Stand Up Straight
9 years ago by
J’ai un problème, je ne me tiens pas droite. Ma mère me l’a répété pendant des années et maintenant, c’est Garance (ma deuxième maman) qui a pris le relais. Dès qu’on me fait la remarque, je me redresse et je tiens à peu près 15 minutes avant de m’avachir à nouveau. Je sais que c’est vraiment moche, je me suis déjà vue dans un miroir, mais je n’arrive pas à rester droite. C’est horrible.
Qu’est-ce que je peux faire ? Marcher avec bouquin en équilibre sur la tête ? M’acheter une minerve ? Vous avez des solutions/ des conseils ?
Alexander technique lessons really helped me
Oui je recommanderai cette méthode. Ou plus généralement te muscler le dos, mais attention c’est profond et sur le long terme: tous les jours 5-10 min, du gainage en repoussant la colonne vers l’arrière.
Et aussi demande aux gens de ne pas trop te faire la remarque c’est énervant voire complexant, ça n’avance à rien et au final ce n’est peut être qu’une sympathique attitude qui exprime ta personnalité
I’m using LumoBack, it’s a band that advise you when you’re posture is bad…almost every ten seconds to me ;-))
It works great, there is an app that register your posture!
It helped me too, especially when combined with Body Control Pilates. Thing is, you have to keep doing the exercises and the mindfulness to keep the changes.
Similar to Alexander Technique is Feldenkrais. It brings self-awareness to the way you move through repetitive movements (added bonus is that its super relaxing). Your posture problems are most likely a combination of habit and little muscular development so you might want to also strengthen your core and posterior chain (back muscles) too. Both are important and neither are an instant fix so you need to be prepared to commit to it long term to see the results.
wow! so many good pieces of advice! a freelance translator/blogger thanks you all! :)
Pilates, girl! Stott Pilates on iTunes has 30-min workouts that are amazing for core and posture. I usually do this when I get bored with yoga (shhh).
Otherwise, I think of Audrey Heburn’s advice: good posture helps your organs breathe. She said something like this at some point, probably a lot more elegantly.
Perhaps a little extreme, but I’ve found my posture has improved since I started pilates. It’s still not exactly where I want it, but now when I think to straighten myself up that extra bit to where I should be, my back doesn’t start to ache after ten minutes. It’s definitely made a big difference.
Absolutely ballet! As much core work as possible. When you do core work be it pilates or yoga or anything be sure to feel your muscles engaging in your belly NOT your back! Quite often if it is too demanding the muscles in the back take over and give you a terrrible lower back pain. But ballet is the best as you’ll be doing the excercises standing up – easier to hold in your tummy muscles and keep the shoulders back and down!
Exercise, lift weights to strengthen your back. Yoga also helps. As does plenty of stretching. Schedule it in.
J’ai le même problème! Il faut faire l’effort de se tenir droite alors que les autres le font naturellement… Le mieux est de se muscler en faisant du crawl sur le dos, et porter des chaussures à talon moyen, je trouve que ça aide ;) Bonne chance!
Alex! I’m just like you :( Sometimes I try when I go like shopping but my back starts hurting after an hour…
I’ve done physiotherapy for many years but it hasn’t really helped. I don’t know what to do so I’m really thankfull for that post. Yay to the girls who can’t stand up straight ?!
Poor posture is endemic in modern times! Alexander Technique is very helpful, as is the work of Esther Gokhale (pronounced « go clay »). Her book « 8 Steps to a Pain Free Back » is full of pictures and extremely helpful techniques, even if your posture isn’t causing you pain (yet!). She also has a website and videos on YouTube. But be ready: one of the culprits she calls out for the long slide into poor posture is, you guessed it, the fashion industry!
Thanks for the tips Kathleen! I’m going to check them both out!!
I also recommend the Alexander Technique, it is great! As well, it has the added benefit of being very relaxing – sometimes when I leave a session I feel almost like I’ve had a massage.
yoga -I tried it, and it works, and I am 43, or pilates – my mom tried it, and it also works, and she started at 70. all you need to do, is practice regularly – that is the most difficult part.
This is a modern girls’ curse, regardless of height! I’m only 165cm, and- until two years ago, have had poor posture 60% of my waking hours due to what I now realise was poor core muscle strength and lack of confidence in some aspects of my personal life. I’ve never worn heels, so that wasn’t a problem.
When I was 42, I returned to Pilates, and modified ballet to strengthen my knee muscles when I suffered a recurrence of pain and incapacitation due to a long standing sporting injury. I also resumed the Sun Salute of yoga – all the above for twenty five minutes daily, cleared my head, have taken to walking for my daily errands for a short twenty five minutes. After the first four months of doing this first thing in the morning, the past four years I’ve stood, sat and walked as straight and as easily as I did in my pre-teenage years. It feels incredible.
One of your posters is absolutely right when she said it takes daily excercise to acquire or regain and maintain healthy posture. I’d also add to that, no heels and no tight skirts- they make women- and men- walk funny! And then our posture suffers.
Dance Class… Ballet, Flamenco, Middle Eastern, Salsa, Ballroom, etc. You’ll never see a dancer slouching. Plus, dancing is fun and great exercise. Win, win, win.
De la danse classique ! Bon ok c’est pas simple de s’imaginer en tutu rose un jeudi soir, mais c’est pas demandé dans les cours adultes (il y en a toujours qui sortent la totale quand même hihi). Toute la base est un simple travail de posture (en plus de la musculation profonde, finesse des mouvements…). Classe assurée :)
Have you seen this gizmo? It reminds you with a little vibration when you start to slump. I’ve never seen it in person, or tried it, but the idea is intriguing.
Thank you for the shoutout! We’re serious about posture here at Lumo BodyTech and think that Lumo Lift would be a great solution for you. Much better than a shock collar :-)
haha of course excercise is super important, but what does it for me is wearing outfits that need you to stand up straight to look good and feel comfortable in, super hight waisted pants and such. also my dad always made me stand up straight since i was young…it is all in the power of your own mind. good luck xx
I remember I was the bridesmaid at a wedding a few years back and I had to wear a strapless dress. My mum was at the wedding too but as I live in a different country and was just flying in for the wedding my mum hadn’t seen me in the dress. The first comment I got after the ceremony was « Hold your shoulders back, you are slouching too much when you stand up there! » Not « oh you look lovely »! So yes mothers tend to be obsessed with posture. Pilates is definitely the way to go. The pilates reformer helped me no end. However to actually see change it needs to be a commitment — a three times a week commitment and no quick fix! Good luck!
I’ve never tried Pilates! I’m putting it on the to-do list! Thank you!!
I’ll add my vote to Alexander Technique–it’s absolutely amazing, if you have the time to really practice it. On a more everyday-reminder note, I have also been seeing the Kickstarter promos for Lumo Lift on Facebook etc and while I have no idea if it works it’s had me thinking more about posture too! https://www.lumobodytech.com/
Even after years of ballet and piano lessons, I have the same problem. Someone gave me a tip to straighten my posture every time I check the time, and it’s surprisingly effective and easy once you get in the habit!
Playing an instrument helps you stand up straight. To play the violin, I had to learn to sit and stand up straight…So if you feel like becoming more musical, this could work ;)
Hi Bonnie! I played piano and the flute growing up, I must’ve been slouching even then!! :)
Tu passes trop de temps a ton bureau!! Dis a ta boss que tu dois travailler au lit chez toi ou au bord d’une piscine…
Serieux c’est le mal endémique de notre génération voire du siècle! Ayant le meme problème et ne voulant pas devenir une petite vieille, j’ai d’abord essaye le pilate mais ce n’est pas un sport assez agressif pour moi donc je suis passee au power yoga et la, j’ai vu une réelle différence je me tiens plus droite, notamment quand je suis debout et j’ai bien due gagner 2 cm au bas mot… j’ai aussi renforcer my core muscles!! Quel pied!!!
A toi de jouer mais envisage sérieusement de travailler a la cool…
My mother calls this the ‘tall girl slump’, she is constantly pulling my shoulders into a better position. Every time I consciously take a deep breathe I try to realign myself, its a habit really. It allows your lungs to expand fully and you get a little wake up. My cousin is a dancer and she says to slump even further and really hunch over, see how terrible it feels and how you look and then you’ll make sure to straighten up!
Pt dans quelques années!
Mais en attendant; musculation du dos! On a tendance à muscler les abdos, mais c’est sur la ceinture qu’il faut se concentrer
Parfait pour prendre conscience de sa posture, basculer le bassin donc se tenir plus droite
Peut-être que tu pourrais essayer la danse classique :) J’ai déjà lu cette proposition dans les commentaires précédents. J’en fais moi même depuis des années maintenant et j’ai l’impression de me tenir très droite, beaucoup de personne me disent que j’ai l’allure d’une danseuse. Je ne m’en rendais même pas compte ! Je pense que ça pourrais vraiment t’aider !
I recommend some dance classes, like ballroom or ballet. You don’t have to become a serious dancer, but they’ll help build up the muscles and good habits that you need for good posture! Also, it’s fun! :D
I am just like you in that respect, Alex–good posture is a constant battle for me. I agree with the others–ballet, alexander technique, yoga, etc. are all good for building strength and making one more posture aware, but for some of us, we’ll just have to work a little harder for it. I tend to fall off track when I’m tired. But when I think about it, I’m so much better than I used to be just because I’m aware of my slouching tendencies. Keep reminding yourself of your progress–that’s the key!
It’s not all willpower; you have spent a lifetime training your muscles to hold the slumped posture. They’re going to get tired being forced to hold a new position, and then you’re going to slump again, to relieve the fatigue.
Yoga helped me retrain & rebuild strength in my back after years of « tall-girl slump » ;) , so now it feels uncomfortable TO slump for very long.
I also reset my office chair to it’s most upright position, & forced myself to keep it like that. It sucked at first, but it constantly reminded me to sit up straight, & helped me build strength. Now anything else feels awful.
I have the same problem! Once you find a good answer/method that works, please do an update post :)
Pilates and Iyengar Yoga
do NOT get a belt or any type of muscle support….your muscles will get lazy
you have to strengthen your muscles……swimming also helps for that , but first get the posture
Heels really help me to at least stand and walk with better posture. As for sitting, I have no tips as I’m still slumping in my chair (too many naps on my desk maybe…).
Arielle from Tangled Musings
Il faut te muscler le dos en faisant du volley, de la natation ou de la danse classique.
Quand je faisais de la danse, petite, il y avait une rumeur qui disait que pour se tenir comme une danseuse il fallait dormir sur une planche. J’ai jamais essayé hahaha !
Yoga, barre, and dance classes will help you develop good posture that will last. Iyengar yoga and Alexander technique have helped me a lot. You have to stick with it for a while, but the habit will stick. Good luck! Good posture makes you prettier.
I’ve been watching a video on youtube from Net-a-porter. The professional Ballet dancer said follow her routines everyday to improve your posture, I think the stretches do help (don’t worry its only arm and shoulder stretches and nothing difficult). Here’s the link:
Thank you Sally!! I’m going to check it out!
Ballet or pilates … definitely it really helps :)
Otherwise, try to keep your shoulders low and imagine someone is pulling your head up by a string and stand proud! …. that’s what my ballet teacher always said ;)
I can’t tell you how many times I see women in NYC with beautifully designed clothing and accessories with really poor postures! And then of course I realize I probably have the same issue. Haha! I too have been a sloucher all my life. And working at a desk for most of my adult life has certainly made things worse.
I tried the Alexander Technique, but usually forgot about it. Yoga and Pilates made a big difference in making me understand and be aware of the importance of a strong core which is basically what helps to elongate the spine and maintain straightness.
But it was going to Physical Therapy for a shoulder problem that has truly given me a great posture. I was given a ton of small, detailed upper back/core and shoulder strengthening exercises that have really helped to strengthen my postural muscles and basically pulled my upper body into a better posture. I think a personal trainer can show you some of these exercises too. It is hard work and tedious, but if you stick to it it pays off. Everything just looks so much better with nice posture, especially in the summer.
I’ve head exactly the same problem as you, things like pilates help, but what you also need is a a good osteopath. You back is so used to being in this position, that it feels uncomfortable to be in the ‘right’ one. Good doctor will be able to relieve the pressure from the muscles and you will gradually improve. It makes a HUGE difference. However, do not forgo pilates and yoga (unless you have bad joints) to strengthen the muscles.Hope it helps! xxx
Yes to Alexander Technique also mixed with really good chiropractic. If there is alignment issues then the Chiro can address that, however Alexander is brilliant at addressing the subtle body/ energetic connection. Usually bad posture is the result of not being balanced and not carrying your weight evenly. Like anything it requires consistent application both from the practitioner and through your own home practice to rewire those neural connections! Good luck, I love these inquiries:)
Pilates is great, but what really helped me is osteopathy. It fixed some weird imbalances and made me stand really straight. Iyengar yoga is also great, it helps me to keep all of my body muscles working (lightly tense) instead of the usual working leg muscles and completely relaxed torso.
RPG (reeducação postural global,, a french method) it helps you find the balance and pilates to strengthen.
Pilates, pilates, pilates….from the natural born slumper
I’m the same but I have started doing this http://www.barrebody.com.au/.
Finding it helping strengthen my core which is assisting with my posture. Hope this helps
Pilates Reformer and Gyrontonics with Lauren at Living Room SoHo! She’s have you walking two inches taller.
the ballet beautiful video on the net-a-porter you tube channel is a very good advice :-)
Alex – I have followed the blog daily as an enthusiast of fashion and design over the years because I enjoy the posts and wonderful sharing of expertise. How fun was it to tune in today to see an area where I am the expert and can help YOU! (www.perriinstitute.com) We would take great care of you if you’re really interested in improving your posture! You can reach out to me directly so I can personally answer any questions to guide you to get started. We specialize in working with people (many who are creative types – writers, artists, and performers) who need an integrated approach in order to embody their individual/natural alignment with strength, coordination, and grace. I hope you’ll reach out. -TMPerri
I concur with several comments here. Pilates not only helped me correct my posture, but also helped me get rid of recurrent low-back pain. But you might need to see a specialist first to understand what is wrong (you might suffer from scoliosis or another back problem)and assess whether you need a bit of physiotherapy. Then gentle exercise like Pilates can help you maintain this, and don’t forget swimming to gently muscle your back.
Can we talk about this for a second? American girls are so pretty, so sometimes well put together and wear gorgeous clothing but the posture! Terrible! Girls schlump around in great tans and perfect bikinis and ruin it all with their rounded shoulders and tentative steps. Girls, women, please! It’s difficult to sit up straight, I realize this, but when you are, I don’t know, in your strapless wedding gown please SIT UP. SIT UP. Pose, you gorgeous things you!
I just don’t notice the bad posture and lack of confidence in women from other parts of the world as much. In America it seems like an EPIDEMIC. I have a six year old girl and I do lots of pilates, yoga and tennis. I wear a bikini even though my body is not perfect and lemme tell you I strut around. I want my girl to be proud to inhabit her body. Not look all the time like she just wants to disappear. What is with that look, the wrapping the knees AND ankles all around one another and folding arms and hunching forward. What IS that? (I have done that too)
My people, stretching all the way back to my great grandfather (a violinist) become practically hunchbacks in older age so I’m fighting the good fight along with all of you.
Sorry for the rant.
Limo Lift. A friend supported their Kickstart, shipping this summer.
I recommend anti-gravity yoga and something a little different, WEAR THE HIGHEST HEELS THAT YOU COULD. Whenever I wear heels that are close to the height limit I could walk into my back just straightens :))
Get a standing desk!
My Pa used to always tell me to ‘put your shoulders back’! any time I slumped and as a result, I’ve always had very straight posture. Anytime you catch yourself slouching, roll your shoulders around and down into their lowest position- it will pull you up nice and tall.
Alexander technique lessons worked for me as well.
Ballet is the best!! Not only for posture, it will also strengthen your body and make you move more gracefully!! :)
Reformer pilates! I’m an illustrator too sitting in terrible positions all day, I used to walk past windows and feel horrified by my posture in the reflection. Following the suggestion of a chiropractor I started reformer pilates and now go twice a week, my posture is so good now, I have abs. my butt is better, and no more back pain. You notice it fast too, even after 10 sessions I could feel and see the change
LA DANSE !
Classique mais peut-être ennuyeuse, mais surtout le FLAMENCO…
La danse de l’élégance, l’affirmation, la féminité… radical.
Se tenir droite est important pour le dos, certes, mais pour l’estime de soi aussi…. la vie est plus belle vue d’en haut, je le répète à mes petites élèves de flamenco sans cesse, mais également sur mon blog *B a Lady…
Quand je vois des photos des icônes mode couronnées ou non le dos voûté et les épaules rentrées, elles ont beau porter du Alexander Mc Queen, Chanel, etc… à quoi bon ?
Vous vous défoulerez, serez riche d’un nouveau talent, admirée, admirable…
just pretend the crown of your head is attached to a string that’s pulling you upward – it’s as easy as that. whenever you do this you instantly feel how your spine stretches, your stomach is flatter because the muscles automatically support your lower back. and keep your shoulders relaxed – no need to pull them back.
As-tu essayer la chiropraxie ? c’est vraiment efficace.
C’est bien de faire du sport, mais si tu te muscles sur une mauvaise posture tu auras tjs mal au dos en fait… La chiro permet de corriger en profondeur ta position et améliore aussi tout ton système nerveux. C’est une technique douce, donc pas de stress ou d’appréhension à avoir ! :-)
Et ensuite tu fais du sport pour garder cette « bonne posture ».
Je ne sais pas si tu vis à Paris, mais je peux te donner mon contact tu veux : c’est Sophie Leveil (qui exerce dans le 9eme) http://www.leveilchiro.fr/#la-chiropraxie.
Faire du sport , du Pilates pour la posture et de la musculation.
Le plus tôt tu commences le meilleur ce sera pour ta silhouette.
Oh at least you have somebody who can remind you not to slouch! I am on my own here, crumbling away… :) When I could do Pilates it made a massive difference because the entire core becomes stronger. Ballet also helps. If you are short of time, stand against the wall, suck in the tummy, contract the stomach muscles, stay straight and make sure that your head, shoulders and bottom touch the wall. You will feel the muscles lengthening and stretching. Remain in this position for 30-60 seconds and then relax. It’s so quick but works if you do it on a regular basis.
As for the gadgets, there’s such a thing called « anti slouch brace », it looks like an ugly bra cross bulletproof vest and keeps your back straight.
Y’a ce t-shirt qui existe, mais je n’ai jamais testé. Si tu essaies, fais nous un débrief !
I also have the same problem, and I’ve been told so many times to stand straight. But when you’ve been holding a bad position since childhood, your body has a memory and follows some automatisms, so it’s a real pain in the ass. Here is a tip that can help as a starter:
Stand as straight as possible and ask a friend to paste a scotch tape directly on your body, from the bottom of your neck to the middle of your back. The tape will act as a reminder whenever your shoulders slouch forward. It will only work for a few minutes the very first days, but you will slowly manage to keep it longer and longer.
Also, yoga will help you to muscle your back, but you will have to do it regularly. And stretch your back several times a day. Just remember that it took years to your body to get this bad position, so there won’t be any quick solutions!
Try to put your chair a little bit farer than usual from the table. So that you’ll have to keep your back extended and straight to reach the table. I now it doesn’t sound a good position, but it’s not bad and your back will thank you at the end of the day.
I did a lot of field hockey as child and teenager and it’s possibly the worst ever sports for posture. So then, it was years of efforts to learn how to stand straight and I have to say that yoga and pilates (especially yoga) have helped. Good luck! You’ll feel a lot prettier and more confident once you’ve managed to get rid of the slump!
I had the best posture from doing Stott Pilates mat classes (not on the reformer machine=less expensive)
Let us know how your quest turns out. Would love to hear what everyone at The Studio is up to fitness-wise
1 minute planks. One in the morning and one at night. It’s about making your core strong. :)
La danse… instinctivement, tu as toujours la tête haute (ou un joli port de tête), et tu rentres le ventre et sert les fesses tout le temps. Ca devient vite instinctif.
Une posture, c’est pas une question de muscle. C’est une question d’habitude, et aussi de confiance en soi. Entraîne toi à marcher la tête haute dans la rue, rentre le ventre, et pouf, tu es la reine du monde !
Le pilates c’est fabuleux pour la posture cela fait huit ans que je le pratique et je suis accro….
Bonne journee a tous….biz
Like a lot of people said, you have to build up your muscles, specifically your abs/core. I had bad posture as a child, but I built up strong abs during high school sports, and my posture improved. I’ve been in bad health for a while now, and my posture is terrible. I can definitely feel that my weak muscles don’t hold up my body.
I am taking classes with an ex bolchoi ballerina…absolutely amazing..its called body ballet ..it’s a special fitness version of classic dance exercise that
enhance your muscle tonus,
eliminates fat (legs, hips, waist, arms)
improve your posture,
change your body lines ,
J’ai le même problème ! Je n’ai pas encore trouvée de solution mais on m’a conseillé de me tenir droite dès que j’y pense, de mettre des pense-bêtes dans mon téléphone, sac, bureau… Et aussi de muscler son dos et ses abdo, apparemment ça aide a (re)trouver une posture droite.
It’s a tall girls curse, I always thought. Thank you, Alex, for bringing it up. I’ve suffered all my life and no amount of telling off or sports or special straps has helped. I was even told that my shoulder muscles have actually shortened at the front so a few stretches won’t do. I’m really temepted to check out the Alexander Technique, even found classes not far from my workplace. Fingers crossed, this will work.
J’avais le même problème quand j’étais ado, un jour ma mère m’a amener voir un médecin, qui fait un corset médical pour redresser mon dos. Un an plus tard en le portant au moins 8h par jours, mon dos était redressé .
Yep, exercise. You need muscles to hold your back up! Especially if it’s a long one.
So many words of advice, and probably all of them are good. But have you just tried to look right in front of you ? Keeping your head straight will help you keeping your whole body straight too ! That’s just natural
I sat up straight just reading this.
Try the ballet beautiful arms and posture workout – there is one video on net a porter EDIT magazine : on the site – the issue with Eva Green on cover – its easy. Then try the ‘bridge’ one on You Tube – you think you have known pain!
Muscle your back thanks to yoga for example, do ballet dance (or practice ballet techniques), look at yourself when you are not straight and as you will see how bad it looks, you will change your posture immediately :-)
and also have a role model and poster a picture of it in a place where you can see it all the time as a reminder.
good luck, it’s worth the try!
I have the same problem ! I’d really love to use an app or some sort of support if anyone can recommend one – I need reminding. I do Pilates and it does really hop but you need to be reminded every day I think.
Pilates!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m a pilates instructor, I live in France but if the studio wants to hire me to give all of you Pilates classes I’m jumping in the next plane!! More seriously, it’s a great physical exercise to correct your posture gradually and naturally! For good results I recommend at least 2 classes a week, you’ll see in a few months you’ll have an effortless good posture! Be careful though on the choice of your class: it seems that in NYC there’s a lot of crowded classes, but I think a Pilates class shouldn’t welcome more than 10 to 12 students, so the teacher can focus and correct each one of the students. The results you can obtain with Pilates are based on concentration and precision in the movement, which is difficult to obtain in a crowded class. Good luck with your posture Alex, and let us know what you decided to do!
Pilates is a game changer!
Hi Alex !
You should try floor barre twice a week. In two months, you’ll walk like a ballerina !
From Paris with love,
Iyengar Yoga really works.
The Bar Method has really helped improve my posture. It’s a workout based on ballet, yoga and pilates but one of its real benefits is over time you naturally stand taller and sit straight up. I am in Boston but I know they have a few studios in NYC. I love it!
Dance Tango Argentino 2-3 times a week! The back will be straight, you will be able to fly in high hills and you will not even think that you are working out!
From Berlin with love,
I’ve had bad posture for my whole life and it’s started to affect my shoulder – pain! Exercise, like pilates, is really important, but I’ve found that throughout the day, I think about lifting my chest and everything is much better. It’s weird because I feel like I’m pushing my boobs out, but that’s the posture you want. My trainer thinks girls get self-conscious about their boobs in their teens and start slumping to « hide » them. And the habit never goes away. So, show the world!!!
Le yoga! Je me suis redressée grâce à ce sport, c’est magique!
Bad posture is something to be taken seriously, and I applaud you for doing so:) It is important, however, when you are working on correcting your posture that you do it properly, or you could only add to the strain on your spine. With all do respect to the above comment, sticking out your chest is not a very good idea.
I would suggest doing some research and making an appointment with a physical therapist who can asses you to get to the root of why you have your posture problem in the first place, and then teach you some excercises to help the situation. If you have a posture problem, and people are noticing, it is something a specialist should take a look at.
Best of luck and health to you!:)
I agree with KATE — The Bar Method…if you want a class. It is exactly 1 hr and WILL cure whatever ails you…(bad posture, sagging butt, weak arms…)
A quick interim fix is a little piece from The Bar Method…HANG FROM A Horizontal Bar…you can find one in any playground. Stretches your spine and gets you back in alignment quickly. Top that off with lifting your knees a few times while your hanging to strengthen your abs.
Also feels great!
Alex, you may convince G to have for the studio swopper chairs. If there is a chance in N.Y. to try one out you should do so, they so fun to sit on and make you automatically straighten up. here a sample:
I always thought my posture was okay until I injured my back and started seeing a personal trainer. He said I had the beginning of a DOWGER’S HUMP. Talk about scared straight by the worst terminology ever! My grandmother has the largest osteoporosis hump you’ve ever seen so I am diligent in my core and lat work and that’s really the key. Do whatever type of exercise you can stick with but you need muscle tone to hold you upright comfortably.
I will soon have a lesson on my website: http://www.lookforthewoman.com. Super important topic to me. I will send notice. But check it out.
Hi Alex, I used to have this problem too, and then I did Mensendieck /Cesar therapy the past couple of months. Not sure what you’d call it in English, these are the names in Dutch. It’s posture therapy, specifically! Helped tons with my lower back pain.
Oh Alex… I had the exact same problem and I discovered Pilates. It changed my life!
It’s so hard for me to have good posture since I sit at a computer at my dining room table most of the day working. We’re moving soon and I want to get a yoga ball to use as a work chair! (http://pickleandpepper.blogspot.com/2014/06/thinking-about-my-dream-office.html). Also, I think having a regular yoga practice has helped. Since starting yoga 6 years ago I’ve noticed it’s definitely improved my posture.
Oh girl. I feel you.
One thing that has really improved my posture is the idea of being hump-backed when I’m older. I refuse to be an old lady who is in a permanent hunch. Baaadddddd baaddddd!!!! When I think of this, my posture improves.
I also find that wearing a halter top helps too. :)
Apart from the really good advice people have already told you (be more aware of your posture on a daily basis, practise sport and especially dance, yoga and pilates), you just have to… not sit down too much in front of your desk/computer/etc.
I know it’s hard, I work in the computer science field so I know some things about working at a desk, but my life has changed since I’ve followed this simple piece of advice : do not sit down unless you’re tired or you’re compelled to. Simple. Personnally I walk for 2h once my work is finished, and that works fine for me.
Do you love or hate your face? I think it is very confronting to see my face so I avoid that. I stick a mirror on my pc and I can’t see myself. I can only see myself in the mirror when I slump. I have a wake-up call and sit straight up again. Worked for me.
Penser à aligner la tête la cage thoracique et le bassin tout en soutenant son ventre,cela permettra d’ avoir un corp plus harmonieux et aussi empêche les douleurs aux lombaires…Il faut avoir l’ impression qu’ une source lumière puisse traverser le corps des pieds jusqu’au sommet du crâne le long de notre axe de symétrie, cela permet d’être moins tassé.
I agree with a previous commenter, Esther Gokhale’s method is really effective. It’s not exercise, it’s simply aligning your body more correctly. 3 or 4 months after reading her book, I’ve seen the same results as 6 months of Pilates 3 times a week. Suits a lazy person like me!
You, me, and Alexis Bledel have the same problem. Echoing the above comments: yoga and pilates.
I also find being around uplifting people made a major difference with my posture. When I am around them they build me up and both my spirit and body perk up. Whereas years ago when I had a horribly insecure boss, each time I made an attempt to improve my posture she would tell me I was acting over-confident and « humble me ».
Better people = better posture:))
Hope this helps!
There’s a really easy way to become more aware of your posture:
Just get some medical tape (you know, the ones that don’t hurt if you pull it off) and ask a friend to help you for a second.
Stand in a good posture and have your friend put some medic tape horizontally between (and crossing) your shoulder blades.
And then the moment you slack in posture, you feel the pressure of the tape!
Yes yes yes yes – Pilates! If your abs & core muscles are weak it’s almost impossible to have good posture. You’d be surprised, too, how tight ligaments in your lower back can cause problems. All that stretching and strengthening in Pilates will straighten you **right** out.
Try it, 3-4x a week for 3 weeks, then report back. ;)
You should try the BackJoy when you sit.
The comments have been inline with what I was going to suggest. Try Bar Method, it is a body sculpting workout that incorporates exercises that can help you improve your posture and get a form similar to that of dancers. Some would say that it is similar to barre. It is very popular in California and you can access their online videos here: http://barmethod.com
*bisou bisou from San Francisco.
1 tip: pilates!
It will totally improve your posture…
All the above recommendations are correct, but take time. To start a habit like this that’s been a life-long struggle, you should start small. First suggestion, set up a mirror next to your desk so you see your profile in it. Every time you turn to it, you’ll see your slouch and be reminded to adjust. Second suggestion, have someone take a photo of you slouching, then make it the desktop photo on your work computer. Everytime you look at it throughout the day, you’ll be inspired to adjust.
Everyone’s already said it but ballet! I had awful posture as a girl, and so my mom put me in it when I was little. It helped everything. Now I have a huge (and hugely heavy) chest (32F here), and it’s totally only from years and years of ballet that I don’t just crumple in on myself.
Additionally, make sure you have your desk set up right. It’s really important to have your computer close enough that you’re not reaching for the keypad as that instantly makes your shoulders crumple forward. Best of luck! I’ve realized recently that my posture isn’t as good as I’d like it to be, so I’m working on it too!
Unplug as much as you can! I am glued to the computer and you also to the camera I am sure.
Yoga helps me the most. It not only realigns me and strengthens me, it loosens the tight muscles and repositions me into correct posture. You can do some of the chest opening things at home, like modified fish pose with blocks-http://tinyurl.com/mvay4ht It’s a real chest opener. But so much of yoga is good for your postures. And then I carry the instructions of the glass with me–if the instructor says « spread your collar bones like wings and move your shoulder blades down your back like they are wings, too » that will stick in my head and I’ll do it every day until my next class.
Reformer (not mat) pilates also greatly helped me with my whole body alignment. I don’t do it anymore, only yoga right now, but it had a big positive impact.
I stretch and align myself every day even when I don’t do intensive yoga. I need to–otherwise sitting, computers, stress, etc = bad posture little by little. It’s a daily habit. You’ll FEEL so much better. You BREATHE better.
It’s ideal to type on a desktop b/c it’s easier to keep good posture. But if you’re using a laptop then make sure the screen is lifted to your eye height (there are a lot of cool gadgets to help with this like the roost). You’ll need to get a wireless keyboard and mouse with this setup, but it’s well worth it. Pilates, yoga, and strength training are all great ways to improve posture by strengthening your core.
Hi Alex, swimming is super-useful for your back and your posture!
I’ve also tried walking recently (35-45min with speed 6-6.5 km/h) (just as some low intensity cardio workout) and (surprisingly!) after that I really felt my back was super-straight just by itself, I could breath deeper and more easily and felt that I am holding my back just right. Though I’ve done it only once, so need to practice more to be sure:)
Hi Alex, basically my trainer always says. Shoulders back, boobs out and pretend your tucking your shoulders into your back pockets. I have to think about this one all the time.
Pilates really helps, cause it strengthens the center of your body!
Même souci…et même réponses que la plupart plus haut: le yoga m’a super aidé, pas en 3 séances hein, mais dans le genre travail en long terme et un jour on y pense même plus! Sinon une kiné m’avait donné aussi le truc de me redresser dans la rue quand j’y pensais, et parfois ça vient.. (dis je avachie sur ma chaise).
I have the same problem! When Im with my mom she reminds me all the time, and I try to walk straight to make her stop, so good for me in both ways. But when she is not with me, I have a terrible posture. And now its starting to really bother me, because it looks very bad when I look in the mirror, and I think I’m getting a bump in the bottom of my neck. In Brazil it is really common to do something called R.P.G. which stands for Global Repositioning of Posture, or something like that (couldn’t find it in google). And I have a cousin that do that combined with pilates, and she said her back got better, and the pains as well. I love pilates, and I do it all the time, and it does make you feel better. I do it 2 times a week, but I think 3 times is better.
Do Yoga! After yoga classses my posture became more straight. I even sit straight while working at my desk in the office
Barre classes :)
J’avais le même problème. Rien n’y faisait. J’avait tout essayé (exercices, sangles etc.). Et un jour, j’ai découvert le t-shirt Up http://www.upcouture.com. Depuis, j’ai l’impression de me muscler le dos même quand je suis assise à mon ordinateur ou en train de marcher dans la rue (le t-shirt « tire » quand on se tient mal, donc on finit par se redresser tout le temps). moi, j’adore en tout cas
Simple. Do yoga ;)
Inscrit toi à un cours de GYROTONIC
J’en fais depuis 10 ans et je me tiens droite comme un I
Use balance chair, when you’re at the desk.
Works great as well for preventing the back ache.
It’s not so uneasy sitting on it than it looks, when you get used to it.
I suggest dance (ballet or ballroom dances) and pilates!
Ballet! Since I started ballet my posture has changed dramatically. It might be a little extreme, but it’s a great way to combine art and exercise!
I have fairly large breasts and they pull my shoulders down if I am not careful. Some very good advice given here. I think that I will try some of it.
I highly recommend Gyrotonics, you will feel the benefits after one session! xx
Spoken from a person with a newly diagnosed case of spinal stenosis (a function of aging), which caused me severe back pain & pain down my legs, start Pilates to build up your core, and do it for the rest of your life. Make it a part of your routine a few times a week, and not only will you get great posture but you may ward off back problems when you are older. I now do Pilates 2x/week & then some floor exercises at home. You will thank me when you’re older!
Yoga duh (ever heard of eat, pray love). I’d recommend astanga which can be rather intense but all the sun salutations really push back your shoulders.
I also agree with all the other girls who have said chiro which I have been doing since I was very young. It can really give you a bit of a shove to get started. That being said it is never going to fix your problems completely so you might have to keep going back for maintenance. Plus it doesn’t give you all the other amazing benefits that yoga does like general fitness (which you will achieve particularly quickly with ashtanga), relaxation, a new social group and being far cheaper. :)
« Shoulders Back » is a vest that is worn by equestrians that encourages better posture, as the name suggests.
everybody seems to be talking about exercise, yoga, pilates etc, which of course is perfect for your posture. But it’s still exercise…
But have you tried Argentine Tango dancing? You have to stand up tall, walk pretty, look proud and beautiful – and you get to feel totally sexy. Go try it!
Essaie de penser à rapprocher tes omoplates, plus naturel que de tendre le cou (trop rigide quand on n’est pas petit rat), plus élégant que de bomber le buste (trop « petite madame » quand on a de la poitrine) et pas (trop) douloureux.
Au bout d’un moment l’habitude se met en place, jusqu’à oublier qu’on se tient droit !…
Sometimes a simple reminder works. These came from an elderly couple (in their 90’s) who still stood tall. He said « Chin over pin » meaning his tie pin. She said, « Buckle in brooch out. » When I start with « buckle in, brooch out » and then « chin over pin, » everything lines up comfortably and easily. It’s easy to remember and makes a difference quite quickly.
Alex, my mom tried this very strange garter looking brace on me to pull back my shoulders when I was a child to make me stand up straight. Did it work? Not so much. What works for me now? Core strength. That is it. If your abs and back are strong, you stand up straight. Ballet Barre & Pilates classes help so much too, as if you have a string pulling you up from the center of your scalp. Good luck!!!
This is for Alex. Hope you get this. Promised you a post about posture. Here’s part 1.
Moi plus jeune … bon et encore un peu maintenant il faut bien le dire … c’est quand je marche que je me tiens pas droit ! Rien de médical, juste un problème de posture. En y pendant et en se redressant à chaque fois que l’on s’en rend compte ça devient naturel.
Great notes! I read from the article to the comment, It benefited me. Our posture is the way we hold our body upright against gravity and indicates to the world whether we are confident, alert and healthy.
Esther Gokale for sure. Keep in mind that poor posture will result in pain later in life.
heart touching story.. nice post. thanks for sharing with us.