Postural muscles are endurance muscles, so you’ll need more than short workouts to counteract 8+ hours of sitting poorly at your desk or in your car. Perform these little drills periodically throughout the day:
Rearview Mirror Lifts – The next time you slide into the driver’s seat, imagine someone put an ice cube down your back. Now adjust your rearview mirror to that straight-spine position. Whenever you check to see who’s on your tail, you’ll be reminded to sit up straighter.
Computer Eye Gazes – Take a small mirror and duct-tape it to the top of your computer screen. Then sit up straight in your chair and adjust the mirror so you can see your eyes. Whenever you look in the mirror and don’t see yourself staring back, you’ll know you’re slouching.
Lumbar Rolls – Roll up a towel and put it at the base of your spine when you’re sitting at dinner or in front of the TV. It’ll support the low back and help promote good posture.
Breathe Rights – Poor posture pinches the diaphragm and restricts breathing, which directly impacts performance. Train yourself to breathe more fully by occasionally placing the palms of your hands below your rib cage. Practice inhaling as if you were inflating an inner tube encircling that area. Instead of feeling the breath go up and down, feel it go around.
“If all these little exercises feel tiring, it’s because you have poor posture,” says Sue Falsone, PT, CSCS. “The only way to win is to constantly work at it.”