One of the simplest and quickest ways to both make yourself look immediately slimmer AND strengthen your core muscles for long term health is to get your posture right. Read on to find out why.
This may seem a very obvious comment, but not many people sit or stand with a good posture. If you don’t believe this, then just check out your own posture NOW!
If you are sitting, your bottom and lower back should be hard against the bottom and back of the chair (you shouldn’t be able to get your hand or arm in the gap), your shoulders should be back and your tummy muscles flat, firm and slightly held in.
A bad sitting posture
A good sitting posture
If you are standing, your body should be straight from back of knee to neck, with your shoulders back, chest out, head up and with your tummy held in and muscles firm.
However, the chances are that you are slumped, with rounded shoulders, curved back and relaxed tummy muscles – like this.
Bad standing posture
Good standing posture
So change positions into a “good” posture outlined above. Remember to pull in your tummy, not fully, but just enough to feel the muscles tighten – and don’t hold your breath!
For most of us, whether sitting or standing, this will feel unnatural to begin with and quickly your back and tummy muscles will start to gently ache. That’s not a problem, but it is an indication that your general “resting” posture has been neglected over the years and it’s time to change things!
The objective is to always maintain the right posture, so start changing things little by little. When you are sitting down, begin with a good posture and, every time you realise you’re slumping or slipping in your seat, then alter your position back. Likewise, when you’re standing, adopt a good posture and then make corrections every time your body slips back to a “bad” posture.
To begin with, you’ll be making a lot of corrections, but that’s to be expected. After a while though, your body will start to adapt, the muscles will strengthen and you’ll find you adopt a good posture automatically.
A great way to help you with this is to gently place the palm of your hand onto your belly whenever you’re walking, sitting or standing. This is just a way of reminding your brain to keep a good posture AND to keep your tummy flat.
Why is a good posture important?
It keeps your skeleton aligned in the right position, taking the pressure off joints and tendons.
It will strengthen your core inner muscles, particularly the ones surrounding your midriff, and will help minimise lower back strain and problems.
It will prevent you becoming round shouldered and your head will be supported correctly, taking pressure off nerves that cause neck and head aches.
If you learn to keep your tummy muscles firm and controlled permanently, then you’ll never need to do any tummy muscle exercises ever again!
It’s make you look and feel great! Next time you’re in a public place, have a look around you and see who has a good posture and who a bad one. Now decide who looks fitter and healthier as a result!