Proper Deep Breathing Technique

Deep breathing is essential to improving posture and strengthening the core musculature. Fatigue during the day can be alleviated by practicing long, deep breaths throughout the day.

    • Inhale through the nose to filter and warm the air.
    • While inhaling, press the air out to the sides of the ribcage and into the back.
    • Exhale through the mouth with the mouth open as if trying to steam up a mirror with your breath.
    • Draw the ribs back together on the exhale and engage the abdominal muscles.
    • Keep the inhale and exhale equal in length.
    • Always breathe with movement; do not hold your breath.

Postural Assessment Checklist

Use this checklist to help you know how your body should be aligned. Practice on your own or do it with someone and help one another evaluate posture. Good posture strengthens cores muscles, burns more calories and reduces pain.

Side View:

(remember to evaluate both sides)

      • Are the ears in line with the shoulders, or is the head pushed too far forward or too far back?
      • Is the shoulder in line with the ribs, or are the shoulders rounding forward or back?
      • Does the arm hang down in line with the hip/thigh with the palms facing the body, or does the arm hang in the front or the back of the body, palms facing backward?
      • Is the ribcage in neutral or is it pushed forward or backward?
      • Does the low-back have a lengthened curve, or is the low back flat or hyper-extended?
      • Is the pelvis tilted forward or backward?
      • Is the knee in line with the hip?
      • Is the ankle in line with the knee?

Front View:

      • Is the head in line with the spine?
      • Are the shoulders ‘level’, or do you see a drop on one side?
      • Is the chest open or caved in?
      • Are the ribs stacked over the hips or are they sticking out or pushed back?
      • Are the ASIS (hip bones) even or is one side ‘dropping’?
      • Are the hips ‘squared’ or are they shifted right or left?
      • Are the knees both pointing forward?
      • Are the toes pointing forward?
      • Are the toes aligned with one another or is one foot planted slightly behind or in front of the other?

Exercises to Improve Posture at Work

The exercises listed below are a progression. Master the first one before moving on to the next. These take only 5-10 minutes per day and can be easily done on a lunch hour. If practiced regularly they can greatly improve posture.

#1: Standing posture

      • Stand with your feet at 4-6 or more from the wall.
      • Place your buttocks, ribcage, shoulders and head on the wall.
      • If you cannot place any part of the body on the wall, then move the feet away from the wall until you can.
      • Hold for a few minutes and practice the deep breathing technique.

#2: Spinal Articulation

        • Align the spine against the wall in the standing posture alignment.
        • Take a deep inhale and then curl your head away from the wall looking toward your chest.
        • Roll the spine away from the wall one vertebra at a time keeping the buttocks against the wall.
        • Once you are rounded forward allow your head to naturally traction your spine.
        • Repeat the articulation as your return the spine to the wall.

#3: Shoulder Slides

        • Align the spine against the wall in the standing posture alignment.
        • Lift the elbows in line with the shoulders and place against the wall
        • WITHOUT allowing any part of the standing posture to change.
        • While keeping your posture against the wall externally rotate the shoulders placing the backs of your hands against the wall.
        • If the backs of your hands are completely against the wall, then begin to slide your hands up the wall while maintaining your standing posture.

#4: Overhead Elbow Extensions

        • Align the spine against the wall in the standing posture alignment.
        • Lift the arms above your head WITHOUT allowing any part of the standing posture to change.
        • Place the palms of your hands flat on the wall keeping your posture against the wall.
        • If the palms of your hands are completely flat against the wall, then begin the slide your hands up the wall while maintaining your standing posture.

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