Human bodies are designed to walk, run, climb, and jump—not to spend days hunched over a computer. Maybe, in thousands of years, people will evolve to remain sedentary without worrying about any health repercussions. But until then, you need to acknowledge that your body needs to move and maintain good posture to function properly. You can start by observing proper posture when working out at home.
Without a trainer to guide you, it’s easy to ignore all those reminders to exercise with the correct form. But this article will discuss some ways poor posture affects your exercise performance and daily physical activities.
Poor Posture Can Weaken Your Core
Your core isn’t only designed to support you when you’re doing crunches or planks. It stays active to keep your body stable while standing and moving. But when you’re sitting in a poor posture position all day long, your core muscles won’t be doing much at all. This can lead to reduced core strength over time.
A weak and inactive core can significantly reduce your exercise performance. It can even increase the risk of low back pain. Sure, you can get medical treatment or relief for your back pain. But you still have to address the issue at its core. One simple way to resolve this is to properly align your pelvis and engage your core muscles when doing plank exercises. Also, integrate functional training into your home workouts; focus more on compound exercises such as squats and lunges rather than excessive sit-ups.
If you spend your days working on a laptop, take a break from that sedentary position. Stand up and move around for several minutes every break instead of letting yourself be uninterrupted for hours.
Your Glutes Will Not Work Optimally
When your gluteal muscles or glutes are working properly, they can help align the pelvis and support the knee to provide a force that can help your body as you do squats, lunges, and jumping movement patterns. With strong glutes, you can then do compound exercises correctly, which, in turn, help strengthen your core muscles, as mentioned above. But flash news: sitting all day long and ruining your posture can also affect your gluteal muscles.
If you sit for hours frequently, your glutes work like cushions to support the rest of your body. But that’s not how those muscles are designed. Instead, they are supposed to support your hip and thigh, especially when you’re climbing stairs and standing up from a sitting position. What happens when you’re sitting for extended periods is that your hip flexors get short and tight. In turn, the opposite muscles—the gluteal muscles—adapt and are forced to lengthen. Over time, your glutes weaken and lose their optimal function.
You can restore optimal glute function by doing stretches that release tight hip flexors. Doing activation exercises such as fire hydrants and bridges can help, too. And again, improve your posture by standing up straight and tall, moving more, and observing correct form when stretching and doing home workouts.
Solution: Execute Essential Exercises with the Correct Form
The key takeaway here is that bad posture can affect your exercise performance and overall physical health—and correcting it requires you to move more, do stretches, and observe proper exercise form. So to help you further, here are some essential exercises and how to execute them with correct posture.
- For squats, remember not to let your knees drop inward. Make sure to spread your knees apart. To get the proper technique, focus on doing air squats with a resistance band around your thighs.
- When planking, keep in mind that you have to prevent your head and tummy from sagging to the floor. Do planks in front of a mirror to check if you are in one straight line from head to ankles.
- For shoulder press, always hold your elbows slightly forward of your chest. That’s instead of the usual mistake of lifting with elbows at the sides.
- When running, don’t tilt your head down and slump your shoulders. Instead, broaden your chest, engage your core, look forward, keep your arms and hands relaxed, and maintain a neutral pelvis.
A sedentary lifestyle can impact your posture, as well as your ability to exercise effectively. So, make sure to take ample breaks from sitting for hours. Start correcting your posture today whenever you’re sitting, standing, and climbing. And more importantly, observe proper forms when stretching and exercising at home. That way, you can restore optimal functions of certain muscle groups and avoid sports injury.