Two weeks ago I attended a postural assessment workshop. Unfortunately, even though all of the participants were fitness professionals, over 90% of us discovered we had thoracic kyphosis, or else, a rounded upper back.
For most of us kyphosis was not obvious, but if you actually went through the assessment you could see it that we were not actually as straight as we would thought we were.
Needless to say, I was disappointed. My back might look straight, but it’s not really. I started measuring some of my friends, and they were all found with kyphosis too!
You see, our lifestyles make us slouch too much. Most of us spend at least 8 hours a day sitting, hunched over a desk and computer. Even though sitting kills, that’s how our lives are structured.
We don’t sit straight. We skip doing office exercises. Multiply this slouchy posture by years of daily bad sitting habits and we get muscle imbalances that create a hunchback, or else, thoracic kyphosis.
How do you sit up straight?
The first step to sitting up straight is simply being mindful of your posture while at your desk. One big way to accomplish this is to set a reminder to do this. You can set an alarm on your phone every 20 minutes, or you can even post a note on your computer monitor. The power of suggestion can help you remember to sit up straight.
How can you fix bad posture and kyphosis?
If your bad posture and kyphosis is due to muscle balances and poor sitting then if not fix it you can definitely improve it by doing the right stretches and kyphosis exercises regularly while also working on improving your posture when sitting.
Today, I will show the best kyphosis exercises to fix your posture. If you’re into Pilates, you may have done these exercises before. You have probably done these exercises before.
I am showing you the correct way to do these kyphosis exercises, so that you don’t just strengthen your rounded back muscles, but that you straighten + strengthen your back muscles.
You see, if you are strengthening your rounded muscles, then you might be actually ruining your posture even further.
You need to both straighten + strengthen you muscles. That’s why these exercises are some of the best posture and kyphosis exercises!
Ready? Let’s go fix our posture!
The 7 Best Posture and Kyphosis Exercises for People Who Sit All Day.
1. The basic bird dog
In all fours position, slide one leg back while lifting opposite arm up parallel to your torso. Bring back to original position and repeat for other side. Go here if you want to see to see more bird dog exercise variations.
2. Swimming I
Lie on the floor with legs and arms extended and palms facing down. Lift your head and opposite arm with opposite leg. Alternate sides and repeat.
3. Swimming II
Lie on the floor while squeezing your abs and glutes, and extend your arms in front. Lift your arms and shoulders off the floor, and bend your elbows to bring your arms back – and extend back to the front. Repeat. Don’t forget to keep squeezing your butt! After doing 10 reps, lift your shoulders up, while holding your arms back and hold to a count of 10. Keep squeezing your glutes!
4. Dart Beats
Lie on the floor with legs extended and arms by your sides looking up. Lift head shoulders feet and hands off the floor. Beat your hands together for 10 beats. Relax and repeat.
5. Shoulder Bridge
Lie on your back with legs bent and feet hip-width apart. Contract your abs and glutes to roll your body off the floor. Then lower down.
6. Bent Back Stretch
With legs bent under you reach forward with straight arms. Push your torso down until your feel the stretch on your back. Hold the stretch. Put one hand over another to focus on stretching the side of your back. Repeat for other side.
7. Office Stretch
Sit or stand straight. Hold the back of your head with your hands with your fingers interlaced. Pull your shoulder blades together to create tension in your upper back and shoulders. Hold this position for a few seconds. Do this one several times a day!
How often should you do these kyphosis exercises?
For better results, I suggest doing these kyphosis exercises daily. Why? Well, if you are slouching daily, then you must also try to straighten up…daily.
It doesn’t take more than a few minutes to do (compare this to hours of slouchy sitting every day), and it feels great. Doesn’t it?
If you are not sure how you can make this exercise a daily habit, then I suggest you check out the Mini Habit Week. It helps people make exercise a daily habit in just two months. Sounds good, huh?