How I corrected my posture…
At the age of 6, I got a desktop PC at my home. Till the age of 12, I had spent countless hours staring at the screen playing video games until I was prescribed spectacles for my short sightedness (Myopia).I refused to wear them and had to promise my parents to spend little time in front of PC.
All these years had a dramatic impact on my posture which I didn’t realize. I would get severe headaches, finger numbness, neck and shoulder pain very often.
It wasn’t until I was 14 that I started on the path to fitness.
It started with running, then to training at home with the Nike app on my iPhone.
It was about that time that I got to know about the state of my posture. Form was critical to these exercises.It made me aware of my body position and alignment.My upper back was rounded, head extended forward, shoulders raised up and forward.
I simply couldn’t keep my body straight for a plank or push up.
I was determined to correct my posture so I tried to keep my head upright, back straight, chest proud and stomach in during the day. It didn’t work at all in improving my posture.
Frustrated, I researched online only to find that I had Upper Cross Syndrome. A wealth of information was available.I started doing corrective exercises as I learned more and more. And they worked. As I dived deeper, it started getting complex and specific.
My advice would be to stick to the basics.
Some of the methods that I employed to correct my posture in chronological order are listed below:
1. Core Training
Its really the base to a healthy posture. I could feel the support my core muscles gave to my torso.
It was the most omnipresent piece of advise to restore the shoulders back and down. Stretching the chest muscles did help a little but didn't improve posture by much.
3. Strengthening Back Muscles
Working the back muscles (rhomboids,mid/lower trapezius) at home was a challenge. Eventually i found out some weird exercises (door Let-me-ins).It helped keeping my shoulders back without ever realising it.
4. Self Myofascial Release
I used tennis ball to roll my pecs and upper traps.It had a tremendous effect. My shoulders dropped away from my ears.
5. Thoracic Extension/Mobility
Progressing forward, I bought a Foam roller. And now I can tell it was a good investment. Peanut mobilization and thoracic extensions helped restore my crunched up spine.I felt a tad bit taller standing up!
6. Sleeping Position
This was the most difficult. I was used to sleep on my stomach keeping my head turned to one side since childhood. After failing 2 times, I finally got to sleeping on my back. My right shoulder which tipped forward was corrected (I had tried every other way). At times, it still gets difficult to not turn on my stomach when I have difficulty in falling asleep. But I think this is the most overlooked aspect to correct posture.
Turning to the present, I can say that my posture is mostly corrected.
No more neck/shoulder pains.