4EverFit

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Weekly Fitness Challenge for Seniors – Stand Tall & Improve your Posture with Upper Back Postural Exercises

As everyone ages, they tend to shrink a little.  This is mostly caused by joint compression throughout our body.  To simplify this for you, remember your muscles both move your bones and help them maintain their position in conjunction to other bones.  Strong muscles provide space between your joints for easy movement.  As we age our muscles get weaker and our joints don’t move as freely.   They tend to get closer together.  Especially in our spine which may lead to you not standing as tall as you used to.  The supportive muscles of the spine are the abdominals and the erector spinae muscles of the back.  These are the long muscles running adjacent to your spine from your neck to your hips.  This week we will try to improve your posture and upper back strength with a few exercises designed to prevent you from rounding your upper back and leaning forward too much.  Cell phone and computer use are also serious problems when it comes to poor posture.  I don’t think anyone is going to give up using technology so let’s do some movements to limit the damage.

Perform the following 3 exercises/movements to help you sit and stand taller.  All the movements are demonstrated in the video below.

  1. Deep Breathing
  2. Lateral trunk flexion hands high or lateral trunk flexion hands on head
  3. Good mornings

I have included some text on the good morning exercise to help you understand it. 

How to do a correct seated good morning

– Feet Position

The feet need to be placed forward of the shoulders when flexed forward in order to create a more stable platform to successfully perform the movement;

– Back Position

The back should maintain a natural arch in the lumbar spine and thoracic extension in the upper back. Cervical portion of the spine should maintain a neutral position;

– Neuromuscular Control

Never take off the focus from controlling the muscles of the lower and upper back by maintaining neutral spinal extension and by squeezing the glutes and hamstrings while pushing hard with the feet forward into the ground.