Why women should weight train

Why women should weight train

Go into most gyms and you’ll see a clear divide between male and female exercisers. Most guys tend to spend the majority of their time lifting weights while the ladies are more likely to be found in the aerobics studio doing group exercise classes or on the cardio equipment working up a sweat in an effort to burn fat and “tone up”.

 

There are several reasons for this divide…

 

  1. Many women fear that lifting weights will make them muscular and manly-looking
  2. Not enough women understand the value of lifting weights for fat loss, fitness, health, appearance, bone health and long term health benefits
  3. Guys are smelly, noisy creatures who make the weight training area much less welcoming!

While there is nothing much to be done about point three, points one and two need addressing…

 

  1. Weight training will NOT make women muscular and manly looking

If building muscle was that easy, every guy who ever did a set of curls or bench presses would look like a bodybuilder. Looking around the gym, it’s abundantly clear that simply isn’t the case. Building meaningful amounts of muscle is HARD and requires a special diet, very persistent and specific training and a whole lot of commitment. Exceptional muscle growth does not happen by accident so if you DON’T train like a bodybuilder you WON’T look like a bodybuilder!

Additionally, women generally lack meaningful amounts of testosterone, the male hormone that influences characteristics such as facial hair, a deep voice and muscle size. With only about a tenth of the testosterone, women are much less able to build muscle than men.

  1. Weight training can significantly enhance fat loss, fitness, health and appearance

Cardio is not the only way to lose fat and get fit. In fact, cardio alone is not the key to fat loss and health but can actually leave you fat and untoned! High volumes of cardio may well burn a lot of calories BUT it also causes muscle atrophy or shrinkage and doesn’t address many of the typical female problem areas whether that be weight loss, problem areas general female stability issues that normally are around the hip area…Cardio is important for cardiovascular fitness and health BUT weight training is essential if you want to maximize your fat loss, fitness, health and appearance.

 

Firstly, lifting weights allows you to target those typical female problem areas – your hips and thighs, the back of your arms and abdomen for example. Not that you can spot reduce fat from these areas but you can ensure the underlying muscles are firm, strong and stable – stability being essential for ensuring a healthy strong body long term.

 

Secondly, strength training enhances fat loss by increasing insulin sensitivity. This ensures that food eaten after lifting weights is preferentially partitioned into your muscles and away from your fat stores. Insulin sensitivity is elevated for as many as 48 hours after strenuous strength training.

 

Next, lifting weights increases your daily metabolic rate which means you’ll burn more calories at rest and even while you sleep. A single kilo of muscle will increase your daily energy expenditure by a whopping 400 kilojoules!

 

Last, by no means least, strength training also enhances bone health by increasing bone mass. Women are especially susceptible to sarcopenia or bone loss which can lead to osteoporosis – also known as porous or brittle bone disease and characterised by bone that are very prone to fracture. Weight training increases osteoblast activity – the cells responsible for bone growth and renewal. Combined with a healthy diet, not smoking and not drinking excessively, strength training is an excellent antidote to the risk of developing osteoporosis.

 

It’s pretty clear then that lifting weights offers far more benefits than it does draw backs but how can you get the most out of weight training? Good question! Here are some guidelines for maximizing your strength training results…

 

  1. Focus on compound exercises – compound exercises involve multiple muscles and joints and provide the best results for the least amount of time and effort. Good examples include squats, lunges, push-ups, seated rows and overhead presses. Make sure that your workouts consist of at least 80% compound exercises.

 

  1. Perform two to four sets of 13 to 20 repetitions – sets of six to 12 are known to be best for bodybuilding so it makes sense to avoid that rep range if you are concerned about inadvertently building muscle, The 13 to 20 rep range will develop endurance more than muscle size but will still help strengthen and firm up your muscles. It may still be useful to spend some time outside of this rep range for the purpose of increasing general strength, adding a little muscle for fat-burning purposes or avoiding plateaus but this should be part of a carefully planned periodization programme.

 

  1. Focus on lower body training – many guys completely avoid leg training because it’s hard work and they’d rather develop a big upper body. Don’t be like them – build your workouts around lower body exercises. This doesn’t mean you should avoid training your upper body – that would be a mistake – just place the general emphasis on your lower body e.g. two lower body exercises for every upper body one. Not only will this increase the energy cost of your workouts, leading to greater fat loss, you’ll also address the typical problem areas of the thighs and hips. Additionally, you’ll hopefully shame the guys into doing fewer biceps curls and more squats!

 

  1. Stick with whole body workouts – split routines, where different muscles are worked in different days, are synonymous with bodybuilding as they allow you to do multiple sets of multiple exercises per muscle group. If you want to sidestep excessive muscle development, this is something you need to avoid so instead of a split routine, work your entire body two or three times a week.

For example…

 

  1. Squats
  2. Seated rows
  3. Push-ups
  4. Lunges
  5. Lat pull downs
  6. Overhead presses
  7. Planks
  8. Cable wood chops

 

(Some extra exercise can be added to this workout for pre/rehab purposes e.g. middle traps, rhomboids and lower traps for postural issues but that’s something for another article!)

 

Note the lack of direct arm and upper trap work – two areas where a little muscle can produce a very masculine look. Doing set after set of triceps won’t cure your fatty arms either so forget the idea you can spot-reduce arm fat. Fat loss is best achieved by focusiung on total body workouts and a healthy diet.

Neurologist prescribed me xanaxbest.com. My complaints were: anxiety and depression. I didn’t want to take antidepressants, but the doctor insisted to take a course.

 

Weight training can help every women (including you!) achieve her best body ever and in much less time than cardio alone. Additionally, it offers several important health benefits which, again, cardio cannot provide. Cardio is not in any way bad but should always be considered as just one of the forms of exercise that makes up a well-rounded workout routine. If you aren’t a regular weight trainer, maybe now is the time to start?!
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Hi, my name is Dinny Morris. I’m a personal trainer and in sunny Sydney, Australia.

I work with men and women at all levels of their physical development, from overweight couch potatoes who want to get in shape, to professional athletes and natural bodybuilders who want to beef up strength and body mass.

Hi, my name is Dinny Morris. I’m a personal trainer and in sunny Sydney, Australia.

I work with men and women at all levels of their physical development, from overweight couch potatoes who want to get in shape, to professional athletes and natural bodybuilders who want to beef up strength and body mass.

How to motivate yourself

How to motivate yourself

While I can tell you all the reasons I think you should lose weight and get fit, if you are unable to motivate yourself from within, you probably won’t make much weight loss or fitness progress. Instead of getting in shape for me, look for ways to motivate yourself instead. Personal trainers can certainly help and guide you but, ultimately, you have to get up off your butt, get to work and take control if you want to lose weight, get fit, and reclaim your health. Here are EIGHT strategies for dialling up your internal motivation levels to maximum…

 

  1. Take a long, hard look in the mirror

Stand in front of a mirror in your underwear and ask yourself if you are happy with the reflection looking back at you. If you are contemplating starting a diet or exercise routine, I imagine the answer is no. Don’t just take a quick glance and then look away; stand and stare at all the things you dislike about your body. I don’t mean the colour of your eyes or the length of your hair but your soft thighs, saggy belly, rounded shoulders and skinny arms. If you start dieting and exercising, you will NEVER look this way again but if you don’t do something about the way you look now, things will continue going downhill. Look five years into the future — is it better to change here and now or is it better to change when you’re even worse, or when it’s too late? If you like what you see in the mirror then it’s all good but if you don’t, remember this image and use it to drive you onward toward the new you.

 

  1. Get angry!

So, now you have honestly appraised your current appearance, I want you to get angry about it. The angrier you are, the more likely you are to try and get away from your current weight, shape and level of fitness. Think of all the times you have skipped out on workouts or eaten way too much of the wrong foods and get pissed off about what you have done to yourself. Think about all the times that you maybe were judged about your weight or stared at because of your physical size. Develop a true dislike of your old reflection and do your utmost to make it a thing if the past.

  1. Get a medical check-up

A second opinion is often useful and while it’s obvious from your reflection that you need to lose weight, a medical check-up will reveal exactly what is going on under your skin and inside your body. Blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride readings, hip to waist ratio, a DEXA scan, BMI reading…these are all good indicators of how being overweight and unfit are negatively affecting your long term health and potentially shaving years off your lifespan. Learning that your blood pressure, for example, is dangerously high will probably motivate and even scare you to take your fitness and weight loss efforts much more seriously.

 

  1. Ask for honest feedback

I bet if you ask your friends, work colleagues, your partner or your family if you should shape up and lose weight, they will tell you that yes, you should. They don’t want you to be unhealthy, unfit and unhappy. They want you to be around for as long as possible and not die prematurely because of an otherwise avoidable medical condition like coronary heart disease. Losing weight and getting fit is not just good for you – it’s good for everyone who cares about you too.

 

  1. Visualise

Now you know WHY you need to lose weight and get fit, it’s time to focus on how you’ll feel when you do. The best way to do this is through visualisation. Spend a few minutes relaxing and emptying your mind and then create an image in your mind’s eye of the perfect you – all fit, slim, healthy, and happy. Add as much detail to your image as you can including sounds, sensations, smells and colours to make the image as real and sharp as possible. Now see yourself doing things that, until now, were only pipe dreams like running on the beach or simply looking good in your clothes – make your image into a 3D movie. Once you have your image and movie firmly ingrained in your brain, recall it anytime you need to remind yourself of what you are trying to achieve. Use your image as a template for success.

 

  1. Weigh up the pros and cons

Take a piece of paper and divide it into two sides. At the top of the left-hand side write “pros of losing weight and getting fit” and on the right-hand side write “cons of losing weight and getting fit”. Write as many pros and cons as you can for each and when you are done I can all but guarantee that the pros will significantly outweigh the cons. Yes, you might be able to stay in bed longer or watch more TV if you decide not to do anything about your weight and fitness but then you’ll miss out on all the benefits such as better health, greater self-confidence, more energy, fewer sick days, improved financial situation, better love life, better social life, easier clothes shopping etc.I don’t know about others, but I have completely lost the Buy Xanax ability to concentrate, the numbers on the monitor did not want to come into “focus”. I heavily wanted to sleep and, but fell asleep easily and quickly without hesitation and anxieties. Getting in shape and losing weight does indeed require energy and commitment but what you get in return will make the effort totally worthwhile.

  1. Be positive

How many times have your said “I can’t” only for that exact thing to come true? I can’t lose weight. I can’t get fit. I can’t find time to exercise. All you have to do is delete the letter T from the word can’t and you’ll create empowering mantras where negative roadblocks once stood. I CAN’T stick to my diet instantly becomes I CAN stick to my diet for example. Embracing positivity and turning your back on negativity will really up your motivation levels – guaranteed!

 

8.Motivational quotes or pictures

If you are on instagram, pinterest, twitter or facebook instead of the drag-you-down-negative posts that you see on your feeds, like positive pages or people that post motivational quotes and pictures. These are a great way to constantly remind yourself to stay focused and positive. Remember, can is just can’t without the letter T – you CAN make changes if you put your mind to it!

 

Once you find your personal motivators, you’ll find sticking to an exercise routine or diet is so much easier. Spending some time getting your mind right might seem unnecessary but, in actuality, if you get your mind right, your body has no choice but to follow!
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AUTHOR

Hi, my name is Dinny Morris. I’m a personal trainer and in sunny Sydney, Australia.

I work with men and women at all levels of their physical development, from overweight couch potatoes who want to get in shape, to professional athletes and natural bodybuilders who want to beef up strength and body mass.

Hi, my name is Dinny Morris. I’m a personal trainer and in sunny Sydney, Australia.

I work with men and women at all levels of their physical development, from overweight couch potatoes who want to get in shape, to professional athletes and natural bodybuilders who want to beef up strength and body mass.

Benefits of boot camp workouts

Benefits of boot camp workouts

Are you bored of the gym, lack motivation, just going through the motions when you exercise or not getting the results you desire? Or do you just want to try a new and exciting workout? If so, fitness boot camp workouts could be just the thing you are looking for.

 

Using a wide variety of effective and innovative exercise techniques and equipment all wrapped up in a tough love approach to working out, fitness boot camps can help get you fitter and leaner than ever before.

 

Fitness boot camps offer numerous benefits…

 

Challenging and varied workouts

Boot camps seldom use the same exercises from one week to the next which ensures that each workout will be fresh, interesting and, above all, effective. You’ll approach each workout wondering what is in store for you and your body will thank you for this variety by getting into great shape and burning fat like you’ll never believe. Each workout is designed to deliver maximum results but only if you put the effort in and you’ll get to do things that are simply impossible to replicate in a gym environment.

 

A sense of camaraderie among the participants

Boot camps are demanding workouts but, as part of a group, you’ll be exercising alongside other like-minded men and women who will support your every effort. Boot camp participants form a bond that ensures everyone works as hard as possible which will improve the results you experience. Being part of a group also enhances long term motivation and exercise adherence by increasing your personal accountability – more on that later.

 

Fun!

If you spend an hour on a treadmill or mindlessly do a circuit of weights exercises in the gym – can you honestly say you are having fun? It’s no wonder so many people fail to actually enjoy their workouts! In contrast, as well as being tough and effective, boot camp workouts are designed to be enjoyable and even fun. Many workouts involve a friendly element of competition and you’ll often find yourself working in pairs or part of a team. Forget about boring, sanitized, unenjoyable workouts – boot camps are the antidote to everything that is dull about exercise.

 

Develop self-confidence

Achieving something that you thought was impossible, like doing 50 push-ups or dragging a heavy sandbag 50 meters, has a tremendous impact on your self-confidence which will transfer to other areas of your life. Instead of having a “can’t do” attitude, you will develop a “can do” attitude which will help you in your home and work life. Nothing else you do in your daily life will ever be as hard as what you do in boot camp and like the army says, “train hard, fight easy”.

 

Exercise more intensely than you could on your own

When you exercise on your own, it’s all too easy to stop your workout the moment things get a little uncomfortable. Unfortunately, it’s only when you get into that zone of feeling uncomfortable that you start getting meaningful results from your workout. Your boot camp instructor and your fellow boot campers will ensure you not only reach the point where exercise becomes productive but smash through it to produce the best possible results. This will save you literally years of wasted exercise effort.  

 

Work out in a healthier environment

Gyms are fine but all that recirculated air, piped music and lack of sunshine means that they aren’t always the most healthy or pleasant places to work out. In contrast, exercising in the great outdoors means you get to breathe fresh air and are exposed to a healthy dose of sunshine which will help raise your mood and make you feel happier, healthier and less stressed. Outdoor exercise is definitely more enjoyable than imitating a hamster running on a wheel by exercising on a treadmill in a gym.

 

Greater commitment and accountability

Boot camps run at specific times and specific days and agreeing to be there on time and ready to exercise will help keep you committed to exercise. Not only is your instructor waiting for you, so too are the other participants. If you don’t turn up or arrive late, you are not only letting yourself down, but the rest of the group too. It can be hard to be committed or feel accountable when you exercise on your own but being part of a boot camp group means that there are certain expectations on you such as turning up on time and being mentally and physically prepared to work hard, that you are much more likely to stick with the programme. This will ensure your exercise efforts are consistent and consistency is one of the most important things for ensuring you reach your fitness or weight loss goals.

 

Tough love

Your boot camp instructor’s job is to get you to work harder than you can on your own. They’ll do this using tough love. They won’t want to hear your excuses and “can’t” is not a word they’ll ever accept from you. They will encourage, coach and push you to new levels of fitness by challenging you to reach and surpass your previous best performances. They won’t be mean, bully you or demean you though – but tough love isn’t about wrapping you in cotton wool either. As motivational strategies go, tough love is hard to beat.
While reading about boot camps can give you a taste of what this fun and exciting workout has to offer, the best way to find out more is to try a class for yourself. Stop procrastinating – get up and off your butt and try a boot camp workout today!
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Hi, my name is Dinny Morris. I’m a personal trainer and in sunny Sydney, Australia.

I work with men and women at all levels of their physical development, from overweight couch potatoes who want to get in shape, to professional athletes and natural bodybuilders who want to beef up strength and body mass.

Hi, my name is Dinny Morris. I’m a personal trainer and in sunny Sydney, Australia.

I work with men and women at all levels of their physical development, from overweight couch potatoes who want to get in shape, to professional athletes and natural bodybuilders who want to beef up strength and body mass.

Weight loss motivation

Weight loss motivation

Are you finding it hard to stay motivated to exercise, eat right and lose weight? If so, you are not alone. A lot of exercisers and dieters suffer from occasional or even permanent lapses in motivation. Without sufficient motivation, you are very unlikely to reach your fitness or weight loss targets so here are TEN benefits to losing weight and getting fit – just to remind you of why getting in shape is such a damn good idea!

 

  1. More energy

If you are 20kg overweight, that’s 20kg of dead weight you have to lug around every minute of the day. That has got to be exhausting! To get a better idea of how your excess weight is effecting you, work out your ideal weight and put the difference between that and your current weight in a backpack and wear it for a few hours. Imagine how much easier virtually every one of your daily tasks will become without that weight dragging you down!

 

  1. Better health

Excess body fat can have a negative effect on virtually every aspect of your health from your blood pressure to elevating your chances of suffering a heart attack or stroke to increased risk of cancer. Being significantly overweight can slash years off your potential lifespan and can severely compromise your quality of life too. Losing weight will have a huge impact on not only how you look but your overall health too.

 

  1. Less back, knee and hip pain

Remember that 20kg of excess weight that is slowing you down and making you tired? It’s also hammering your knees, hips and back too. All that additional compressive force increases your risk of suffering joint pain which can, if ignored, develop into crippling arthritis. Losing weight is a very effective back pain intervention as belly weight really does a number on your lower back and general posture.

  1. Better sleep

Large amounts of fat in your chest and abdominal cavity can adversely affect your sleep leading to deep-seated fatigue, headaches and stress. The fat presses down on your internal organs, especially your lungs as well as your throat, and that can actually interrupt your breathing – something called sleep apnea. At best, this makes you snore and will wake you up every few minutes. At worst, it could actually kill you in your sleep. Losing weight will prevent both!

 

  1. More money

Being overweight, as previously discussed, affects your health and poor health can cost you money. Days off work, lack of productivity, medical bills, specialized beds and furniture, oversized clothes and, of course, a big food bill can all place a strain on your financial resources. Losing weight is good for your body and your bank balance – who knew!

 

  1. More sex!

Slim, healthy people get more sex – it’s a fact! Being slim enhances not only your appearance but also helps normalise your hormone levels – the very same hormones that control your sexual desire and performance. Overweight couples often experience difficulty becoming pregnant and losing weight can significantly improve the chances of conception which is why weight loss and exercise are often prescribed to couples by fertility doctors.

 

  1. Increased self-confidence and improved self-image

Slim, healthy people generally have greater self-confidence and a better self-image, especially when compared to their former overweight selves. This has a lot to do with appearance but is also because, having lost weight, you will have demonstrated to yourself that you can overcome challenges if you put your mind to it. Losing weight can be very empowering and, for many, signals the start of a new, more rewarding, phase of life.

 

  1. More fashion choices

Many modern fashions are simply out of the question for very overweight people – skinny-fit jeans being a classic example. If you want to be able to choose what to wear instead of being limited to just what fits, you need to get your weight down to within healthy parameters.

  1. Better complexion

The causes of being overweight inevitably includes poor food choices such as candy, cola, cookies, cake and processed foods. In addition to making you fat, these foods are also devoid of any meaningful nutrients and can have an adverse effect on your complexion and even your hair. Eating a diet high in essential vitamins and minerals but low in sugar and refined or artificial ingredients can make skin breakouts and rashes a thing of the past and leave you with a beautifully clear complexion.

 

  1. More happiness

Are you happy with your current weight and lack of fitness? Truly happy? Like most overweight people, I strongly expect you’ll feel much better about virtually every aspect of your life after you have started to lose weight and improve your fitness. Everything from your energy levels to your outlook on life will be better once you shed those unwanted kilos, establish some better habits and get a grip on your health. Being overweight is hard on your health, your back, your knees, your ability to sleep, your mobility…in fact, being overweight affects every single aspect of your life. You KNOW you’ll be happier if you lose weight and get fit so stop procrastinating and get to it!

 

If you don’t change now, now will become never.

 

There are dozens of benefits to losing weight and get getting fit but, ultimately, you need to choose to take action. Spend time thinking about all the things you are missing out on by being overweight and unfit and then, maybe, you’ll come to realize that eating a little less and doing some exercise is really no big thing and that the rewards will make your efforts thoroughly worthwhile.
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Hi, my name is Dinny Morris. I’m a personal trainer and in sunny Sydney, Australia.

I work with men and women at all levels of their physical development, from overweight couch potatoes who want to get in shape, to professional athletes and natural bodybuilders who want to beef up strength and body mass.

Hi, my name is Dinny Morris. I’m a personal trainer and in sunny Sydney, Australia.

I work with men and women at all levels of their physical development, from overweight couch potatoes who want to get in shape, to professional athletes and natural bodybuilders who want to beef up strength and body mass.

Fix your posture

Fix your posture

Posture is the term used to describe the alignment of your joints. In simple terms, posture can be good or bad but as posture refers to pretty much every joint in your body, it’s actually a little more complicated than this. Bad posture can interfere with digestion, breathing, cause stress, headaches, and cause other body parts to become problem areas as well.

 

Poor posture is usually the result of one or more of the following…

 

     Muscle tightness – a tight muscle will pull a joint out of good posture. For example, tight chest muscles can pull your shoulders forward.

 

Muscle weakness – weak muscles are less able to hold you in good posture than strong muscles, the result being that your spine or other bones and joints become misaligned. For example, weak upper back muscles (specifically the lower traps mid traps, and rhomboids) can be the cause of a slouch especially when combined with overactive upper traps, overly tight pecs and lats which end up pulling your upper spine out of proper alignment.  

 

Bad habits – your body is a quick learner and if you frequently adopt poor posture, it will soon become habitual. Sitting at your desk and craning your neck forward so your eyes are closer to the screen will soon become the position you adopt whenever you are sitting or standing. This causes a pronounced forward head posture which places a lot of stress on your neck.

 

Lack of postural awareness – if you don’t know what good posture looks and feels like, it’s unlikely you’ll find it by accident. You parents may well have told you to stand up straight or not to slouch but unless you were actually taught what these things are, you may not have understood what was being asked of you.

Previous injury – if you are in pain, your body will make accommodations to find you the most comfortable position possible. Quite often, you will “lean away from pain”. It’s very common for these newly comfortable positions to become habitual even when the pain has gone. A habitual limp is a good example of this phenomenon as is favouring one side of your body.

 

  •     Being pregnant or significantly overweight – a big belly, thick thighs or a heavy bust can significantly alter your posture. In the case of pregnancy, postural abnormalities normally only manifest in the second and third trimesters and soon disappear in the postnatal period. Being overweight for a long time can cause more lasting damage to your posture.

 

Causes and fixes for common postural problems

If your postural problem also causes you pain, consult with a medical professional before trying to fix it for yourself.

 

  1. Forward head carry

Ideally, your ears should be directly over your shoulders but spending long periods of time sat in front of a computer or driving a car can result in a forward head carry. This is commonly the result of poor sitting habits, tight deep neck flexors, weak neck extensors and bad eyesight. Why bad eyesight? Because if you can’t see your screen clearly, you will crane your head forward to be able to view it more clearly!

 

To fix this problem, get your eyes fixed, remember to lengthen your neck as though your head is being lifted by a balloon and perform the following two exercises…

 

Chin tucks – lie on your back with your head resting on the floor. Lengthen your neck and tuck your chin in toward your chest. Hold this position for ten to fifteen seconds and then relax. Repeat three to five times.

 

Head raises – sit down, place your hands on your knees and lean forward. Lower your head toward the floor and then raise it again; look up toward the ceiling. Lower your head and repeat. Continue until you feel a mild discomfort in the back of your neck. Rest a moment and repeat.

Do these exercises several times a day to a) strength and b) strengthen the relevant muscles.

 

  1. Rounded shoulders

Rounded shoulders are often seen with medially or inwardly rotated upper arms. If you stand in front of the mirror and can see the backs of your hands in your reflection, you probably have medially rotated upper arms. If you look at yourself from the side and can see your upper back, your shoulders are rounded. Not only are these two postural abnormalities aesthetically unpleasing, they can also have a negative effect on your shoulder health and therefore function.

 

To fix your shoulders, perform these exercises:

 

Broomstick shoulder stretch – hold a broomstick behind your lower back and grasp the ends. Push your elbows forward to rotate your arms outward. Shrug your shoulders down and back and hold this position for 60-seconds or more.

 

External shoulder rotations – lie on your side with a dumbbell in your uppermost hand. Bend your arm to 90 degrees, tuck your elbow into your side and lower your forearm across your abdomen. Raise the dumbbell up by rotating your shoulder outward; your elbow should remain tucked into your side at all times. Lower the weight back down and repeat. Do the same number of reps for each arm.

 

Bruegger’s postural release – sit or stand with your arms by your sides. Lift your chest and lengthen your neck. Turn your palms to face forward, pull your shoulders down and back and lift your chest. Maintain this position of perfect posture to 60 seconds and then relax. Repeat this exercise to break up long periods of sitting.

 

Prone Cobra – lie on your front with your legs straight and your hands palms down on the floor. Tuck your chin in so your forehead and nose are resting lightly on the floor. Contract your butt and lower back and lift your chest and shoulders off the floor while pulling your shoulders down and together. Either perform for several slow and controlled reps or just lift and hold. Make sure you breathe rhythmically and don’t hold your breath, Rotate your hands outward to simultaneously reverse internally rotate shoulders.

  1. Hunched upper back

A hunched or rounded upper back can become a serious postural problem if left untreated and may even become a fixed abnormality called a Dowager’s hump. Slouches are usually the result of overly tight chest muscles, weak upper back muscles and poor sitting habits. Address this problem by performing the following exercises several times a day…

 

Doorway chest stretch – stand in an open doorway and raise your arms so your elbows are bent to 90-degrees and your forearms are flat on the doorframe with your elbows level with your shoulders. Push your chest forward and through the doorway to stretch your chest. Hold this position for 60-seconds and then relax.

 

Wall angels – stand with your back against a flat wall with your feet around 12-inches away from the wall. Bend your elbows to 90-degrees and place your arms and backs of your hands flat against the wall, elbows at shoulder-height. Slide your arms up and down the wall while keeping your shoulders back and your arms and hands pressed against the wall. Perform six to ten repetitions and then rest. This exercise works and targets the lower traps; muscle that act like straps to pull your shoulders back and down. A hunched back is often the result when these muscles become weak and/or elongated.

 

If poor mobility makes a standing wall angel too difficult, lie on your back with your legs bent and perform the same movement on the floor. This is an excellent modification for people with very tight chests and shoulders.

 

Upper back foam rolling – lie on your back with your legs bent and feet flat on the floor. Place a foam roller under your upper back. Roll up and down the roller from the base of your neck to the middle of your back. You may hear a few cracks and clicks initially but this is nothing to worry about; it’s just your spine going back into proper alignment. After ten or so rolls, just lie back over your foam roller and let gravity gently lengthen your upper back. If you have very bad posture start with a rolled up towel and then progress to a half roller and then a full roller. Older ladies please avoid this exercise as your rib cage may not be strong enough to do this exercise safely or comfortably.

 

  1. Anterior pelvic tilt

An anterior pelvic tilt means your lower back is excessively arched, your pelvis tips forward at the top and to the rear at the bottom and your butt sticks out. This places a lot of stress on the ligaments and disks of your lumbar spine. An anterior pelvic tilt is common in people that are sedentary, spend a lot of time sitting down or who have weak abdominal muscles. To fix this problem, perform the following exercises…

 

Hip flexor stretch – kneel down and then take a step forward so you are in a split stance. Place your hands on your front knee and then let your hips drift forward as you extend your rear hip. Hold this position for 30 to 60-seconds and then change sides. Make this stretch deeper by moving your rear leg further back. Try to keep your front shin vertical.

 

Glute bridges – lie on your back with your legs bent and feet flat on the floor. Push down and lift your hips up so your knees, hips and shoulders form a straight line. Lower your butt back to the floor and repeat. Make this exercised more demanding by holding a weight across your hips.

 

Planks – lie on your front and rest on your elbows and forearms. Lift your hips up off the floor so your body is straight and there is a slight but not excessive curve in your lower back. Hold this position for 30 to 60-seconds and then relax. Do not hold your breath! Rest on your knees if a full plank is too demanding.

 

  1. Elevated shoulders

Stress can make your shoulders creep up and hunch. If this happens frequently enough, you can end up with shoulders that are elevated all the time – even when you aren’t stressed. To fix this problem you should learn to manage your stresses better and also perform these exercises…

 

Upper trapezius stretch – place your left hand lightly on the top of your head and reach you’re your right leg toward the floor with your right hand. Gently pull your head over to the side while continuing to reach towards the floor with your opposite arm. Hold this stretched position for 30 to 60-seconds and then change sides.

 

Reverse shrugs – to strengthen your lower trapezius muscles, sit on an exercise bench with your hands next to your hips and your fingers pointing forward. With your arms straight, push your butt forward and off the bench. Shrug your shoulders downs to lift yourself up slightly. Raise your shoulders to lower yourself back down. Continue shrugging yourself up and down for eight to twelve repetitions.

 

Get a massage – regular massages can help keep the tension out of your upper trapezius muscles and prevent your shoulders from shrugging upward. 30-minutes once or twice a month will complement the stretching and strengthening exercises you are doing.

 

Poor posture needn’t be a fact of life – you CAN fix your posture! It’s taken years for you to develop bad posture and it will take a concerted effort to fix it but it will be worthwhile; you’ll feel better, look younger and have less pain if you do.  
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AUTHOR

Hi, my name is Dinny Morris. I’m a personal trainer and in sunny Sydney, Australia.

I work with men and women at all levels of their physical development, from overweight couch potatoes who want to get in shape, to professional athletes and natural bodybuilders who want to beef up strength and body mass.

Hi, my name is Dinny Morris. I’m a personal trainer and in sunny Sydney, Australia.

I work with men and women at all levels of their physical development, from overweight couch potatoes who want to get in shape, to professional athletes and natural bodybuilders who want to beef up strength and body mass.