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Good posture is important, there’s just no way around that. Yet many people suffer unnecessary pain syndromes because of poor posture. Think of that forward head posture that many adopt when carrying backpacks or hunching over desks. Or sloughed shoulders of those with poor shoulder development or as a side effect of prolonged sitting and driving or working on a PC. Not to mention all those people who stand with their weight on one favored leg.
Each of these poor postures can cause muscle imbalances, stiffness and pain. Chronic pain, like neck and shoulder pain, low back and hip pain, knee pain. Luckily, one simple exercise can go a long way to correcting poor posture and thus reducing or eliminating those pains so commonly associated with it. And all you need is a stick.
In today’s video, Dennis Angelina is going to walk you through the basics of the very simple pole exercise for correcting and improving posture and reducing pain. It works by aligning your central structure (the spine) in three specific places: back of the head, upper back (between shoulder blades), and lower back (tailbone). When these are aligned, the rest of the body is aligned.
This pole exercise will retrain you to once again stand tall and strong, and properly. And with good erect posture, the muscle imbalances in the neck, shoulders, back, low back, hips and hamstrings will be reduced. With this reduction comes a reduction in pain associated with these muscle imbalances caused by poor posture.
All you need is a simple stick, pole or rod. As long as it’s straight it will work. You can use any pole, here Dennis uses a shower curtain rod from his apartment. You could use a broomstick.
Hold pole at one end near the top and place it behind your back, arm above shoulder. The other arm reaches behind your lower back to grip the pole near the bottom.
Make sure the pole is behind your back and resting along your spine. Again, the three points of contact are: 1) Your head, 2) upper back, 3) lower back.
Do not hunch over and create a rounded back. If you do, only one or two points of contact can be made with the pole and all three points must be touching the pole to be able to correct your posture.
Once the pole is in position, you will want to hinge (bend forward) at the hips. Notice Dennis’s knees are not too stiff nor too mobile; they are soft and holding his support nicely. Maintain the three points of contact and then come back up slowly.
Please keep in mind, and be aware, that you must maintain contact with all three areas as you bend forward at the hips. If you lose contact, regain it and maintain it. Then come back up.
Repetitions and improvement
Begin by doing 5 repetitions of bends on one side and then switch and do five on the other side. By side, we mean which arm is above the head and which is behind the back holding the pole. After five movements with the left hand above and right hand behind, switch arm positions and repeat.
The better you get at this, the lower you can go and the longer you can hold the position. It should feel loose and easy, not forced and difficult. This shows better posture control.
If you do this simple posture correcting exercise two times per week, it will not only strengthen your core, it will correct your posture, align your muscles and skeletal structure, and relieve the pain associated with muscles that are out of balance and tight.