Improve Your Posture?
Whenever you do pushups with proper form, you’re not just strengthening your arms, but also the complex group of muscles that you use to stand up straight. Regularly performing pushups keeps these muscles in top shape, making you more likely to passively default to good posture without even thinking about it.
How Does Your Exercise Impact Your Posture?
The human body is certainly a marvel when you take a moment to contemplate the high levels of complexity of its various organs and systems, and the amazing feats that they are capable of.
In the case of your muscular and skeletal systems, their purpose is almost as much architectural as it is biological. Your bones are like the steel girders that create a strong structure capable of supporting your weight and keeping the whole body upright.
In addition to giving us mobility, muscles are like the brackets and support beams that keep those girders fastened together, and direct their weight toward other girders that are strong enough to bear the weight.Continuing this metaphor, good posture is akin to making sure that each of your brackets and support beams (muscles) are properly directing your girders (bones) in a manner that promotes stability and avoids wear and tear. When you properly exercise the muscles of your body, you are strengthening and reinforcing the architecture that allows you to stay upright and healthy.
Why Do Pushups Improve Posture?
Though there are many muscle groups involved, good posture engages the abdominals and the lats (muscles of the upper back), both of which offer the opposing forces needed to keep your spine straight up and down.
A well-done pushup, in addition to the arms and pectorals, exercises the abdominals and upper back, strengthening those muscles and allowing them to passively keep your body upright.
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What Is the Proper Form to Do a Pushup to Improve Posture?
Though a standard pushup will engage the upper back to some degree, there are ways of specifically targeting your lats by changing up the form of your pushup.
- Like a normal pushup, lie face down, supporting your weight from your hands (held just a little wider than shoulder width) and your toes (shoulder width apart). Make sure that your body creates a straight line from the back of your head down to the heels. No drooping or angling the butt into the air.
- From this stance, turn your hands outward so that the index fingers are pointed straight forward. Your biceps should also be pointed forward.
- Lower yourself slowly toward the ground, exhaling as you do.
- As you get close to the ground (but not touching it), push your body back upward.
Other Health Benefits of Pushups
Prevent Lower Back Injuries
Throwing out your back can have you off your feet for days. Luckily, regular pushups can prevent these injuries. An excellent workout for the entire torso, pushups play a part in strengthening much of your body’s core. The lower back is strengthened by a pushup, but so are the other muscles that it commonly works with.
The increased strength in each of these areas not only allows each individual muscle more stability, but also allows them to work together more effectively. If another muscle group is weaker, certain tasks might require your lower back to do more work to compensate, which can cause an injury. By strengthening each of the muscle groups together, you make each individual group all the more stable.
Prevent Shoulder Injuries
Torn or injured rotator cuffs are another common injury that can easily put you out of commission. You never realize quite how much you use your shoulders for day-to-day tasks until you can’t use them. In a pushup, the shoulders bear a lot of the weight, so it’s no surprise that pushups are a beneficial exercise to strengthen the shoulders and prevent accidents from occurring in that part of the body.
Improve Cardiovascular Health
With so many muscles in the body working in tandem to help you execute a pushup, it forces your heart to pump harder and faster, allowing oxygenated blood to nourish and reenergize those muscles. Effectively, pushups are not only a weight-bearing exercise but also a cardio exercise at the same time.
Each muscle group is required to alternately stretch and tighten over the course of a set of pushups, allowing you to stretch out and keep these muscles limber and improve your range of motion.
Increase Bone Density
As a weight-bearing exercise, pushups also promote stronger and healthier bones with a denser structure that is less prone to injuries and fractures.
To develop a healthy resting posture long-term, it’s recommended to exercise and strengthen the muscles involved in keeping your back straight. Pushups are an excellent exercise with a variety of health benefits. Pushups that isolate the lats, in particular, can help strengthen the upper back, allowing it to support the weight of your head and shoulders without you even thinking about it.
While you’re toning and strengthening your back, try using the Upright GO S™ to give yourself real-time feedback about your current posture, reminders to stand up straight, and a detailed statistical breakdown of your posture throughout the day. With practice and a healthy exercise regimen, you’ll have a healthier posture before you know it!