How to Prevent and Correct Forward Head Posture

The human race has made some amazing technological strides in recent years. Think about it: how many intricate electronic devices do you use in the run of a day? Chances are you wake up to an alarm each morning on your smartphone, listen to music on a tiny mp3 player at the gym, and maybe check your email from a tablet during a coffee break. You might work in a cubicle in front of a computer, or at least a decent percentage of your work day probably involves looking at a computer screen. After work, perhaps you take a bus or subway home and spend the transit time looking down at your phone; sending texts, checking social media accounts, and online window shopping. Thanks to some very talented software engineers, we are able to document every minute of our lives and have the answers to all of our questions at our fingertips.

The Fundamental Importance of Good Posture

Guest post by Dr. Tim Errington, Chiropractor, Author, Speaker. He currently practices at Total Health Chiropractic, Singapore.

When most of us consider health and the things that keep us healthy, few will put posture anywhere near the top of the list. It remains probably the most underrated and underreported cause of failing health. This is indeed unfortunate because if you think about it, you have never seen anyone with poor posture radiating health and vitality. The harsh reality is there for anyone to see – lose your posture and you lose your health. All those years of our parents telling us to sit up straight and not slouch, was indeed very, very good advice.

7 Deadly Posture Sins

Bad posture isn’t just hunching over — though it’s definitely number 1 on our list of postures to avoid. There are a multitude of bad habits and positions that are harmful to your back (and we’re all guilty of them too). Read on to find out what the 7 most deadly posture sins are so you can avoid the risk of  pain, injury and trips to the doctor.

The Photographer’s Secret to Being Photogenic

Very few of us are natural born models and know exactly what to do when come face to face with a camera. In fact, it takes a whole lot of self awareness and confidence to work your camera angles and score those million dollar shots consistently. If you’re one of these people, kudos to you!

For the rest of us though, more often than not, we’re deleting and untagging ourselves from unflattering photos that otherwise would have been a great picture — all because of that ill placed arm, uninvited double chin, or uncomplimentary posture (the list goes on).

Luckily, we’ve teamed up with up and coming SF based lifestyle and wedding photographer, Christine Sargologos, for a round-up of the best tips and advice for picture perfect poses for every part of your body.

10 Easy Tips to Up Your Daily Step Count

Getting up and moving is important for your health and well-being, especially during the long workday where you’re likely spending the majority of your time in sedentary, and perhaps even poor posture. Taking part in moderate activity everyday can help reduce the risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, type II diabetes, and is a great way to boost productivity and creativity.

What is Good Posture?

Two of the questions we get most often here at Lumo Bodytech are, “What is good posture?” and “How do I get into good posture?” You know we love talking about posture around here, so we’re happy to share our expert advice.

First and foremost, we believe that your best posture is your next posture – that is, the best thing you can do for your body is to be active and avoid sitting or standing in one position for too long.

However, we know that there are times that staying in a static position is unavoidable. When you’re stuck sitting or standing still, maintaining upright posture with a straight, stacked spine helps you look and feel your best.

Best Back Strengthening Exercises

In order to maintain good posture, you need to keep your core and back muscles engaged. Many of our users report that they feel a bit sore when they first start trying to improve their posture and have asked us to recommend the best back strengthening exercises. Your wish is our command: We’ve worked with some of our favorite personal trainers to bring you a set of simple core and back strengthening exercises to help support (literally!) your quest for better posture.
Our favorite back strengthening exercises are easy to do at home, require no equipment, and, as LUMO intern Catherina shows below, can even be done in your normal street clothes! Try to perform them 2-4 times per week to build up your strength and help prevent pesky back pain.

1) Front Plank

The plank is a core-strength powerhouse that works your abs and obliques, while also helping you to strengthen your quadriceps, glutes, and shoulders. Building strength and endurance in your core will help protect your lower back from injury and strain.

How to do it: Lie on your stomach then slowly raise yourself up onto your elbows and toes. Keep your back straight and your head and neck in line with your back, shoulders directly above your elbows. Pull your abs in tight (think of drawing your belly button in toward your spine) and be sure to keep your hips down. Sticking your bottom up in the air is cheating! Aim for 2 repetitions, starting with 20-30 seconds each and working up to a minute.

How to modify it: If you have trouble holding a plank on your toes with good form, try dropping down to your knees instead, as Fiona demonstrates to the right. Keep a straight line from your shoulders to your knees and remember to keep your core sucked in tightly!

2) Side Plank

How to do it: Start by lying on your side with your feet stacked on top of each other. Keeping your elbow under your shoulder, push yourself up onto your forearm. Keep your body in a straight line from shoulder to toes, and make sure that your hips are square. Hold this position for 20-40 seconds then switch sides, aiming for a total of 2-3 repetitions per side.

How to modify it: Like the front plank, you can make this a bit easier by doing it from your knees instead of your feet. Once you’re a pro, make it harder by lifting your top leg straight up.

3) Superman

The Superman is one of the best back strengthening exercises, focused on improving your lower back strength.

 

How to do it: Begin by lying straight and face down. You can either place your hands by your ears, as Catherina demonstrates above, or extend them out in front of you so that you look like Superman flying – that’s where the exercise gets its name, after all! Simultaneously lift your arms, chest, and legs and hold your body in the raised position for 2-5 seconds. Exhale as you lift your arms and legs, then inhale as your lower yourself down into the starting position. Aim for 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions.

How to modify it: In addition to straightening your arms like Superman, you can also modify this exercise by lifting one limb at a time. Alternatively, you can choose to move your upper body and lower body separately – keep your feet on the ground and lift your chest and arms for one set, then switch and raise your legs while resting your upper body on the ground.

4) Bridge

The bridge exercise serves several purposes, making it an awesome all-around strengthener. As a back bend, it helps counteract the stress that sitting all day places on our bodies. The balance element helps you gain stability, which protects against injury. You’ll also work lots of muscles including your abs, glutes, and lower back, which all work together to help stabilize your spine and ward off back pain. Finally, it stretches out your hip flexors – stretching and lengthening your hip flexors helps to ease back pain, so we definitely recommend working to increase your flexibility in those muscles!

How to do it: Lie on your back with your feet flat on the ground and hip-width apart. Relax your arms by your sides and squeeze your gluteal muscles as you lift your hips up toward the ceiling, creating a straight line from your knees to your chest. Be sure to keep your knees parallel to each other – don’t let them splay out to the sides. Hold yourself up for three counts, then gently lower yourself back to the ground. Aim for 10-12 repetitions.

How to modify it: To make it harder, lift one leg straight up so that your foot points toward the ceiling. Keep your hips even and flex your foot. This makes the bridge substantially harder, so start with a few reps and build up to a full set. Be sure to do both sides to keep your body even and balanced.

 

Start your positive habit change today with Lumo Lift

Lumo Lift is a small lightweight wearable that tracks and coaches you on your posture, as well as tracks daily activity, such as steps taken, distance traveled and calories burned. Compatible with iOS/iPhone and select Android devices. Free shipping, 30-day money back guarantee and 1 year limited warranty.

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