In the video below I show you one of the best exercises I know to help improve your posture. It can help if you’re in pain or if you’re unhappy with how you look. I’ve given this to Olympic athletes, as well as clients who are struggling to walk.
What we’re doing here is using the floor (which is flat!) and gravity to help improve the balance between the left and right hand sides of the body. Over time, the upper back lengthens by taking the shape of the floor. This helps with rounded shoulders or a head forward posture and pain in the associated areas – upper back, shoulders and neck.
With the legs up at this angle it allows the hips, pelvis and lower back musculature to become more balanced left to right, and thus helps improve a misaligned pelvis and pain in the associated areas – knee, hip and lower back.
When a client comes into clinic in a lot of pain, this is usually the first exercise I give them, and almost always by lying in this position their symptoms calm down.
Before I do this exercise with my clients, I ask them to stand up and feel what’s happening in their body. Is the weight distributed equally left to right, and front to back in their feet? Do they have any tension or pain in their body? Then they do the exercise for 5-10 minutes and stand up and I ask them those same questions. They usually feel an improvement and will be standing taller, and in some cases the changes are so big that both the client and I are smiling!
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Ameet Bhakta BSc, DipHE – I’m a posture correction specialist certified by the Egoscue Institute, and founder of Health Through Posture based in London.