As the world enters yet another month of self-isolation due to the coronavirus pandemic, many of us are starting to notice that sitting for long periods of time can lead to some new aches that are a real pain in the neck. Especially in the type of awkward positions required when working from home
Poor posture can lead to many imbalances and can result in quality of life problems into the future. This can come from a lack of stability somewhere or improper alignment. The human body is an interconnected system and pain in one part of the body can result from an issue somewhere else. This also means that fixing something like your hip alignment can provide long-term help with things like neck pain by keeping the spine at a happy angle.
Start alleviating current and future pain with these five posture exercises that can easily be done in a Tokyo apartment.
When hips are out of alignment it can cause all kinds of issues. Constantly walking around or sitting in a misaligned position will put strain on muscles and areas that must work harder to support your bodyweight. To help with hip alignment, take anything sturdy and bar-shaped, and lie down on your back. Raise your legs and put the bar through them so that it’s under one knee and over the opposite thigh.
Hold the bar tight with your hands and push with the leg over the bar while pulling with the one under. Hold it there for 10 seconds. Put your feet down and rest, then repeat once and switch legs. This is especially useful for preventing lower back pain, which can happen from sitting in front of your home desk all day waiting for the pandemic to end.
The pelvic tilt exercise should help keep your body stable and decrease lower back pain while lowering the risk of stiffness. Start by lying down on a firm surface with your feet flat and knees up. Keep your shoulders, head and back stable on the ground. From here, simply flex your abs. This should cause the slight arch in your lower-back to touch the floor. Hold for about 10 seconds at a time. Follow up by grabbing one knee with both arms and hugging it to your chest then repeat the flexing. Switch legs again and finish up with the same pattern but hugging both knees this time.
Trunk Stability Roll
It’s easy to improve stability through trunk rolls. These will work best with a large exercise ball, but you can use other large soft objects like a rolled-up futon or comforter. Lie down, hug your object with your arms and bring your knees up at a 90-degree angle touching the chosen object.
While clutching on like you’re being washed down a river, tense your abs and start gently rocking from side to side. Move your entire body as one and make sure not to fall completely over on your side. Do this one for about 30 seconds of rolling at a time.
Modified Hip Hinge
These will activate most of the muscles you need for good posture from your head down to your toes. You’ll need some pens and any normal-sized firm ball. Stand up with the pens under the arches in your feet and hold the ball between your forearms. Keeping your back and neck straight with your chin up, bend your knees and push your butt out a little. From this position, Squeeze the ball with your elbows for about 10 seconds. Rest and repeat. Keep your big toe and heel grounded and your knees over your feet for the best postural benefits.
This is a simple exercise for your neck that can be done anywhere, sitting or standing. First, make sure your back and neck are straight and in line. Now just give yourself a double chin, like you’re posing for an ugly Instagram photo. Gently push your chin with the tips of your fingers and you should feel a stretch. Hold there for the time it takes you to look up with just your eye, and back down again 3 times.
Remember that these exercises should not hurt you. Go at your own pace. And, if you feel any unusual sharp pain, numbness or tingling it’s best to consult a doctor before trying home fixes.