By Katherine MacPherson BS, ACSM HFS & UVAC Personal Trainer
Right this moment check your posture.
Are you like picture 1? Or like picture 2?
If you’re looking like picture 1, then these two stretches may be exactly what you are missing. It is very common as a fitness professional to see clients coming into the faculty with the same posture as picture 1. For many, spending the day at the desk or traveling in your car will typically follow with chronic poor posture like picture 1. Issues like neck and/or shoulder pain, headaches and hip pain will start to rise and can lead to dramatic health issues that will take time to undo the damage.
Stretch #1: The Pec Stretch
· On a doorway or wall corner, place your elbow slightly above shoulder height against the doorway or corner.
· If you start with your left arm against the doorway or corner, you will then pull your chest toward the right.
· You should feel a stretch in your chest. Hold this for 20-60 seconds and change sides.
What it’s doing: It improves the pectoralis (pec) major length.
Stretch #2: Hip Flexor Stretch
· Using a foam mat, kneel one leg back down on the mat and the other bent in front of you. Make sure your front foot is flat and both legs are parallel with your hip.
· Before you began the hip stretch, make sure your chest is up.
· Shift your front bent leg forward, allowing you to feel a mild stretch in the back kneeled leg.Hold this for 20-60 seconds.
What it’s doing: Lengthening the hip flexors.
There are many great stretches that can improve your posture. Because every person can have a very different structure issue, it is important to get evaluated by a health professional so that you are doing the right stretches. These stretches can typically be done ANYWHERE (home, work, sitting at your desk) and will go a long way in your overall health. Call today to see what can be done about your posture.
The Upper Valley Aquatic Center