During your workout, you have likely heard your trainer comment, in some way or another, on your posture and form. Most people have a good idea about what constitutes ‘good’ posture but seem to accept their own ‘bad’ posture. Maintaining good posture is key to reducing the stress on certain muscle groups along the spine. Ignoring your posture can result in reduced strength and could negatively affect your balance.1 While maintaining good posture isn’t always practical – especially when working at a desk or lounging on the couch as you scroll through your phone – it’s important to maintain postural awareness to prevent unnecessary strains and kyphosis (curvature in your upper back). In many cases, issues with posture can be managed (even treated) with stretching and ensuring proper form is maintained throughout your workout program.
One common postural issue that we see in the studio is hunched shoulders due to tight pectoralis – ‘pec’ – muscles. While we work our pecs during exercise, we do not always treat them to a nice stretch after our workout. To help stretch these muscles, consider trying the following easy stretch: with your arm bent to 90 degrees, place your forearm against an open doorway, stand in a staggered stance – with one foot in front and one behind for stability – and slowly push your chest forward. Hold for approximately 30 seconds before alternating arms and stop if you feel any pain.