In the 1960s, a Czech Physical Therapist was working with Polio patients when he figured out the root of many postural problems. He identified two things that most people struggle with: forward head posture and pelvic tilt.
Forward head posture is easy to picture. Anterior pelvic tilt is a little more difficult. If you stick your butt out (your best Sports Illustrated swimsuit pose) you’ll be in anterior pelvic tilt. These two problems are perhaps the most common among all postural problems.
It’s hard to “correct posture”. You’re fighting against gravity, the way your skeleton is aligned and all of your daily tasks. Every time you tilt your head down to look at your phone or your computer screen you’re moving further into the territory of poor posture.
While exercises might not fix your problems, they can strengthen the little muscles that fight against bad posture. Here are some movements you can use during your warm-up, cool down, or any time of the day at home or in the gym (videos will be posted on our Instagram later this week):
The muscles in front of your neck help control forward head posture. To strengthen them, lie on your back with your feet planted. Lift your head by tucking your chin and looking down at your feet. Hold your head up for three seconds, then drop back down. Repeat 10 times.
This stretch opens up your chest muscles, which pull your shoulders and head forward. Lie on your back with your feet planted. Reach your arms overhead. Pull your elbows down until they’re at 90 degrees, then reach them back up. Repeat 10 times.
This exercise strengthens your abs and relaxes your lower back muscles. Lie on your back with your feet planted, and both hands under your lower back. Press your lower back into your hands, exhale through your mouth, and lift your head off the ground slightly. Then, relax and lie back down. Repeat 10 times.
Written by Coach Henry Halse