Health & Fitness

Workouts that build posture, relieve aches

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Kigwa Conference Hotel Gym Instructor Fredrick Lugongo demonstrates how to do a Cable Machine Rowing with single hand row. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU

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Summary

  • Sitting in poor posture while working, an injury, disease or genetics are culprits in causing persistent pain in these parts of the body.
  • This can be resolved through workouts created to improve posture, where the muscles of the body support the skeleton in a stable alignment, unlike the scenario in a slouched position.
  • Fitness trainer Fredrick Lugongo says that the poor posture can be corrected through body workout exercises that incorporate strength and stretching workouts.

Persistent back, shoulder, or even neck pains can become a nag even after applying multiple home remedies. The pain which has become a constant in your body is probably a result of poor posture caused by your day-to-day habits.

Sitting in poor posture while working, an injury, disease or genetics are culprits in causing persistent pain in these parts of the body. This can be resolved through workouts created to improve posture, where the muscles of the body support the skeleton in a stable alignment, unlike the scenario in a slouched position.

Fitness trainer Fredrick Lugongo says that poor posture can be corrected through body workout exercises that incorporate strength and stretching workouts.

He recommends carrying out the following workouts to improve posture:

Squats

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Kigwa Conference Hotel Gym Instructor Fredrick Lugongo demonstrates how to do front Squats with arms raised up. NMG PHOTO

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands down by your sides or stretched out in front for extra balance or the arms on either the shoulders or neck.

Put the chest out, tuck in the lower back and then lower yourself by bending the knees until they are nearly at a right angle, with your thighs parallel to the floor. Keep your back straight and do not let your knees extend over your toes.

“This workout improves on the core and buttock muscles and the more you do it, the more you incorporate other muscles in the body such as the back extensions,” says Lugongo.

Side Plank

Lie on your side, elbow directly under your shoulder. Engage lower abdominal muscles before lifting hips into the air as you try to create a straight line from head to toes.

The exercise improves posture by creating more stability in the lower back and pelvis as it targets muscles on the lower back and the butt by working the gluteus muscles.

Push-Ups

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Kigwa Conference Hotel Gym Instructor Fredrick Lugongo demonstrates how to do Shoulder Taps advanced level while in the push-up position. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU | NMG

Go on a kneeling position, arms and shoulders levelled. Go down and up as you maintain a straight posture. Do not tuck in your back but have it straight.

This improves pectoral muscles which are on the chest and the muscles on the back.

Reverse Fly

While doing the exercise, one should hold a resistance band on either end. The arms should be stretched out in front at chest height. Extend the arms out to sides to stretch the band, squeezing shoulder blades together at the end of the movement. Return to start, observing a slow and controlled movement.

This exercise improves the back shoulder muscles and the muscles in the middle of the upper back.

Bear Crawl

Support yourself with the toes and the knees lifted up as you walk on the floor. Maintain the legs between the elbows. Alternate the left and right legs together just like a bear walks.

This is a full-body workout working on the core muscles, shoulders and quadriceps of the legs.

Deadlift

Stand in an upright posture. Drive your legs softly, tuck in your lower back putting your chest out as you go down and upholding a weighted dumbbell or barbell. One can also opt to use a machine for the exercise.

This will improve on your lower back and help improve the right posture for the body. It works on the muscle on the back.

Right-Angle Press

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Kigwa Conference Hotel Gym Instructor Fredrick Lugongo demonstrates how to do a Right Angle Press while lying down with lower back to the floor to squeeze the abs inwards. NMG PHOTO

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a weighted body bar at chest height in front of you with the elbows bent 90 degrees and palms facing the ground.

Keep upper arms parallel to ground and rotate shoulders back, bringing bar behind your head. Lower bar to starting position and repeat. This works on the upper back.

Shoulder Tap

This is a body workout exercise. Go down on a push up position maintaining upright posture facing forward with the chin up and then maintain the arm flat. This works on the shoulders.

Burpees

From a standing position, drop into a squat with your hands on the ground. Kick your feet back into a push-up position. Jump your feet back into a squat and jump up with your arms extending overhead. This works on the muscles on the lower back and the gluteus.

Bar rowing

Load a barbell of desired weight, grasp the bar with an overhand grip and about a shoulder-width space between your hands and assume a shoulder-width stance while holding the barbell at arm’s length.

While keeping your head up and back straight, bend over until the barbell is positioned below your knees or your back is nearly parallel with the floor. Pull the bar straight up to the lower portion of your chest.

Squeeze your shoulder blades together momentarily before lowering the bar.

“This is a compound workout that targets primarily your middle back and the latissimus dorsi muscle, the large and flat muscle on the back that stretches to the sides, behind the arm,” says Lugongo.

Sparring and Aerobics

Sparring and aerobics work on all muscles of the body improving one’s posture. Punching with the right and blocking with the left works on one’s mobility and flexibility which helps on improving posture.