your posture?" The reason that I respond with this statement is that I first want to uncover if they have bad posture that is due to their behaviors or that they have bad posture due to their physiology.

Posture is something that can be improved through workstation design, proper ergonomics and improved behaviors, but there are many times that the individual lacks the proper core strength to maintain appropriate postures.

When most individuals are presented with the word "core," they often think about six-pack abs and sit-ups. While these can contribute to a strong core, the word "core" refers to the entire torso. While your abs or "rectus abdominis muscle" helps with execute specific movements, your core is what helps stabilize your spine. It primarily relies on the "transverse abdominis," or inner-core which is located underneath the abs that you see. By strengthening this area, you will be able to run faster, jump higher, but most importantly maintain better posture.

The overall best exercise to strengthen your core is to perform a "plank "or "core bridge." This can be performed a few different ways. For beginners, I would recommend getting into a push-up position with your hands and toes contacting the ground, your arms fully extended, and your shoulders directly above your wrists.

You will then try to hold this position for a period of time (start with maybe 30 seconds and work your way up to a minute). Once this becomes easy and you've progressed to a minute or so, increase the difficulty by dropping down to your elbows. Either way you choose to do it, make sure that you keep your hips down and your shoulders directly over your hands or elbows. Think of your body as a straight board.

Perform this exercise once in the morning and once at night every day. If you feel yourself shaking, that is the sign of a weak core. The more you perform this exercise, the less the shaking will occur.

As you progress, there are many variations that you can perform to further challenge your core. These may include:

- Raising an arm or leg off of the ground

- Performing the bridge on your side

- Placing a weight on your lower back

- Placing a resistance band around your wrist or ankles

No matter what variation you choose, always focus on posture. By keeping your body straight and shoulders directly above your hands/elbows, you will be able to further challenge your core and reduce the likelihood of injury.

Patrick Lohman, MS, CSCS, is an ergonomics consultant and fitness/nutrition specialist for many large corporations and small businesses across the U.S. He has worked with thousands of end users, helping them reach their fitness/nutrition goals and finding creative solutions to their health and productivity issues.

Are you a high-duration computer user? Do you suffer from a lack of mental focus, eye strain, back/shoulder/neck discomfort, or other general health risks from your sedentary lifestyle. Try a solution that's customized just for you! Office Strong is a natural dietary supplement that is specifically formulated for the inactive lifestyle of computer users. It works to improve focus, energy, memory, eye health, circulation, nerve function, discomfort, fatigue, and other ergonomic issues. Learn more at or

Source: EzineArticles
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