I’ve been spending a lot more time standing-up over the last few weeks. Mostly because my baby has decided I HAVE to be standing so he can fall asleep in my arms.
Holding him close and padding round his bedroom in the dark gets me thinking about my posture – and what I can do to improve it. Over the nights I’ve come to the conclusion you can improve your posture by focussing on 4 areas.
Standing so your feet are parallel and moving your feet so they’re the same distance apart as your hips will automatically improve your posture.
How do you get your feel parallel? If you’re looking down at your feet, draw an imaginary line from your second toe to the middle of your heel – do this on both feet then make these lines parallel. If you have floorboards in your house the lines between boards are really good for lining your feet up.
Stand with your feet ‘hip-width’ apart. It might be better to look in a mirror to gauge what is ‘hip-width’ apart as we often think our hips are wider than they actually are. The way to tell is to imagine straight lines from your hips to your feet and you guessed it – they also should be parallel.
Now your feet are in a good position, your hip bones will be sitting in a great alignment saving you energy and hopefully meaning you are standing in a comfortable and pain-free way.
A mirror can also be really helpful here. Stand side-on and have a look at your pelvis. Do you have a tendency to stick your bum out slightly when you stand? I definitely do and more when I’m tired. If this also applies to you, move your pelvis forward a touch – there should still be a natural curve towards your lower back but not so much that you feel you’re actively pushing your bottom out. Positioning your pelvis right will really help to reduce back ache.
Move your shoulders down and back – often you’ll find you’re hunching your shoulders up without knowing it especially if you carry a bag on your shoulders. Take a big breath in and lower your shoulders.
The last modification is to your head! Tuck your chin in a bit – as if you wanted to hold a pencil under your chin. In fact this is a good way to check you’re doing this one right! Moving your head into this position stretches out the back of your neck and feels great.