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« Looking after your staff The benefits of sports massage for rugby players »

Open up your chest

Categories: Chest
Tags: Bad back, Posture

A common postural problem is hunching your shoulders forward, often caused by a weak back, weak core muscles and a tight chest. Standing up straight and tall requires a balancing act between your back, core and chest; if one is weaker or tighter than the other then it will put you off balance, leading to poor posture and a greater risk of developing pains and strains in the future.

Hunching over a computer all day, slouching on the sofa or if you focus too much on the chest press or chest fly in the gym then your chest muscles will become shorter and also tighter. The focus needs to be on strengthening your back muscles, pulling instead of pushing. After all, it's what you were designed to do! To be honest, working as a massage therapist is terrible for our backs, it wasn't what I expected when I changed careers. I can't speak for the other guys, but I've had real issues with my back over the years and it's one of the biggest problems we see in clinic.

So I suppose the next bit of information is both a professional opinion and from my personal experience.

Strengthen your back muscles through pulling exercises: pull ups etc. Strengthen your core muscles, not just your abdominals but also your oblique muscles, through crunches, twists and planks. Engaging your core when walking, sitting and generally throughout day-to-day life is essential for a great posture. The part most people either don't discuss or forget about is the chest. This part of the body needs to be working correctly for good posture.  If you sit or stand with your hands in front of you all day, your chest muscles will become shortened and in turn help create a rounded "kyphotic" back.  This will eventually bring in upper back and shoulder pain, which is generally when you decide to come and see us! In the gym, focus more on the range of movement through your press or fly and focus less on lifting heavy weights.  Spend more time doing press ups and don't forget to STRETCH! For the person at a desk or a computer all day, take time out to stretch your chest; it will make a big difference and you will notice the improvement quite quickly. 

If you would like more information from me or some help in working towards correcting postural issues and bad backs, then feel free to give us a call on 0115 8373553 or you can book online.

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