Fitness for Body, Mind and Spirit

GreenNote Life

Fitness for the body, mind & spirit

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Embody Yoda’s wisdom…not his posture...

We may not all have posture like Yoda, but we all could benefit from improving our posture. Why should we care? For starters, it looks unhealthy. It makes us look more tired and older than we actually are. Think of posture as a demonstration of your attitude. Our posture says a lot about how our joints and muscles are working. If our muscles have imbalances it can lead to many issues including but not limited to:

  • Chronic back, neck, and shoulder pain

  • Foot, knee, hip, and back injuries

  • Headaches

  • Fatigue

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Digestive issues

  • Muscle weaknesses

Sitting for extended periods is not doing us any favors. In fact, sitting exacerbates pre-existing dysfunctions that often lay dormant in even the most active population. Which is why I tell my clients to get up from their desks and move around. You shouldn’t be sitting still for longer than 60 minutes at a time. Mobile phones, tablets, computers are doing a number on our postures as well and consequently our overall health. Notice anyone with a chin that juts out or shoulders that are rounded forward or are lopsided? How about a hunched back, or chest that points towards the floor? Take a look in the mirror or snap a photo. One or more of those descriptions will fit each of us. Let’s fix our problem! I’m going to give you three exercises that you can use to help improve your posture. The first two focus on the muscles in the shoulders and upper/mid back. This is important as these muscles essentially are stabilizers, they help to keep the muscles where they are suppose to be. The last exercise is simple and highly effective for just about everything, including improving posture. It engages all the major muscle groups in one movement. By far is one of the most functional exercises and one that I have been incorporating into my training. Let’s take a look at three exercises for improving our posture. 1.) Face Pull - pulling a resistance band or cable rope to your face without leaning back; engaging your back muscles

Face Pull
  • Start by standing up-right (with good posture of course…) facing a high pulley with a rope or a resistance band secured from a high point

  • Pull the rope or band directly towards your face, separating your hands as you do so. Keep your upper arms parallel to the ground

  • Make sure that your head position stays neutral, don’t let your head jut forward

  • Focus on keeping your shoulders down and back, squeezing your shoulder blades together

  • Hold for a second and slowly return the band or cable back to starting position and repeat

Duration - the upper back responds well to high reps and time under tension; complete three sets of 15 to 20 repetitions Muscles targeted - shoulders and back i.e. deltoid, trapezius, infraspinatus, rhomboid, and teres minor 2.) Seated bent over lateral raises A.K.A. rear deltoid raise - from a bent over position, raising your arms to shoulder height or T-position

Bent Over Lateral Raise
  • Sit on the end of a bench with legs together and dumbbells behind your calves

  • Bend at the waist while keeping the back straight in order to pick up the dumbbells. The palms of your hands should be facing each other as you pick them up

  • Keeping your torso forward and stationary, and the arms slightly bent at the elbows, lift the dumbbells straight to the side until both arms are parallel to the floor. Exhale as you lift the weights

  • Hold in this position for a second and then slowly return to starting position and repeat

Duration - Complete 20 repetitions for three sets. Keep the weights light, you will see why! Muscles targeted - Deltoid, trapezius, infraspinatus, and teres minor

Farmer's Walk

3.) Farmer’s Walk - carrying a heavy object while walking

  • Begin by standing between two weights i.e. heavy dumbbells, kettle bells, buckets, etc.

  • After gripping the handles, lift the weight up by driving through your heels, keeping your back straight and your head up

  • Important - Walk with head and chest up, shoulders back. Be sure to brace your core

Duration - Walk 50 feet and work up to longer distances and more weight Muscles targeted - Forearms, abs, glutes, hamstrings, lower back, quadriceps, and trapezius If you ever experience pain or stiffness in neck, shoulders, back, knee or hip, consider your posture. Even if you don’t have these issues be mindful of your posture, take action with incorporating these exercises into your training. Take an active role in your own health. Consistently look for ways to improve, day by day, and step by step. Let’s remember Yoda’s wise words. "Do or do not. There is no try." To your journey, Lisa Schaffer GreenNote Fitness P.S. Checkout my Facebook page for inspiration. **Do you have a friend that would benefit from this information? Please forward it to them!**

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