Tip 26: Counter the effects of sitting
A lot of people think their posture is pretty good, and when they stand tall their head is level head and body is aligned properly over their feet.
However, a quick check with a posture picture often shows a different reality, with head jutting slightly forward and upper back rounded… making them look older than their years.
Ball Stretch is a great stretch to counter the effects of sitting all day, and uses an exercise ball to unbend hunched over posture. When doing this stretch, it’s essential to move slowly and with control, and fully supporting the head and neck so you open up the chest, shoulders and front of the body to unfold posture.
Try this stretch with a large exercise ball
Be sure to have someone spot you the first time or two until you feel comfortable and balanced. Always move with control, and never move in ways that create pain.
- Sit on the ball
- Slowly walk forward allowing your body to lean into the ball while you roll down
- Continue leaning back until you’re in a squat and your head touches the ball
- Keep your head on the ball so it’s fully supported and take a small step or two backwards
- Only go back as far as you’re fully supported (low back to head) and in control and comfortable, remember to keep your head on the ball
Allow your spine to relax so it curves and lengthens over the ball. Relax and stretch for 5 sloooow breaths. If you feel comfortable, you can try and reach your arms overhead for a bit more stretch and chest opening.
To get back up to sitting:
- Walk forward slowly to come back to a squat, keeping your head on the ball
- Pull your belly in and tuck your pelvis
- Slowly walk backwards to return to sitting on the ball
Remember: When you move slowly and with control you avoid injury, and wake up unused core muscle fibers.
If you’re unsure, unsteady or want to advance with ball exercise and other motion control exercise a chiropractor, therapist or certified posture exercise professional (CPEP®) can help.
Choosing the proper ball for your body type is important. For tips on choosing the size for you and for more exercises, and other helpful information visit StandTallerLiveLonger.com
Especially if you spend all day sitting, taking a couple minutes each day and opening up on a ball is a perfect posture break.
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