If you’ve seen your mom lately, she probably told you to stand up straight. When we spend our days sitting in front of computer screens, driving, or looking down at paperwork, slouching becomes a habit. Our shoulders hunch and our backs curl unconsciously, and it’s hard to get back to proper posture. Not only does a slopping posture put stress on muscles—it can also have a negative effect in terms of how you are perceived.
Here are ten tips to get you standing up straight and taking up space…
1. Stretch your Chest
Your tight chest muscles are pulling your shoulders inward. The curve in your spine follows, and next thing you know you’re practically in a ball. As stated by Paul Ingraham, former massage therapist and editor of Science-Based Medicine, the pectoral major is a very large and strong muscle. If you keep them tight, they will overpower the antagonist back muscles, which are responsible for pulling them back in place, and cause a hunching posture.
Although not many people think to stretch out their chest, it’s easy! Find a door way, stand in the middle and put both arms on the frame at a 90-degree angle. Step gradually forward through the door way until you feel the stretch. Hold for 1-minute. You’ll feel your chest open up almost immediately.