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back to ' Posture & Back' articles

Improve Your Posture

Good posture gives us the ability to move with minimum risk of injury, it also tells a lot about ourselves and how we carry our bodies (self-esteem). Daily activities can challenge the body to cope with many things such as carrying bags that place more load one side than on the other, standing or sitting in one position for long periods of time or the most common thing now stress. Try these exercises to help get you back in tune with your posture, correct general muscle imbalances and strengthen up the core (deep abdominal) muscles.

› Shoulder Pull using a Resistance Band

 
What it does: A very effective exercise that lengthens the neck and draws the shoulders down away from the ears.
What to do: Stand with both feet on a resistance band. Hold the resistance band so you feel the tension of the bands gently pulling the shoulders down. This is the start position. Pulling the tummy muscles in tight and your pelvic floor muscles up. Now use the back muscles to lower the shoulders further, keeping the hands by your side and along the seam of your trousers. Aim to minimize the pull of the band and loosen the tension. Hold for 10 seconds and relax.
 

   - How Many? 6


› Prone Shoulder Opening

 
What it does: Opens the shoulder area, particularly beneficial if spending a lot of time in front of the computer.
What to do: Lie face-down, arms spread out to the side at ninety degrees level with the shoulders. Keep the palms facing down and head in contact with the floor. Lift the arms from the shoulders off the floor, imaging that your squeezing a tennis ball in between the shoulders blades, then lower the arms.
 

   - How Many? 8 -12

› Hip Flexor Stretch

 
What it does: Lengthens the hip flexor muscle which is a major muscle used in walking and can become very painful if it’s short and tight.
What to do: Place a cushion on the floor and kneel on with one knee. Place the other knee out in front of the body into a lunge position. Make sure the front knee is over the ankle and the knee cap is in line with the second toe. Press the back leg toward the floor, feeling a stretch into the upper part of the thigh.
 

  -  How Long? Hold for 10-30 seconds. Repeat on the other side
 

› Belt Tuck

 
What it does: When the abdominals weaken, they lack the ability to provide support for the spine and this can cause lordosis of the spine. This exercise is a very simple way to prevent this and to start to develop some muscle tone. It supports the body in an upright position.
What to do: Stand wearing a belt fastened around the waist. Maintaining good posture, try to slide the fingertips in between the belt and your skin. To do this, pull in the abdominal muscles in tight and imagine you are pulling your belly button through to your spine. Hold for 15 seconds.
 

   - How Many? 8-10

Top Tip: While breathing, keep the abdominals tight and each time you exhale, tighten the muscles even more.
 

Improving your posture will provide you with an overall better body which will reduce risk of injury, stress and increase self-esteem. Start today to improve your posture!

   

 
   

Boyne Valley Country Club, Dublin Road, Drogheda, County Louth, Ireland
Phone: 041 9843280 | Fax: 041 9841119

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