If you need to ask, can weight lifting help posture? Yes it can! But watch out, it can also spoil it!
Done right, strength training and weight lifting help keep you in shape by strengthening your bones and joints and making everyday tasks so much easier. Much like Cross Fit, a good varied range of movement in the workout gives you some movements that you’d definitely not do on the average day. So you’re getting out of those fixed positions and postures that cause you pain. It’s breaking out of the old mold, and smashing yourself, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, into the new (although a bit red and sweaty at the same time!)
And getting buff looks great too!
But watch out for over-concentrating on one particular area. I’ve seen core-obsessed sitter-upperers (yes it’s a word, I did just make it up though) look rounded over and pulled down just because they’ve focused too much on their six-pack. And rounded shoulders can result from doing the wrong exercises badly too! So if you want to know can weight lifting help posture? Yes, but be careful or you might just make it worse!
Be sure to pick a good, varied bunch of weight lifting exercises, keep good form, and stretch stretch stretch afterwards to keep mobile!
If you’re middle-aged or above then stretching takes on extra importance, as you really do need to keep mobile and reduce the chances of injury. So if you’re just starting, start little and light, and then slowly build it up. Remember, change is a process, not an event! Can weight lifting help posture? Of course, but only if you don’t injure yourself! At the clinics I work, there’s always a few midlle-agers who’ve thrown themselves enthusiastically into exercise, only to get a quick injury and had to stop. In terms of gain, slow is fast and fast is slow. Take your time building up. Even if it feels like you aren’t getting anywhere, it’s the process of change over time, not a one-off event, that makes the difference.
Do not let a personal trainer run you ragged in the early days. By being too keen, you’ll tire or injure too easily and give up! A good personal trainer will take your current form and strength into account and build you up slowly. A bad one will throw everything at you until you break and stop going.
So ease into it and take your time, and before you know it you’ll be stronger, fitter, and looking great with your fab new posture. And if you’re already a hardcore exerciser, this sequence from shape.com could be right up your street.
My Favorite simple strength training exercises to improve your posture.
Deadlifts will strengthen your glutes, hamstrings, core and back. Big compound lifts like this really help to work the whole body so they’re great for a full-body workout and won’t leave you over-strong in one area and weak in another.
They’re my go-to exercise for posture improvement, bu need to be done well, so make sure to do them properly!
Reverse fly can help open up tight and weak chest muscles that might be rounding your shoulders forward.
Face pulls, like the reverse fly, are another great way of opening up the chest and shoulders, and help strengthen the back and shoulders so your shoulders hold a position that’s naturally further back. This is infinitely preferable to ‘pulling your shoulders back’ to improve your posture, which is tiring and ineffective, and anyway you’d forget straight away to keep pulling them back even if it weren’t uncomfortable!
Face pulls are my second choice, along with deadlifts, and between them these two make up my top choices for people asking can weight lifting help posture.
Home exercises to improve posture.
The plank is much better for core strengthening that sit-ups, which can be dangerous if done poorly. It’s an exercise you can do at home with zero equipment, and as you improve it’s easy to see your time in plank position increase.
It’s very popular with pilates instructors, and sado-masochistic gym trainers who want to see you struggle! But that aside, planks are a great way to strengthen up your central body which helps you maintain a nice neutral spine at rest. An easy win.
Goblet squats (squats holding a weight in front of you) and plain-old squats, or even squats with exercise bands, are great for strengthening your legs and glutes, and can also help stretch your hip-flexors, which are often a culprit in poor posture. They are easy to do anywhere, and unassisted squats don’t need any equipment at all.
How about a few between stints at the keyboard, to get you moving?
As with all new exercises, be sure to check with a doctor first and make sure you have good form and don’t over-do it!
Easy yoga-style exercises for posture
Hip bridges are great for opening up the hips and strengthening the glutes, and are an easy, no-equipment addition to any regime.
Cobra pose is great for opening up your front and giving your spine a stretch, this is a great yoga pose.
And finally in this short series, you should try seated spine twists, of any variety. You can go for the full yoga-style on the floor, or simply add some into your day at the desk by twisting around to look behind you each way – easy and effective.
Some of these exercises need real weights and other don’t, but be sure that if you want to know, can weight lifting help posture, strength training is a great way to improve your posture. If you like that sort of thing!
Bye for now,