When a guy enters a room what’s the first thing you notice? His smile? his clothes? his smell? or maybe his walk? well, all those are definitely winners but research shows the best tricks to looking good comes from inside! Improving the way you carry yourself.
Want to try it? Next time you are about to go somewhere, be conscious about it, watch on your posture. Think about it, if you learn to straighten your spine, it’s not just so you get the attention of the ladies, it will certainly help you with that, but improving your posture also helps to avoid injuries to joints and muscles and keeps your skeleton healthy into old age. The trouble isn’t just that slumped shoulders make you resemble a Neanderthal. Over time, your poor posture takes a tremendous toll on your spine, shoulders, hips, and knees. In fact, it can cause a cascade of structural flaws that result in acute problems, such as joint pain throughout your body, reduced flexibility, and compromised muscles, all of which can limit your ability to burn fat and build strength. Not good at all!
The way you carry your body suggests internal power, and you know it definitely exudes from you anywhere you go.
If you aren’t there yet, no worries. It starts with a decision to learn and then the will power to continue so first things first, Here are the tips that get you started:
Sitting up- The Swiss Ball- You must have heard of people swapping their office chairs for the swiss balls.
The swiss ball gives balance and stablilty and helps to improve posture setting up the shoulders and spine. Want to do this long term? make the commitment to get one. You may not need to swap it for your office chair or at home, but having one around to sit on goes a long way, over time it will encourage you to sit up straight.
Lift your chest. Picture a string tied to the 2nd or 3rd top button on a shirt pulling straight up to the ceiling. Make your chin level. If it helps, picture a book on your head.
Avoid slouching or leaning forward, especially when tired from sitting in the office chair for long periods.
Take frequent breaks. At first, trying to sit up straight in a chair can be tiring. After years of slouching, your body has probably created a new “bad” posture for itself, and it’s going to take some work to get it back to the way it should be. Take it slow from the beginning. Sit straight for 20 minutes and get up and take a break. Walk around, reach your hands towards the sky, and stretch. Sit down again and get back to work. Take another break 20 minutes later.
Also watch how you sit while driving. Do you slouch while you rest on the steering? Make sure your back, lumbar and shoulders are supported. And make sure you’re actually holding the steering wheel, not just resting your hands on it.
Standing- Your feet should be shoulder width apart, thigh muscles elongated without locking the knees back. Maintain most of your weight on the balls of your feet and not on your heels. When you put your weight on your heels, you create misalignment with your body. A quick test to see if your weight is properly distributed is to have someone gently push on your sternum. If you lose balance easily, then your weight is on your heels. Now try putting more of your weight on the balls of your feet and have someone push you again. You’re probably more stable this time because your body is better aligned.
Maintain a small hollow in your lower back, but avoid the tendency for too much arching or leaning back, especially with prolonged standing. The “tail” should remain slightly tucked down. Lift your chest. Your shoulder blades should move down and back. This will create a good distance from your hip bone to your rib cage.
Make your chin level. The highest point of your body should be the top back region of your head. Relax your jaw and neck muscles.
Walking-quick tip: Try to take the stairs instead of the lift when you can help it, while you walk, keep your chin parrallel to the floor and try to look straight ahead as much as you can.
When you sleep,use a firm mattrass and do not sleep n your belly. Sleep on your back with a pillow under your knes or on your side with a pillow between your knees.
Finally, Contrary to your primary school teacher, good posture does not require you to look like a stiff piece of board. Good posture involves having a relaxed appearance and a “neutral spine.” A neutral spine retains three natural curves: a small hollow at the base of the neck, a small roundness at the middle back, and a small hollow in the lower back. Many people overcompensate for bad posture by standing too straight, thus eliminating the natural curves of the spine.
When your posture is correct, the ears, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles should align in one straight line, you should know this after the “wall test.” Stand with head, shoulders, and back against the wall and your heels about 5-6 inches forward. Draw in the lower abdominal muscles, decreasing the arch in your lower back. Push away from the wall and try to maintain this upright, vertical alignment. That’s good posture.
Always make sure you remember what you are trying to do since there is a tendency to forget and slouch all over again. Use post it notes all over the place if you have to!
Be confident. Confidence attracts good posture just as well as good posture attracts confidence so become one with the two!Studies show men with good posture appear taller and taller men get to earn more money- there’s motivation for you, if you needed any!
Sources: http://www.musclehack.com/, gq.com, askmen.com, menshealth.com/style, http://www.artofmanliness.com/