UNBEND: workout to stand taller and reduce postural-related aches and pains.
Last Friday in, “3 ways to sit less and MOVE more,” I outlined ways you can pepper movement into your daily life and become mindful of your posture. Read the full information here.
If your concerned that sitting is contributing to a rounded posture, combine the strategies mentioned in last week’s column with a “posture perfect” workout! It is counterproductive to be mindful of your posture all day, only to ruin it at the gym.
Focus on strengthening your upper back, neck and core, and improving your balance.
Stretch out your chest. Consider a 2:1 ratio of exercises that strengthen your back to exercises that strengthen the front of your body.
If you don’t belong to a gym, invest in a resistance band and a doorframe attachment. Use the band to mimic the strength exercises you would do at the gym.
Pick weights or a band that ensures the last few repetitions are an appropriate challenge.
Do all three exercises in the circuit back-to-back without resting. Then rest for 30 seconds and repeat. Complete three sets of each circuit.
Seated machine row: 12-15 reps
Windshield wipers: 12-15 reps
Drunk walks: 6-10 reps
Lat pull-down: 12-15 reps
Straight-arm lat pull-down: 12-15 reps
Standing stability ball “sweeps”: 10 reps each leg
Bird-dog: 6 reps each side
Plank: 20-60 seconds
Side plank: 20-40 seconds
Below are descriptions of any uncommon exercises.
Windshield wipers: Stand with your elbows at your sides, arms bent at a 90 degree angle. Hold a towel horizontal to the floor, palms up. Draw your upper arm bones backwards in your shoulder sockets. Then, feel the muscles around your right shoulder blade work to rotate your right hand out to the right. Resist the rotation with the muscles around your left shoulder blade. Without resting, use the muscles around your left shoulder blade to rotate the towel to the left. Both arms should always be working — one arm pulls while the other arm resists.
Drunk walks: Start standing. Place your right heel in front of your left toes as if you were walking on a tightrope. Take three steps along the rope. Look ahead, NOT down. After three steps, pause and make sure your shoulders are back, your core is engaged and you are looking straight ahead. Then, close your eyes and stay stable. Open your eyes and continue.