There’s a brand-new way to tone up using posture and specific movements. Unlike other exercises, posture training requires you to remain as still as possible, says a leading posture training expert and skeletal therapist DellMaree Day. The former Pilates teacher is the creator of a 10-week online program—The Invisible Exercise (TIE) — which helps you activate all 639 muscles in your body by mastering 10-key postures to realign your body.
HOW IT WORKS
It may look like you’re not doing much, but trying to remain still in one position requires your body to stretch and hold muscles in place, which actually burns calories. Try the following poses at your desk, while walking, or waiting; and unless you’re grimacing, no one will even realize you’re getting a work-out.
THE SITTING POSTURE
Sit on the front half of the chair. Place your feet on the floor with a hand’s width between your feet and knees. Sit tall and relaxed. As your spine stacks up naturally it will transform your posture and the effort will burn calories. Every hour take six deep breaths for a minute. This works your deepest abdominal muscles. Think, “My sternum and spine are sitting up tall.” Eventually just thinking this thought will trigger muscle memory and you’ll automatically sit up correctly.
THE STANDING POSTURE
Stand up tall and look ahead, not downwards. Have your feet slightly apart and imagine a string in the middle of your head is pulling you up to the sky. You’ll look and feel slimmer as your lower and upper back lifts and your core pulls upwards. Your body should feel relaxed – don’t try hard to “stand up straight”. People tend to over correct sticking out their chest and become sore.
THE LYING POSTURE
Lying on your back, bend your knees so the soles of your feet are on the ground and not too close or far from your bottom. Place your arms straight against your sides and angle them out 30 centimeters. Sink the tops of your upper arm bones into the floor. This rolls your collarbone wide and repositions your thoracic spine. Your large upper back and neck muscles will relax and strengthen simultaneously.
THE FACIAL POSTURE
Try to look straight ahead to prevent jowls falling forward. This strengthens neck muscles.
At your computer, try elevating it so your eyes rest on the top third of the screen. Your jaw should not be too close to your throat or not too far away. In resting mode, your facial and neck muscles should be relaxed, not clenched.
THE WALKING POSTURE
Walk tall, looking straight ahead in a relaxed manner. Take the longest stride you can. Whilst realigning your body with “still postures” is more effective, working your core by not hunching and stretching hamstrings will burn calories because the longer your stride, the more muscles you’ll use.