Take a second and look around your desk. What do you see? Work papers, check. Stapler, check. Coffee cup, check. But! there are 2 more items that everyone should add: a ball and a resistance band.
No, we won’t use them to make a slingshot (although that would make for some office fun), they are going to help realign our posture!
Our human bodies are designed for a wide variety of movements. Long ago our ancestors’ days were divided between running, walking, sitting on the ground and lying down. A good deal of time spent in each position.
Unfortunately, most of our waking hours are now spent sitting. And sitting with poor posture to boot! We drive, type at a desk, eat dinner or sit to unwind after the day is done and we do so in a position that will cripple us in the long run. Our spines are flexed with discs compressed. Our chests are caved in with shoulders rounding forward. And our heads stick out like a chicken having a snack!
The muscles in the front of our body get short and tight, while the muscles in the upper back tend to get very weak with disuse. Our neck muscles have to work extra hard to support our 10 lb heads in a suboptimal position. No wonder we have so many aches, pains and back problems as adults!
Considering the amount of hours we spend in this position, it takes a concentrated effort to negate the detrimental effects and realign our posture. Along with a well balanced strength training program there are a few small things we can do throughout the day to help.
This brings us to the 2 items that everyone should keep at their desk.
1) A ball (tennis, softball, lacrosse ball etc)
2) A resistance band
We will use the ball to help loosen up tight muscles. For postural purposes we will focus on the lower back, upper back and chest.
With the resistance band we can do a few exercises to strengthen the small muscles in the upper back that help keep us in a healthy posture. Band pull-aparts and external rotations are two that will help us in our battle against poor posture.
Check out the video below to see just how to use your posture-fixing tools.
Better Posture with a Ball and a Band
If you can take a short break twice a day to do 2 minutes of soft tissue work and 25-50 repetitions of each of the band exercises demonstrated in the video you’ll help realign your body. And before you know it, you’ll be feeling and looking better!