Maybe it’s because we don’t often see our backside in the mirror or we focus on those more prominent pockets of fat we see in the mirror, but when it comes to our backs, the saying out of sight, out of mind tends to sum up the problem. Unfortunately, not paying closer attention to the back can have serious consequences on our overall health. Studies show that poor posture from weak back muscles, a lack of stretching, and chronic slouching can worsen depression and propel negative moods, make it more difficult to cope with stress, and cause us to question our opinions, abilities, and overall self-worth.
So, all things considered, the back really is the foundation to your overall health and wellness, and it deserves regular attention. To improve muscle tone, posture, and alignment, start by following these four steps for a beautiful back.
Get an understanding of where improvements and corrections need to be made by first assessing your posture. Take a couple mirror-assisted selfies, or ask a friend to help. Stand as straight and tall as possible without over-correcting (don’t move in a way that feels unnatural). Take one picture from the front and one from the side.
In the front image, a draw straight line across the center of the face and three lines connecting the shoulders, then the top of the hips, then the lower hips. If any lines appear crooked, weakened muscles may be the cause or a more structural issue may lie in the bones. For the latter, talk to your doctor and get an X-ray taken for a better understanding of any concerns.
In the side photo, draw a line from the center of the ankle straight up past the top of the head, keeping the line straight rather than just tracing the center of the body. For perfect posture, the ear, shoulder, elbow, hip, knee, and ankle will align. If that’s not the case, it’s likely the back muscles need a little attention. Based on the results from this posture assessment, your doctor and a personal fitness trainer should be able to create a customized treatment plan to help sort out your posture problems and get your alignment back on the straight and narrow.
While a dynamic warmup is useful for improving circulation and increasing your ability to lift heavier weights, when it comes to improving posture, your back could do with some simple stretching. Pectoral muscles, or more commonly “pecs,” are technically located in the upper chest, just below the shoulders, but tense pecs are often to blame for slumped shoulders that appear to be rolling forward in a slouch. To loosen the pecs, start with some light stretching. Using a door frame or the edge of a wall, extend one arm to the side, palm facing the wall, bend the elbow, and lift your hand up, creating a 90-degree angle with your arm and aligning the upper arm straight with the shoulder. Press your palm and arm against the wall and step forward, past the edge, keeping the arm pressed against the wall and gently pulling the shoulder back. Hold this stretch for 10 seconds, before stepping back in line with the arm. Repeat this four times, then switch to the other arm and repeat.
In addition to what a personal trainer may have outlined in a custom posture-improving fitness plan, try adding some basic back-strengthening exercises into the mix, particularly some moves that will target stubborn bra bulge along the middle of the back.
Here are three easy options to try out at the gym:
There’s no shame in looking at a customized body shaping treatment plan to complement your back-strengthening and posture-improving workouts. Sometimes, that stubborn bra bulge won’t move or fat deposits near the waist appear lumpy or bumpy on the back. Opting for a custom non-surgical medical aesthetics treatment plan to zap those pesky fat cells and better reveal the muscle tone you’ve worked so hard on can be a decent way to motivate yourself without risking the downtime that comes with more invasive surgeries that could lead to a weaker posture in the end. If you’re considering non-surgical treatments, research your options in radio frequency (RF) body shaping treatments, which utilize RF energy to deliver heat to targeted fat cells below the skin’s surface, dispersing fat pockets and smoothing the silhouette while also kickstarting skin’s natural collagen production cycle for smoother, firmer skin—an added bonus! In as little as six to eight weeks, you could be showing off a smooth, sculpted back, perfect posture, and a boost of confidence.
To discover the perfect customized RF body shaping treatment plan to complement your workout routine, contact a certified treatment provider near you using the search below.