This weekend’s exercise, Thoracic Spine Strengthener, strengthens a deep muscle system of the back that’s crucial to achieving and maintaining proper posture. It also holds the vertebrae in place and prevents and corrects Forward Head Posture.
When I practice this exercise I also notice that it relieves tension, so I know you’ll feel great after you try it.
Let's get started…
Good posture gives you a confident, youthful look, and that’s a good thing. But it’s equally (if not more) important to strengthen muscles and bones in the upper back to avoid kyphosis (Dowager’s Hump) and to increase vertebral strength.
The Thoracic Spine Strengthener works the erector spinae, deep muscles that actually begin at the sacral vertebrae, the very last bones of the spine before the coccyx (tail bone). It includes tendons as well.
It targets mostly the top part of the erector spinae, known as the thoracic extensor muscles. These muscles extend up to the neck, as I noted above; so this weekend’s exercise also works the muscles in the neck, directly counteracting Forward Head Posture (FHP), often a precursor to kyphosis.
At the lower back, the erector spinae divides into three muscles (the Iliocostalis, Longissimus, and Spinalis), each consisting of three parts. They run all the way up to the neck, and attach to the vertebrae along various points in between. The erector spinae is involved in turning, twisting, and straightening the back.
A carpeted floor or Yoga mat works fine for this exercise.
- Lie on your stomach.
- Bend your elbows and overlap your hands on the floor in front of you.
- Lay your forehead on your fingers.
- Pull your tummy in toward your spine – if you are lean, your stomach will be lifted up off the floor. This is to prevent your lower back from arching as you perform this move.
- With your hands still touching your forehead, bring your arms and head up about 5-6 inches off the floor.
- Gently lower your head and hands back to the floor.
- Repeat 10 times, or as many times as you comfortably can.
The Many Benefits Of Good Posture
As mentioned earlier, there’s no doubt that excellent posture gives you an air of confidence, and makes you appear younger and more sure of yourself. But there are some aspects of excellent posture that you may not have thought of before.
Consider these benefits:
- Better breathing results from having your body upright and straight. Your ribs are able to open up, and your lungs have plenty of room to expand. And as Savers know, deep breathing alkalizes the blood.
- Proper posture is crucial for preventing kyphosis, as it directly counteracts the hunched-forward, rounded-shoulders position associated with this issue.
- Balance is enhanced when you are holding yourself erect. And good balance is vital for preventing falls that could result in a fracture.
- It’s been scientifically shown to improve your mood! (More on that later).
Study Shows That Mood And Posture Are Interconnected
In a fascinating experiment, researchers at Queen’s University asked a group of volunteers to walk in a “depressed” way, slumped over and shuffling. They asked another group to walk in a “perkier” way, with shoulders back and a light step. More experiments were performed on a treadmill, and volunteers were given a list of positive and negative words while they walked.
Amazingly, the participants who walked in a depressed way remembered more negative words, and the opposite was true for the happy-style walkers. The data, published in the Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, suggest that the walking style actually created a corresponding mood.1 Isn’t this alone a good reason to work on your posture?
If you have the Densercise™ Epidensity Training System, then you know that many of the moves are specifically designed to improve posture. Exercises like Parade March, Flying Snow Angels, and Sit To Stand (to name a few) target posture and offset the hunched effects of FHP.
So if you don’t have the Densercise™ Epidensity Training System yet, please don’t hesitate to get proactive about your posture and your bones today.
Get The Most Effective Posture Exercises!
Learn the 52 exercise moves that improve posture and jumpstart bone-building – all backed by the latest in epigenetics research.
Enjoy the weekend!
1 Michalak, Johannes, et al. “How we walk affects what we remember: Gait modifications through biofeedback change negative affective memory bias.” Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry. March 2015. Vol 46, pp 121-125. Web. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0005791614000809