Good Posture in Five Minutes a Day
by Michelle Moss
As you already know, pregnancy puts an incredible strain on your body. So much so that even after your little one is born, you still walk around with poor posture, round shoulders, sore back, and a pot belly—sound familiar?
For quick and effective relief of back pain, a pot belly, and round shoulder(s), the simple act of standing properly will strengthen the necessary muscles. When I was recovering from my pregnancies, I played a game that every doorway I walked through I “checked in” with my body and corrected my posture. I also did the same thing with sitting. Every time I drove the car and stopped at a set of lights, I “checked in” and corrected my posture. Remember, even the simple act of sitting and standing tall will make you engage your abdominal muscles, which will automatically make you pull your stomach in, hold your shoulders back and align your pelvis.
If you correct your posture now, you’ll be far less likely to end up with lower back pain. Remember, too, that good posture is not just necessary for warding off back pain; it’s also the key to having an amazing body! Think about it, have you ever noticed a woman with a great body but bad posture? No! That’s because there is no way you can have a flat stomach if you slouch!
In addition to sitting and standing properly, you should also focus on doing the following:
- Strengthen your abdominal muscles as well as your lower, mid, and upper back muscles.
- Stretch out your chest, hamstring, and hip flexor muscles which get very tight from carrying your baby around.
Make your body a priority and avoid things like poor posture, pot belly, and urinary incontinence.
But how do I know if my posture is good or bad?
It’s very easy to test your posture. Stand in front of a mirror and relax your arms by your sides. Once you’re in position, look at your hands and see which direction your knuckles are facing (front, middle or back).
- If your knuckles are all facing the front, your chest is very tight and needs desperately to be stretched out and the backs of your shoulders need to be strengthened.
- If your knuckles are facing the back (which I doubt after pregnancy), you need to strengthen your chest and stretch your back.
- If your knuckles are facing the side, you’ve got good posture.