How can I stand straight

Improve posture: These exercises will help you maintain an upright posture

Good posture not only has positive effects on your health, it also makes you appear more confident about others. With our tips and exercises we will show you how to keep your composure and radiate self-confidence!

What is the correct posture?

Our everyday life, our culture and even our mood affect our posture. Sometimes we consciously make ourselves tall, sometimes we sit hunched over. You see, your attitude is a dynamic concept. It can change and is susceptible to external factors. So it depends more on what position you are in for most of the day. The Duration of a certain posture can affect your health. But what does the correct posture look like now?

Upright vs. flaccid posture

Your body can be conscious and unconscious hold upright against gravity. You owe this to your muscular strength and body statics. So you can either stand upright or adopt a limp posture.

A upright posture requires Muscle tension. Your pelvis is erect. To do this, come out of the hollow back position and pull your pubic bone slightly towards the navel. The abdominal and gluteal muscles are tense. The back is straight. Your shoulders are pulled back and down and your chest is open. In short: belly in, chest out! With the Muscle strength relieves your bones, ligaments and intervertebral discs. You can also breathe freely and there is no pressure on the internal organs.

At a limp or passive posturedo you "fall" into the ribbons. Your pelvis tilts forward. To compensate for this, your torso tilts backwards. You get into a hollow back position. The shoulders drop forward and your stomach loses tension. Your back becomes round. The passive posture is the more comfortable option, but it doesn't look good and shifts the strain back onto your ligaments and intervertebral discs.

What does the attitude say about a person?

Keep your head held high! Why are you so down today You have probably heard these sentences before. There's a reason we talk like that. We tend to subconsciously make ourselves small when we are not feeling well, when we are insecure or when we are sad. We make ourselves big and proudly stick our chests out after passing a difficult test or looking forward to something else.

Body language is a powerful tool and can tell you a lot about people around you. Whether at an important job interview or out and about with your friends. A upright posture works confident and attractive1 to others.

A study2 showed that not only does your well-being have an effect on your posture, but also vice versa. People who took a “power pose” for one minute, e.g. upright posture, chest out and arms on hips, then appeared more self-confidently in an interview than others. The reason: You felt stronger and more confident. So keep your head up and walk through life with your head held high!

Causes of Bad Posture

Factors like yours Habits, muscular imbalances and weak muscles can negatively affect your posture.

You spend a lot of time before PC, the television or often look at your mobile phone while on the move? In all of these activities, you subconsciously tend to bring your head and shoulders forward and round your back. Also when standing, people like to put their weight on one leginstead of standing with both legs straight. Over time, these habits can cause you to develop poor posture.

Do you always carry your bag on one side? Permanent one-sided burdens can possibly lead to muscular imbalances. Muscular imbalances denote a uneven ratio between the Agonists or the muscle that performs a movement e.g. your biceps flexes your arm, and the Antagonists or the muscle that is responsible for the opposite movement, as in the case of the triceps, the extensor of your arm.

This uneven ratio in your muscles can not only be due to an incorrect one, but also excessive exposure arise. Even when exercising or due to an injury.

Additionally, certain muscles are prone to weakening, while others are often "shortened". What do you mean with that? The actual length of the muscle remains unchanged. This is the neural control that keeps the muscle in this “shortened” position. Your muscles are enveloped in fascia. Fascia tissue gives the muscles their shape and also supports them in contraction.

If you move too little or exercise incorrectly, the elasticity of the fasciae can decrease. Your nerve endings are sensitive and are responsible for limiting the range of motion of the muscle. Consequence: Your muscle is tense and “shortened”.

That's how they belongBack muscles to the muscle group that is being weakened tends. Also yoursAbdominal musclesbelongs to it as well as the Glutes. In contrast, are the large pectoral muscle mostly "shortens" and the Tense neck. Result: Your shoulders fall forward, your back becomes rounded and you come into a hollow back position.

In the worst case, a permanent bad posture can lead to a fixed shape deviation lead or Back pain cause. If the case occurs, consult a doctor with your complaints.

If the posture is slightly incorrect, proper training and more exercise in everyday life can compensate for the incorrect form. To correct your posture, you should use the specifically strengthen weakened muscles and the "stretch shortened ”muscles. In addition to targeted training, try to think of a straight back and more body tension in everyday life!

Everyday tips to improve your posture

Have you ever thought about how your posture looks like during everyday tasks like putting on shoes or washing dishes? Most of the time we do all of this automatically and don't pay attention to whether the back is straight. But since we do this every day, it has an impact on us.

You have a Office job and have to sit in front of your computer for 8 hours? Try yourself conscious and regular breaks to indulge. Stand up, run a little or get a glass of water. Use your lunch break to go for a walk. You come out of the sitting position for a moment.

Even while sitting, remind yourself from time to time to straighten up, put your shoulders back and tense your body. Make sure that your screen high enough best at eye level is placed. So you don't have to bend your head down all the time and can look straight ahead.

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Lifting or carrying heavy objects Incorrect posture can go wrong and lead to injury. Are you helping a friend move? Think of them Exercise deadliftnext time you lift a heavy box. Keep your back straight and tense your stomach. Push your buttocks back and your upper body bends forward. Also bend your knees so that you can come deep. Grab the box and use the strength of your legs to push yourself up. Stand upright again.

Find a balance! We have a predominantly sedentary everyday lifethat does our posture a disservice. Find a way for yourself to be more active. Take your dog for a walk, use the stairs instead of the elevator, and exercise regularly. Whether at home, in the gym or in a sports club. Find out what you enjoy and bring more movement into your everyday life

Exercises for an upright posture

Before starting the exercises, warm up for at least 10 minutes. Ready? Now it can start! Enjoy the training!

Rowing for a strong back

Rowing strengthens your upper back muscles and your back shoulder. Grab a dumbbell, barbell, or water bottle. You choose the weight depending on your level of performance. The exercise should challenge you, but not overwhelm you.

Bend forward with a straight back so that you are standing bent forward at a 45 degree angle. You push your buttocks back and down, your legs are slightly bent. Bring your weights towards your belly button. Keep your elbows close to your body. Consciously focus on contracting your shoulder blades as you pull the weight towards your body. Repeat the movement 15 times for three sets, resting for a minute between sets.

Strengthen the back shoulder

In the gym, you can do face pulls to train your back shoulder and correct your posture. The exercise will help straighten your shoulders, which are hanging forward. For this you need a cable pulling station with an attached rope. Stand up straight and stable and pull the rope towards your face. Your elbows are at shoulder level and pointing outwards. Pull your shoulder blades together. Repeat the movement 15 times for three sets with 60 seconds of rest in between.

At home, you can lie on your stomach on the floor. Tiptoes are placed on the floor and your eyes are directed downwards. Arms are straight and your thumbs are pointing up. Your arms and shoulders are in a line. Raise your arms while pulling your shoulder blades together. Repeat the movement 15 times for three sets with 60 seconds of rest between each set.

Stabilize core

The Hollow Body Hold exercise is great for strengthening your core. As a beginner, you lie on your back and lift your arms and legs straight off the floor. Your lower back stays on the floor and your legs stay together. No hollow back! Be careful not to put your chin on your chest, this can tense your neck. Keep your chin neutral while looking up. Tense your entire body and hold the position for 30 seconds. Breathe in and out as you go. Complete a total of 3 rounds.

If you want to improve, you can try the Hollow Body Rocks exercise. It works just like the first exercise, only with a little something extra. As you hold this position, start bobbing back and forth. Maintain tension throughout your body at all times and try to hold out for 30 seconds. Complete a total of 3 rounds.

Chest stretching

Our chest muscles tend to "shorten". Result: The shoulders hang forward. To stretch your chest, stand up straight in a corner at home or at the gym. Place your right arm against the wall from palm to elbow. The right leg takes a step forward. Now you slowly turn your upper body to the left until you feel a stretch in your chest on the right. The right palm and elbow stay “stuck” to the wall the whole time. Hold this position for a few breaths. This is how you stretch the pectoralis major. Then switch sides.

To stretch the small pectoral muscle as well, you need to increase the distance from your shoulder. To do this, change the angle by extending your arm further up and placing your palm against the wall. Then push your body forward and down a little. Hold this position. Then switch sides.

Loosen neck tension

Is your neck tense? Slowly lower your chin towards your chest and hold for a few seconds. Your gaze is directed downwards. Straighten your head again and gently tilt it to the right for a few breaths. Your shoulders stay down. Come back to the center and do the same for the left side. In addition, in an upright seat, you can slowly move your head forward and then backward. Repeat for a few rounds. Do the movement slowly.

Sports such as Pilates or swimming also ensure a straight posture and train your back and core stability. Try out what suits you most personally! Important: Be regularly active and have fun!

Conclusion

  • Incorrect posture can result from bad habits and muscular imbalances
  • You can improve your posture with targeted strength and stretching exercises
  • A straight and open posture is self-confident and attractive to others
  • Your posture affects how you feel about yourself
  • More exercise in everyday life promotes a healthy posture
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  • 1Albert Mehrabian, Jeffrey S. Blum (1997): Physical appearance, attractiveness, and the mediating role of emotions.

    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12144-997-1013-0↩

  • 2Dana R. Carney, Amy J.C. Cuddy, Andy J. Yap (2010): Power Posing: Brief Nonverbal Displays Affect Neuroendocrine Levels and Risk Tolerance

    https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0956797610383437↩