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Recommendations for correcting posture (plus my BW plan)


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Hello people! First of all, a little introduction. I've been training in martial arts and working out in general from a young age, but right now and for the next few months, I won't be able to either enroll in a gym or a MA class (I've trained in Taekwondo/Kickboxing so far and I won't to mix it up with new MAs), so whenever I don't have access to machinery, I design my own home program. I am 177 cm tall and weigh 75 Kgs. Unfortunately, the only equipment I have is a pullup bar, a few lady weights up to 10 Kgs and my knack for invention. 

Last week, after I told my GP that I had frequent tension headaches and tight neck muscles, I had some X-rays done, which showed a small sideways deflection of the cervical spine. My doctor is not that concerned, but she says this is due to tight chest muscles and bad posture, as I also have a slight forward neck and rounded shoulders. This came to no surprise as I over-emphasized pushups over upper back exercises in the past. After this diagnosis, I designed the following program, both to regain my fitness (exams, you see!) and remedy the issue:

Mon (Core Workout)regular crunches, bicycle crunches, lower back extensions, reverse crunches, oblique side bends

Tue (Upper Body)wide grip pullups, dumbell side lateral raises, dumbell overhead presses, dips, bicep curls, tricep extensions
Wed (Cardio): martial arts practice, jumping jacks
(the rest of the days repeat this, Sundays are rest days)

 

As you can see, my upper body program is lacking. I eliminated pushups on purpose for the time being, and only included chest workout in the dips. I stretch every time before I workout, by the way, and even added a few yoga exercises to stretch my neck muscles. What I lack information about is how to strengthen the muscles opposite of the chest (I think they are called the romboids but I'm not sure) so that my shoulders move a little to the back. Bent-over rows seem to fit the criteria but I don't have a dumbell heavy enough (and it's difficult to hold more than one) to effectively do the exercise; 3 Kgs feel like air. Also, I can't move my bar lower to do inverted rows because it has already damaged the door frame. I was thinking about maybe suspending two ropes from it and doing inverted rows like this, but I don't know about its effectiveness. 

Any suggestions will be appreciated, thank you!

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Do you have a pull up bar/access to something to hang from? Hanging while focusing on pulling your shoulders into the correct position is a great way to build up strength in that area. You could also start working your way up to pull ups and chin ups once you have a good base going! (And hanging stuff is ALSO great core work, so 2 birds with one stone!  A strong core will help you out with posture too!!)
 

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I was already thinking of writing something up about this, your post convinced me!

 

I put it in the General Fitness  forum, because it can benefit anyone...

 

http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/88421-good-posture-or-how-to-stand-up-straight-in-way-to-much-detal/

 

Good luck, if anything isn't clear feel free to ask questions.

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Easeful, Peaceful, Useful... "An easeful body, and a peaceful mind, allow you to become a useful person" -Swami Satchidananda

 

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First of all, you should realise that posture comes not really from exercise but from ALL movements you do throughout the day. I highly recommend the work of Katy Bowman: Her blog/podcast Katy says... or her book Move your DNA. When you're sitting at a desk eight hours a week, your chest will thighten and your head will stick out. Doing 30 minutes of corrective exercises won't help, because the net time of bad posture will still be 7.5 hours.

 

For corrective exercises and stretches I can recommend the videos of Elliott Hulse. For example this here. He talks quite a lot about bodybuilders over-emphasizing their chest muscles.

Furthermore, resistance bands are great for training your back and shoulders.

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To add a little, you seem to be on the right track balancing your upper torso and focusing on posture.  You can grab a couple milk jugs and fill them with water or sand to replace your hand weights and get more from your bent over lifts.  You might also want to switch to butterflys, the straight back pull of rows gets the rear delts and Traps involved as much or more than the Rhomboids, the butterflys really target em (Squeeze those shoulder blades together!).  

 

The idea of hanging ropes from your pull up bar is a good one too, I took a piece of wooden closet pole and hung it from straps under my deck to do inverted rows.  I started with just knotting the ends of the straps, but my grip started giving out before my back so I added the bar.

 

The other posts in this thread are all sound tips as well, but I wanted to mention one other thing, the posts here and the routine you wrote up are focused on your core and up... finding a way to add some lower body and leg work will help out too.  BW squats and (font/back/side) lunges not only hit your hips, buns and legs, they really get into the deep core stabilizers too.  They also don't need equipment, and fit right in with your workout style.

 

The exercises will help balance your musculature, and the post I linked earlier will help you find the pattern of good posture and make it habitual.  

Good Luck!

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Easeful, Peaceful, Useful... "An easeful body, and a peaceful mind, allow you to become a useful person" -Swami Satchidananda

 

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