Exercises to Improve Your Posture

If you're looking to improve your posture, you will be delighted to discover how the use exercise balls can bring significant improvements very quickly. Poor posture is the result of weak core muscles (abdominal, back, oblique muscles), so you'll want to develop an exercise ball routine that challenges those muscle groups.

One of the best ways to use an exercise ball, which is also referred to as a stability ball, is to use it as your office chair with it for a period of time each week. By sitting on an exercise ball, your body will naturally have to engage your abdominal, oblique, and back muscles to keep your balance as your work at your desk, improving your posture.  Make sure you sit with your back straight, your stomach muscles engaged, and your shoulder blades back and relaxed for best results.

Another excellent way to use an exercise ball to improve your posture is to try this simple, yet effective exercise: the glut tuck. Lie on your back with your feet on the exercise ball. Using the ball to hold your weight, engage your abdominal muscles, back muscles and gluts and lift your legs and lower back up off the floor. Make sure your keep your upper back, shoulders, neck and head on the floor, and hold the position only as long as you can without hurting your back or allowing your back to sag. Repeat this exercise.

One more move to work into your exercise ball routine is the plank position. Start out by lying down on top of your exercise ball with the ball supporting your abdomen. Place your hands on the floor in front of you and walk your way forward until your feet are the only things still on the exercise ball. The rest of your body should be stiff as a board. Your hands should be shoulder width apart, as if you are about to do a push-up. If you wish, you can indeed sink into a push-up, then return to the starting position, but only do so if you can without compromising the straight line of your back. Walk your hands back to the ball and stretch your entire body by folding over the ball and allowing your body to sink into a therapeutic stretch. Then resume the plank position and try again.

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Building strength with core workouts stabilizes your torso, protects your spine, improves your balance and reduces the risk of lower back injury.

An exercise ball workout forces you to engage multiple muscles in your core at once, increasing the effectiveness of your workout while decreasing the amount of time you need to work out if you targeted each core muscle independently.

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