Official Website of Sarah E. Rippel, BS, CPT, FMS

-Posture Pick-Me-Ups!-


Hey everyone!

Hope y’all are having a great week and staying COOL! It’s super-hot down here in Baton Rouge! I can’t wait for October to get here!

I wanted to take a few minutes to share a few “posture pick-me-ups” with you!

A great number of my clients and boot campers have jobs where they sit at a desk all day. Add to this the fact that many of us spend a great amount of time driving, watching TV, etc. and you can most definitely agree that this isn’t a good thing. Our posture suffers as a result, but there are ways in which we can counteract the daily “slump!”

When I work with clients, I always include mobility and activation exercises at the beginning of their workouts. I also like to sprinkle a few in as we go, and many exercises are what I call “big bang” exercises – they not only strengthen the body, but improve mobility and overall “harmony” between muscle groups.

The seated position wreaks havoc on our bodies. We tend to slump forward instead of sitting upright with shoulders pulled back. Our pecs and anterior delts become tight, while the opposing muscles of the upper back and neck become lengthened and weak. The weight of the human head itself contributes to this…and I know mine has gotta weigh at least 15 pounds, considering I’m such a genius… J

The spine is designed to do its job effortlessly, but when we impose repetitive movements and poor posture on it, it becomes less than happy. The spinal curves balance each other out, and when one has become irregular, the rest of the spine must adapt.

We fitness professionals in the know routinely focus on our clients’ body position in relation to the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine. I am forever cueing clients with “keep your chin tucked,” “shoulders back and down,” and “keep core braced and glutes tight.” Go ahead and do the opposite of these – you will most definitely feel the strain placed on your frame!

So, what “posture pick-me-up” drills do I love these days? Here are a few…you desk jockeys give ’em a try and don’t forget to let me know what you think! Leave your comments below!

Side-Lying Chest Opener: 

Side-Lying Chest Opener Variation - Starting Position

Side-Lying Chest Opener Variation - End Position (hold for a count of 2 as you exhale)

Kneeling T-Spine Extension & Rotation:

Kneeling T-Spine Extension & Rotation - Starting position - inhale

Kneeling T-Spine Extension & Rotation – End position – exhale & hold for a count of 2

Squat to Stand:

Squat to Stand - Starting position

Squat to Stand - End position (basic) - hold for a count of 2 as you exhale and push knees out

Squat to Stand - End position (advanced) -after assuming basic end position, reach overhead and turn to look at hand. Do this for each side, then return to starting position.

Spiderman Walk:

Spiderman Walk - take a step forward to assume this position!

Spiderman Walk - End position - feels GOOD!

I’s, Y’s, and T’s:

I's - keeping thumbs up, "shrug" shoulders, gliding shoulder blades towards ears, then back down, keeping shoulders pulled back

Y's - End position - hold for 2 and exhale, then lower arms down

T's - keeping shoulders pulled back and down, raise to form a "T," exhale and hold for a count of two, then lower arms towards ground.

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