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Young woman showing good vs. bad posture (slouched vs. standing upright)

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 often don’t treat them to a good stretch after the workout. To help stretch the pec muscles, consider trying the following 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.

For other tips on how to address posture concerns, please consult with a health professional.

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