Improving posture is a primary goal for all of my senior clients. Posture refers to the alignment of your entire body in relation to the medically accepted neutral posture. We incorporate shoulder and back exercises into our workouts to improve upper body posture. Additionally, we include abdominal and glute exercises to promote a healthy lower back and proper pelvic alignment.
Head, neck, and shoulders
We start with exercises to help improve the shoulders and upper back as it will influence where the neck and head are aligned. If you fix your upper back posture everything else above will often correct easily. The following are the exercises I commonly include in my client’s workouts to improve upper body posture. The exercises pictured are what I consider to be beginner-intermediate level for seniors.
Cobras on a stability ball. These can be done on the floor as a remedial version.
Rotational exercises for the upper back.
Rows. Pretty much any kind.
Lower back and pelvis
Your lower back and pelvic alignment are equally important as your upper body for maintaining correct posture. In most cases, you need to strengthen your glutes and abdominals. Many people will have anterior pelvic tilt which is characterized by the lower back being over-arched (extended) causing the front of the pelvis to have an excessive downward tilt. Occasionally I will meet a client who has the opposite, a posterior pelvic tilt, in which case we will do most of the same exercises but with a different emphasis. Our goal is to achieve a posture that is closer to neutral in both situations. Here are the exercises I commonly include in my client’s workouts to improve lower back and pelvic posture. Again, these are beginner-intermediate level exercises for seniors.
Ball bridges. Can do floor bridges for a remedial version.
Hip Hinges. Kettlebells (shown), dumbbells, barbells, or just body weight can be used.
Band walking (Monster walks).
Leg “raises” on floor, bench, or other apparatus
Although many of these exercises are a part of any gym workout, it’s necessary for seniors to make sure they emphasize the right muscles and movements to improve posture. Often, muscles that are already overworked and tight get used even more in the gym because our bodies are accustomed to using them all day long. Be sure to choose the correct exercises while keeping a focus on correct posture.
Jerry Yuhara, CPT, CSCS, CMT #75123
299 California Ave, Suite 120
Palo Alto, CA 94306
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