Exercise Ball Exercises - Correcting Poor Posture

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Good posture makes you look younger, takes years off your appearance, and evokes an image of confidence and health.
By using the exercise ball to improve your posture, you strengthen the muscles that support good posture.
As they strengthen, sitting or standing up straight will feel like less of an effort.
Stretching exercises over the exercise ball will also help to stretch those tight muscles that are holding you in poor posture.
Over time poor posture will cause back pain spinal dysfunction joint and disc degeneration rounded shoulders and resulting shoulder pain protruding abdomen muscular imbalances nerve compression forward positioning of the head and headaches I find when I discuss posture with patients that some of them get defensive.
It takes them back to a time when their parents scolded them: "sit up straight".
But, after I explain to them why it is so important, they quickly understand that it is often simply their posture that may be the source of their pain.
Exercises for posture using the exercise ball can help.
Here are just a few of the exercise ball exercises that can help correct common muscle imbalances:
  1. Supine back extension stretch.
    Lie on your back over the exercise ball with the ball centered under your midthoracic spine (around the lower border of your shoulder blades).
    Relax and breath deeply, allowing your back to gently arch over the ball.
    Reach your arms overhead while keeping your arms straight.
    Hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds.
    Most of us spend out day sitting at a desk or computer, or repeatedly bending forward.
    This can result in shortening of the anterior spinal ligaments, hip flexors and pectoral muscles.
    It is normal to feel a stretch but you should not feel pain.
    Do not do this stretch if you experience pain.
    Consult a physical therapist.
    Superman over the ball.
    Start by lying face down over the ball with chest slightly raised.
    Hands should rest lightly on the floor in front of you.
    Raise one arm in front of you to shoulder height and at the same time raise the opposite leg so that it is horizontal.
    Hold this position for five seconds.
    Lower the hand and foot to the floor and repeat on the opposite side.
    Start by repeating this 6 times on each side.
    Be sure to keep your neck straight, chest up, and chin tucked to avoid neck injury.
    Keep your elbows and knees straight.
  2. Squat with the ball.
    Stand with your back against the ball with the exercise ball at the level of your belt line.
    Feet should be shoulder width apart.
    Lower yourself until your thighs are horizontal as though there were a stool behind you.
    Be sure to keep your knees over your feet.
    You should always be able to see your toes.
    Should your knees waver from side to side or your knees drift forward in front of your feet you may develop knee pain.
    Push back up through your heels while tightening your buttocks.
  3. Reverse plank on the ball.
    Kneel on the floor in front of the ball and slide forward so that you are lying over the ball with the ball situated under your feet and your arms straight.
    Contract your abdominals so that your back remains straight.
    Hold this position until you start to feel yourself waver or sag.
    Then rest for two minutes.
    Repeat this two more times.
  4. Repeated chin tucks.
    Studies have shown that this exercise can be used to reeducate the brain where the head should be in space.
    Periods of prolonged forward head postures ( such as those postures assumed at a computer or driving) become habitual and put a lot of stress on the joints in the neck.
    Simply lift your chest up, pull the top of your head toward the ceiling and translate your head back over your shoulders.
    Don't tilt your head back - you should remain looking straight ahead at all times.
    Don't hold this, but simply repeat it ten times every hour or two.
The best way to determine if you have good posture is to have a postural evaluation from a physical therapist.
They will identify muscular imbalances that could lead to poor posture.
Physical therapists have special skills to evaluate and treat postural problems with manual therapeutic techniques and exercise.
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