If you can change your poor posture it will help reduce aches and pains, prepare you better for pregnancy and help your recovery post baby. Expert tips by Lorraine Scapens from Pregnancyexercise.co.nz
Once you have assessed your own posture by following last month’s post. We now need to decipher what you have found? If you didn’t read last month’s blog on how to assess your posture have a quick look here and check your posture now: Why Good Posture is Important Pre and Post Pregnancy
Is your posture worse than you thought?
Don’t worry, it is very common in fact almost 99% of my ‘mummy’ clients have alignment issues and one of the main culprits of poor posture is carrying young children and babies on the same side all day every day.
In one of the checks I asked you to see if your pelvis was level and if the creases at your waist height were also even and level when you were facing the mirror striaght on.
If you saw any unevenness then your pelvis is probably not aligned and you will have muscle imbalances. What this means is that you have weak muscles on one side and strong dominant muscles on the other.
If your pelvis is out of alignment a quick fix and tip for you is to stop standing on one hip, try to avoid sitting with crossed legs and definitely stop standing with your babies constantly on one side with your hip off to one side and your tummy pushing forward. Watch the video below to show you how to carry your baby’s pain free and with good posture.
Forward Head Posture and Round Shoulders:
What else did you notice? Did you see how far forward your head was compared to where it should align and were your shoulders rounded and hunched forward?
To address forward head posture and rounded shoulders you need to think about your posture during the day and try the next 2 exercises.
When you think about your posture, try to think as if you were being pulled upwards from the centre of your head with a piece of string. Lift your chest up don’t pull your shoulders back. This will help to align your upper body.
Exercise & Stretches to Help:
To help this common miss alignment aim to do this stretch which you need to do 3-4 times during the day:
Stretch your Pectoralis muscles (Chest) to open up your chest. Do this by either using a chair or in a Kneeling position
Exercise to do:
You need a resistance band or a cable machine at the gym. When you do this ‘pull’ type exercise you need to concentrate on relaxing your shoulders drawing your shoulders back, you are trying to engage the muscles around the area of where you fasten your bra strap.
Strong Abdominal muscles for good posture:
Weak abdominal muscles will cause poor posture and ultimately lead to lower back pain. Many people can suffer from weak abdominal muscle and this is the most common reason for lower back pain. The main culprits that cause this muscle weakness are injury, pregnancy, sitting down all day at a desk or having bad posture!
You can’t go around pulling your tummy muscles in all day though; your muscles were not designed to be switched on at every moment. What you do need to think about is activating your abdominal muscles at certain times during the day. This can be when you are changing, lifting, carrying your babies and doing daily activities such as the washing, changing beds, and vacuuming etc. If you are not sure how to correctly activate your lower abdominal muscles that is your transverse abdominus (TVA for short) have a quick look at my most popular blog here.
I hope the two posts help you and hopefully now you are much more aware of your alignment and posture after following this brief postural guide. Exercises helps if you would like a specific pre or post pregnancy exercise and health program visit my site and check out the Fit2BirthMum & Birth2FitMum programs
Lorraine is a Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist with 20 years experience training pregnant and post natal women. She has specialized in Pregnancy and Post Natal Exercise for more than 15 Years. Her websites are Pregnancy Exercise and Turning Baby, and you can read her blog here. She is also on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. To see all of Lorraine’s articles, click here.
Disclaimer: This information is general advice only, and you are advised to discuss any concerns you may have with your GP or midwife, or before starting a new exercise regime. Lorraine is not able to provide you with medical advice. You cannot hold Lorraine liable in any way for injuries that may occur whilst training.