IT’S A BUSY TIME. THERE’S LITTLE OPPORTUNITY TO WORKOUT with all that needs to be done before some of us travel and others stay at home and prepare for guests. More than a few people will attempt to ramp up their efforts at the office and jam 5 days of computer/desk work into 2 or 3, so as to fully enjoy Thanksgiving Day, and possibly the days that flank it, without worry of getting behind.
If usual exercise activities aren’t possible, consider trying out a few simple posture-improving moves this week. You won’t get in a strenuous workout but be able to trial a few exercises that perhaps you’ve been meaning to investigate.
The piece by Lauren Mazzo and Jeanine Detz, “The Strength Workout for Perfect Posture” for shape.com describes 9 exercises that you may not ever attempted or seen demonstrated. Each one has at been prescribed for me by an athletic trainer at various times, when I had an evaluation in which I was told my posture could use a bit of straightening.
The very first exercise, “1. Y-Raise” has got to be one of my most favorite of ALL TIME of any strength exercise! Why? Not because it’s easy for me. The opposite is true; it’s always been difficult. I love to hate this exercise because it improves my posture.
The way I learned it, after making the letter “Y”, the next letter is ”T”, then “W”, then “I”. The Men’s Health Big Book of Exercisesadds an “L” and calls this set of upper back exercises the “Y-T-L-W-I” Raise. In the BBoE version description, the moves can be performed with or without light dumbbell weights. My version does not involve using weights, but in holding my arms in the upraised position for a 3-count*.
Mazzo and Detz provide 8 other exercises recommended by their two experts. Because this week is leading up to a big holiday, don’t worry about going through all nine. At least try #1, adding the other BBoE ‘letters’ (T, W, I, and L). Then demo #7., the side (lateral) plank, if you haven’t ever done it. If just these 2 exercises are learned and performed, you’ve accomplished enough for this week, especially if the action leaves you determined to repeat the effort regularly and investigate the remaining posture-improving exercises in the article.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
NOTE: To use proper form do NOT ARCH the back or lift the head. This is not a Superman move. Keep the neck straight, in line with the back/shoulders, and head level. The face should look down, not up or forward. The extended arms should be lifted such that the hands are about level with the ears, or just behind them. The stability ball supports the chest and upper abdomen (belly).
CHEATER VERSION: my own personal variation of this exercise is performed at the end of a walk, with my body upright and tall while standing still or, most times, walking slowly. With my head level, looking forward, I attempt to bring my extended arms to a position just level with or slightly behind my ears, and hold for a 3-count, for 15 repetitions. I do 3 sets of the “Y-T-W-I” sequence. This is more tiring than it seems.
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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