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Straight Scoop on Super Posture

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Dear FnF:
What exercise/stretch can I do to keep my shoulders pulled back for better posture? Thanks for the straighter scoop.
Sharon, Santa Barbara, CA

K: Hold on a moment. Did someone other than F and F just slip in a word play? Stand tall and proud just for that. While you’re standing, do some pec stretches and mid-back strengtheners. The stronger your back muscles are – especially the ones between your shoulder blades, such as the trapezius and rhomboids – the more those muscles will contract to lift your spine erect and to keep your shoulders back. Yeah, you could hire someone to nag you to bring your shoulders down and back, but that’s no fun is it? Instead let’s think of fun things that FnF could stand for (as seen in your salutation).

A:What? That is a gimme. Anyone who’s seen my high school photos knows that FnF means Foxy and Fine! Hello? Did you not see those HOT photos of me that were never taken? Let’s pretend for a moment that we are answering Sharon’s question…nope, it’s passed. But in the spirit of general pride and gaining two inches in height, I’ll give you our mom’s secret (she was a modern dance teacher)–ask someone to poke you between the shoulder blades at the dinner table. It’s a quick, yet mildly annoying, reminder to contract your mid-traps (that is fancy-talk for “pull your shoulder blades toward each other). I also see that Kymberly mentions chest stretches above. What she didn’t mention was that standing up taller and opening up the front of your body makes you more–caution, technical term coming–stacked! Not just appear so, but actually more frontal real estate. And you can then breathe better too. Since it’s hard to remember to pull your shoulder blades into a close, personal relationship, I’ll share a hot little workout trick I made up years ago. Do some of your exercises with your back and shoulders against the wall. For example, bicep curls or forward raises. Even though you aren’t actively focusing on “moving” your back, it will be easy for you to notice if you fall forward off the wall.

K: In short, worry less about what you see in front– the pecs and anterior deltoids — and more about what’s happening behind your back. Just like in high school.

A: Did someone say “Off the Wall?” When the world is on your shoulders, Gotta straighten up your act and boogie down. Quick, who sings that? Answer before you click on the link. If you can sing and dance this entire song with shoulders back, you win a free Moonwalk lesson!

Readers and posturemongers: What reminders do you use to maintain good posture? Who had a mom who nagged you to stand up straight?

About Fun and Fit

Get practical exercise advice, your fitness questions answered, and cutting edge health edu-tainment that is accessible and doable from long time fitness experts, Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA. We have taught on land, sea, and airwaves for 3 decades on 4 continents. From writing to speaking, emceeing to hosting a radio show, reviewing products to teaching classes, we believe that little steps turn into big paths. Move a little more than the day before. FitFluential Ambassadors and award-winners both online and off.

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7 Responses to Straight Scoop on Super Posture

  1. Jan July 13, 2010 at 2:43 pm #

    I had a mother who used to nag me. Now I am super glad she did. How I presently remind my grandchildren about the need for good posture is to tell them first to straighten up and then to slump back down while they are paying particular attention to what happens to their spines and ribs and abdomens. I’ll know in 10 years or so if that helped.

  2. ModernSauce July 13, 2010 at 7:06 pm #

    My dance teacher told us to keep our highbeams pointing up and out for better posture. It kinda lost its meaning on 7 yr olds…

  3. kelly July 13, 2010 at 10:35 pm #

    At least 2 of my teachers told me to try walking with a book on my head. Important to have good posture cos ignored back aches will eventually cause the body to lean more to one side and limpings…and other sicknesses.

    Btw, have DIGGed your story. Hope more ppl will DIGG it up!

  4. Kerri July 14, 2010 at 4:40 pm #

    Love the tip about doing exercises against a wall, never thought of that.

  5. Catherine July 16, 2010 at 6:31 pm #

    My mother would make me stand up and then stretch a wide piece of masking tape across my back and if I began to slouch I would feel the tape get taut. Not the best idea she ever had.

  6. posture correction August 9, 2011 at 6:58 pm #

    Have you tried cuban press exercise? This method helps the shoulders properly aligned and encourages good posture.

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