Delay the Disease – Functional Fitness
Fitness Plan II – Standing Posture
By David Zid
Posture seems to be an issue for many. Do you ever feel that you are hunched over, looking at the floor like a “vulture”? Here are a few exercises and stretches designed to improve your posture – I call them “anti-vulture” exercises. Good luck and stand tall. ~David
Standing Back Lineup – Stand with your back to the wall. Place arms out against the wall, making yourself look like a giant “T” with your palms flat to the wall. Remember to press your hips, low back, shoulders, head, elbows and hands to the wall. Now push against the wall with your hands as hard as you can for a ten count. Repeat this activity with palms facing down, palms out, and finally palms up.
Standing Shoulder Stretch – Stand with your back to the wall, elbows flexed and arms pressed to the wall, palms facing out in a “goal post arms” position. Remember again to press your entire body to the wall as in the Standing Back Lineup position. Now move both arms up the wall, over your head as far as you can go, keeping elbows tight to the wall. Return your arms to starting position. Repeat this movement 5 times.
Arm Circles – Stand away from the wall, place arms in the giant “T” position, thumbs pointed up. Pinch your shoulder blades together and stand tall. Move arms forward in circular motion; make small, medium and large circles. Repeat each circle 2 – 5 times. Move arms backward and repeat for each circle size. Repeat circle exercise with palms facing down, palms forward and palms back.
Arm Pumps with Bands - This can be performed standing or seated, you will need a stretch band or tubing for this exercise. Loop the band around a stationary object (pole or stair railing) and hold one end (handle) in each hand. The band should have slight tension on it. Place arms at your sides, flexed at the elbow. Now pull back on the band with both arms, squeezing the shoulder blades and lifting the head high, looking up and out. Complete 15 – 20 repetitions using as large a movement as possible. The last 2 reps should be difficult to complete.
- Stand facing a corner, hands at chest height. With palms pressed against the walls, slowly walk into the corner feeling a stretch in your chest and shoulders. Hold for a ten count. Repeat 2 to 5 times.
- Repeat the above exercise with elbows on the wall (in a goal post position) feeling a stretch in your shoulders. Hold for a ten count. Repeat 2 to 5 times.
Driver Lunge – Stand facing a wall, about an arm’s length away with arms down at your side. Take a big step forward with the right leg while raising the right hand over the head as high as you can. Return leg and hand to starting position; repeat 5 to 10 times. Repeat on opposite side. Variation: perform above lunges while alternating sides.
Overhead Wall Tap – Stand with your back against a wall; try to keep your head and upper back touching the wall if possible. With your arms hanging down, hold a weighted ball or object with both hands. Raise the ball and try to touch the wall above your head, going as high as you can. Return your arms to start position. Repeat 10 to 20 times.