While there are many types of posture problems and disorders that affect men today, including those caused by medical conditions like Scoliosis, it’s only a small number of them that create the most problems for the average man – especially for those working all day on a desk with a computer.
Three of the most common posture problems are Anterior Pelvic Tilt, Forward Head, and Rolled Forward Shoulders.
There are many reasons you might have these postural problems, most people fall into one or more of these categories.
- Tight muscles
- Weak muscles
- structural (some people are just built a certain way)
Obviously if you structurally are built a certain way no amount of stretching or strengthing will work for you, so be aware of that.
HOW TO FIX ANTERIOR PELVIC TILT
Anterior Pelvic Tilt, also known as Lower-Cross Syndrome, occurs when the front of the pelvis drops while the back rises. This condition frequently develops among people who spend long hours seated, causing the body to shorten the hip flexors and lengthen the extensors that control your hip’s normal posture.
When standing up, Anterior Pelvic Tilt makes your shortened flexors pull on your femur, hip, and the lower back, making you look like if you had a beer belly under your shirt, even if you’re skinny.
In addition to that, Anterior Pelvic Tilt can be very painful for your lower back, hips, knees, and feet.
To put it simply, you need to stretch your hip flexor, strengthen your glutes & abdominal.
Some exercises that can help you regain your hip’s strength and flexibility are:
Hip Flexor Stretch: In a half-kneeling position, with one leg forward and the other one back, keep your upper body straight as you move it forward until you feel your hip flexors stretching. [Video]
Lower Abdominal Leg Lower: Lie down on the floor and with both of your arms tucked beside your body lift your legs straight in the air. Slowly lower them as much as you can without letting them rest on the floor or letting your back lift up. [Video]
Glute Ham Raise: This is an amazing excersise to strengthen your glutes and hamstrings, both of which are typically very weak in a person with ATP. You might need a gym or a partner to perform these. [Video]
HOW TO FIX FORWARD HEAD
Forward Head Posture occurs, also known as Reading Neck, develops from frequently reading from surfaces that are lower than the eyes. Men who suffer from this condition usually spend long hours hunched over staring at their computers.
This posture tightens the muscles in the back of the neck which become tight as they have to compensate the stress created by the forward head.
The trapezius and upper back muscles also get tired from this position, but the effects of Forward Head can extend to the rest of the body, creating numbness in the arms, shortness of breath, and even damaging nerves.
Some exercises to strengthen your neck muscles and bring your head back into alignment are:
Self Myofascial Release: Find a foam roller that’s not too soft or too hard and lie down on your back. Put the foam roller under your upper back and relax. You’re essentially trying to open up your upper back. [Video]
The Forward Head Routine: This is one of the best videos I’ve seen that will help with forward neck. It’s essentially getting your body to ‘reboot’. Seriously try this one and you’ll notice improvement right away. [Video]
HOW TO FIX ROLLED FORWARD SHOULDERS
Forward shoulders, or Rounded Shoulders, is a common posture found among typists or any office worker who spends long hours typing on the computer. The resulting posture makes the man look like the Hunchback of Notre Dame in a suit and create pain around the chest, shoulders, and neck.
Men with Rounded Shoulders also tend to experience back problems, since this posture leads to the weakening of the back muscles which would otherwise keep the shoulders in place.
Some exercises to relieve upper body tightness and strengthen the back are:
Dynamic Chest Stretch: Stand with your hands together and in front of your chest. With your arms held straight, quickly move them as far back as you can before bringing them back to the front again. Feel your chest stretching as your back contracts. [Video]
Front Deltoid Stretch: Stand facing a doorway. Raise your hand until your elbow is horizontally aligned with your shoulder and rest your forearm against the frame. Slowly rotate your body to the other side to stretch your front deltoid and upper chest. [Video]
Elbows-Back Stretch: Stand up straight with your shoulders back. Put both of your hands on your lower back as you grab one of your wrists with the other hand. Push your chest forward as you press your hands into your lower back. Make sure to keep your chest out and your shoulders aligned. [Video]
Back Fly with Band: Grab a stretching band and step over it with both feet. Bend over as low as you can while keeping your back entirely straight. With both band handles in your hands pull them up as far as you can while keeping your arms completely straight. [Video]
Most people neglect the importance of having a good posture on a daily basis. Not only does good posture keeps us healthy, but it is also important as a fundamental social skill. Posture is a basic sign of body language. A man that stands straight looks confident while another one who’s slouching will have the opposite effect on people. Posture can also make or break your look since even a great suit will look sloppy on a man with poor posture.
Having an office job doesn’t mean that you have to settle for a bad posture. Follow these simple exercises every day and with a little bit of effort, you’ll be looking great again in no time.