“Stand up straight and pull your shoulders back!”
Many people will have heard these words throughout their life, probably from mum and dad as a slouching teenager. Within this phrase though is a description of one of the most common physical issues that we face as humans, poor upper body posture.
This has become an even more significant issue given most of our modern conveniences force us into a position with our arms out in front and our head positioned forward and down. This rounding of the shoulders and forward head posture causes significant strain on the tissues leading to long term postural consequences, biomechanical degeneration and pain.
Some of the solutions to this issue are as easy as changing the way you do things like less phone use or better ergonomic setup. However for some people it is impossible to completely remove this stress altogether as their job, hobbies or other aspects of life like driving require them to be in the position.
So the next best thing to do is to try and remove that stress daily with a simple 5-10 minute exercise called Posture Polling. To be honest, exercise is a bit of a stretch as all it requires you to do is simply lay still on a product called a Posture Pole (or a foam roller alternative) with your arms out to the side!
The main aim here is to get some extension into your spine and some opening up of the chest to unwind some of the tension that may have developed throughout the day. Coupled with some other great exercises this simple technique can make a world of difference to how your body feels and functions.
Here is how it works:
- Lay on your back with the Posture Pole or foam roller running up and down the length of your spine.
- Have your arms sitting out to the side somewhere between by your hip and straight out sideways from your shoulders. The main aim is to get your shoulder blades back but comfort is also an important consideration here.
- Start with your knees bent to remove some pressure from the lower back and gradually lower them as it feels comfortable to do so.
- You can lay on a Posture Pole, full circle foam roller or a semi circle foam roller.