Good posture does not just affect us when we are sitting and standing, but when we are working out as well. Most of us do not even think about our posture when we are working out. However, having an engaged core and neutral spine while doing a squat will help prevent injury. Pilates and Yoga exercises place a huge emphasis on form and correct alignment. Below are some mat exercises can help set you up for success by improving your posture. All you need is an AIREX® Yoga mat to get started.
Spine Twists improve flexibility along the upper spine and engage the abdominal muscles in a steady seated position. To begin, lay out your preferred AIREX® Yoga mat and sit upright on it with your legs extended in front of you and your hands resting on your thighs. Extend your arms directly out to the sides, keeping them even with your shoulders, so that there is one straight line from fingertip to fingertip. Turn your torso to the left and right. Be sure to inhale and exhale as you turn. Do this for 30 seconds.
Reverse Plank Bridge
The Reverse Plank Bridge lengthens and straightens your lower back, while also correcting your rounded shoulders. To begin, find enough space to fully extend your body and lay your AIREX® mat there. Sit on the mat with your legs extended in front of you. Then, spread your fingers wide and place your palms on the mat slightly behind and outside your hips. Next, press into your palms and lift your hips and torso toward the ceiling. Make sure you look up to the ceiling, point your toes, and keep your arms and legs straight. Keeping your entire body strong and form a straight line from your head to your heels. Try to squeeze your core and pull your belly button back toward your spine. Hold this position for up to 30 seconds.
Besides Pilates, Yoga is also a great exercise routine to help with improved posture. The Cobra Pose is one such great Yoga exercise as it can reverse slouching, while also increasing capacity in the lungs and relieving tension and stress in the body. To begin, place your palms flat on the AIREX® mat directly under your shoulders. Then, bend your elbows and hug them into your sides. Then, pause for a moment by looking straight down at the AIREX® mat with your neck in a neutral position. Anchor your pubic bone to the floor and inhale to lift your chest off the floor. Next, roll your shoulders back and keep your low ribs on the floor. Making sure your elbows continue hugging your sides and are not winging out to either side. Hold the position for up to 30 seconds.
These are some of the mat exercises you can do to help improve your overall quality of life. The fact is that posture is an important factor in exercise but also everyday life as well. You should not only do these exercises but also practice sitting up straight and standing tall wherever you are.
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Article written by William Graves.