The Seated Kyphosis Corrector is a convenient and effective exercise to prevent and correct rounded shoulders and poor posture, two problems that can be greatly exacerbated – even caused – by sitting down for long periods.
So why not make some of that “sit time” productive? This exercise pushes the shoulder blades back and down, counteracting forward head posture (FHP), slouched shoulders, and flattening your upper back. And it feels fantastic!
One of the reasons it feels so good is that it targets the muscles that can get so tight and sore after a long day at the desk. Let’s take a look at some of these muscle groups and how they relate to posture and osteoporosis.
These muscles are named from the Greek word trapezion, which refers to the muscles’ quadrilateral shape. (As you might suspect, the rhomboids, discussed below, are also named for their shape.)
The “traps” have a kite-like shape that fans out across the upper back. They include the upper, middle, and lower traps, and they attach to the thoracic and cervical vertebrae and the top of the shoulder joints.
Weak traps allow the shoulder blades to slip apart and the thoracic vertebrae to hunch forward. The neck also sags forward when the upper traps are weak. Strengthening these important muscles draws the shoulder blades back together, lifts the head above the shoulders, realigns the spine, and stimulates bone growth as per Wolff’s Law.
The major and minor rhomboids are small but important muscles that lie underneath the traps. They connect the shoulder blades to the ribcage, cervical vertebrae, and thoracic vertebrae. They are responsible for rotating your shoulder blades in and back, as in today’s exercise. And they also play a role in head position due to their connection to the neck and upper back vertebrae.
Working the rhomboids is an excellent way to increase density in these critical vertebrae.
Pectoralis Major and Minor
The “pecs” are the primary muscles in the front of the chest. When they are weak or tight, the chest caves in and pulls the shoulder blades forward and down. Stretching and strengthening the pecs is important in maintaining proper posture. Too often, emphasis is placed on strengthening only, and the pecs can actually become tighter if overworked. Stretching and opening the chest are just as important as working the muscles.
All of the above muscles (and more) are worked in the Seated Kyphosis Corrector. Here’s how to do it.
- Sit up straight on the edge of your chair. “Straight” means your ears are directly over your shoulders (if possible), and your shoulders are over your hips. It doesn’t mean your chest is thrust out or your back arched.
- Draw your belly button in slightly to engage your core and keep your hips from tilting backward. This is also a way to “sneak in” some abdominal strengthening as well.
- Bend your arms at an approximate 90-degree angle and keep your elbows at your sides, palms up.
- Pull your shoulder blades in and bring your elbows back. Make sure you’re using your traps and rhomboids to move your elbows; don’t try to move them on their own.
- Now that your shoulders are back and your chest muscles stretched, gently push your elbows down toward your bottom.
- Hold for 5 to 10 seconds, and then release.
- Repeat this hold and release pattern 5 to 10 times as often as you like during the day.
Exercises like this one improve posture, obviously – but the benefits of good posture (and by extension, the benefits of posture exercises) go well beyond looking more youthful and improving bone health. And the research is showing this more and more.
Proper Posture Contributes To Many Health Benefits
The issue of posture has come to the fore recently, as the use of computers and electronics – and the slouched posture that goes with it – has become universal. Doctors and researchers around the globe are beginning to take posture more seriously, and new research from Germany reveals some fascinating benefits of “walking tall” and sitting up straight.
Study Shows Good Posture Relieves Depression
It’s generally accepted that those who feel confident and happy will exhibit those feelings with good posture. But research suggests that it works both ways.
The study involved 30 people diagnosed with major depression, who were divided into two groups. One group was asked to sit in a slouched, slumped position, while the other group was asked to sit upright. Then both groups were shown 16 words that were positive, like “beauty” 16 negative words like “dejected.” Each time the participants were shown a word, they were asked to imagine a scenario where that word would be applicable.
Both groups engaged in unrelated activities for five minutes, and then were asked to recall as many of the words from the previous session as they could. Amazingly enough, the participants who had heard the words while slumped recalled more negative words than positive ones. The upright group’s recall was more balanced and unbiased.
The study concludes that,
“The findings indicate that relatively minor changes in the motoric system can affect one of the best-documented cognitive biases in depression.” 1
What better time to boost mood and confidence than autumn, when lower levels of daylight can affect depression?
The ideal time to start improving your posture is today! If you don't already have the Densercise™ Epidensity Training System, you don’t have to wait more than a few minutes from the time of purchase to get started. Thanks to the digital format, there’s no waiting, so you can get started right away.
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Densercise™ gives you get 52 bone-building exercises, including a wide variety of posture-correcting moves, such as the Shoulder Lift, Flying Snow Angels, and Wall Arm Lifts. They can all be done in the comfort of your home, so the weather won’t stop you from exercising in all seasons.
Enjoy the weekend!
1 Michalak, Johannes, Mischnat, Judith, and Teismann, Tobias. “Sitting Posture Makes a Difference – Embodiment Effects on Depressive Memory Bias.” Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy. February 27, 2014. Vol. 21, Issue 6, pages 519-524. Doi: 10.1002/cpp.1980. Web. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cpp.1890/abstract
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Thanks again for all the info u give us. The exercises helpful. Thanks
Can anyone tell me if any thing has happened to Vivian.I have not had any e-mails from her for sometime now,and looked forward to the excercises for osteoporosis and others Joan
I was going to ask the same thing! So I’m not the only one who hasn’t received emails recently. Hope all is well!!!
Great information about the Seated Kyphosis Corrector. Many Thanks!
l thought you might find this interesting; https://curious.com/curios/2015-10-07/purrrrr-therapy?utm_medium=email&utm_source=transactional&utm_campaign=daily_email l is about cats purring to raise their bone density.
vivian i love your exercises i do them faithfully i didnt recieveyour last week one i missed not getting it i am 79 and workout 4 days a week at the ymca and i do your exercises just about everyday please continue my e-mail thank you bea
Thank you for this easy to do exercise. No excuses for even the laziest or not so fit to not improve their posture!
Thank you so much for creating the Save Your Bones Program. I have been doing it for the last year. After a bone density test and a blood test my doctor thinks I have a para thyroid problem which may be contributing to not absorbing calcium. Not sure where to go from here. Any thoughts?
For the best information about parathyroid go to parathyroid.com. Best wishes.
Thanks you for the exercises. I use them almost daily. However, today’s exercise is confusing for me.
The definition of rhomboids states: “The major and minor rhomboids… are responsible for rotating your shoulder blades in and back, as in today’s exercise.”
Number 4 of the exercise instructions says: “Pull your shoulder blades in and bring your elbows back.”
Am I to pull my shoulders “in” toward the front of my body, and at the same time bring my elbows back, making sure I use the traps and rhomboids? I find that difficult. It feels more comfortable to pull my shoulders back, bringing my elbows back at the same time.
I cannot print this page using your icon as it reverts to email instead. Could you fix the icon and let me know so that I can share it with friends who are not online? Thanks.
Thank you so much for taking care of our bones and postures every week-end, it is so kind and helpfull!!!
Mechthild from Paris
Vivian…so glad I found you online. I was just told that I have osteoporosis in both hips. I was very upset and Somewhat frightened. I feel so hopeful now and I love getting your updates. Thank you….
Hello I enjoy your articals on posture and osteoporosis !m
After some fairly extensive research, I found the downloaded book. Sorry for the bother.
Would it be possible for you to help me out. I can not spend much time on the computers (blurry & double vision problems) thus extensive research is not possible. I would love to obtain the link, My osteoporosis is in fact getting worst, what should I do? Can u help me?
I bought the Osteo Cleanse and downloaded it but I can’t find it. Can you advise me what to do now?
Thank you for the upper body exercises today. I hope this will also help my lower body too.
My upper body is very tight.
I love your lessons for us.
Thank you I could use any help I can get !
Good morning Vivian,
Thank you very much for receiving e-mails on different
topics to help all of us, especially exercises that is
suited for my present physical limitations. Thank you
for sharing and I will include this into my daily routine.
Have a wonderful day.
Hi Vivian. I am confused as to what is the difference between Kyphosis and Lordosis- My ‘hump’ is curving in the middle of my back, behind where I fasten my bra strap. My upper back, just below my shoulders seems flat enough when I look sideways in a mirror, then is begins to curve out and go in again quite noticeably in the small of my back behind my waist. Would be good to know as some of the exercises I am following for back flatterers etc.may not be the correct ones for me, I don’t want to worsen the condition ! Thankyou Vivien.