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Is it possible to change your posture

(22 Posts)
KichenDancefloor Fri 23-Feb-18 20:40:55

Some people just have presence; shoulders back, head up, straight back, walk into a room with confidence, presence.

I am not one of those people.

I am a sloucher. I don't mean to be and I'm only aware of it when I catch my reflection or see photos when I'm caught standing round-shouldered in the background. I really don't want to look like my mother, who unfortunately, has become quite hunched with age.

So is it possible to undo years of bad habits? Has anyone tried and succeeded? I'm guessing Pilates or yoga might help.

KichenDancefloor Fri 23-Feb-18 20:42:47

Is it possible to change your posture?

Sorry for the Friday night punctuation or lack there of.

moreismore Fri 23-Feb-18 20:43:51

Of course! A good start is usually: stretch pecs and upper traps. Strengthen middle and lower traps and rhomboids. Stretch hamstrings and psoas, strengthen glutes. Have a look on YouTube for exercises. Even better see a manual therapist.

parrotonmyshoulder Fri 23-Feb-18 20:45:22

Yes. Do yoga.

PanannyPanoo Fri 23-Feb-18 20:46:52

Have a session of Alexander technique really helps makes you aware of what your body is doing and where it should be.
All the core strength exercise you mentioned will really help but good to know the feeling of where you want to aim for.

Flomy Fri 23-Feb-18 20:47:35

Good question. My posture is shocking sad It actually hurts to stretch and stand normally.

MongerTruffle Fri 23-Feb-18 20:48:48

You cannot feel your own posture. I had an appointment with a physio (for an unrelated problem) and she physically pulled my left arm into the correct position (until then I had always, apparently, leaned to the right slightly). Fortunately, that's all it took for me, though I guess different things work for different people.

pinkcarpet Fri 23-Feb-18 20:51:18

Do Pilates or Bowen/Alexander technique. Yoga helps but isn’t going to bring so much self awareness of your posture as Pilates.

SilverHairedCat Fri 23-Feb-18 20:51:48

Absolutely - I have dreadful posture and a mild scoliosis of the upper spine. Pilates is the only thing that works for me.

Liara Fri 23-Feb-18 20:55:49

My posture was so bad that by the time I was 28 I was in pain most of the time. I decided to finally go to the gp about it, and he told me I had several torn muscles in my back it was so bad.

I worked with an osteopath and a pilates instructor for over a year, as well as independently doing much more exercise, and I have had no back pain at all in the almost two decades since.

It can be done, no matter how bad your starting point is.

KichenDancefloor Fri 23-Feb-18 20:56:44


Ummm... I think my first step might be looking up what and where those muscles are. shock

I had a physio appointment which is what got me thinking about this. I can't hold my arms out to the side without my fingers tingling because of tight muscles in my shoulders.

This is not good. I'm (only) 40.

Justmyownself Fri 23-Feb-18 21:07:30

Absolutely possible. You just have to develop the habit.

An Aunt of mine was old school. Very "Posh", and even though she was born "Without a pot to piddle in Dear!", She did marry into some serious money. She credited her new found wealth with "looking the part". Her mantra was . .

"Tits out, shoulders back".

Every time I have felt nervous I remembered her saying this. Try it!

NickyNackyNoodleNoo Fri 23-Feb-18 21:09:03


Begin by standing still, look straight ahead and let your arms just hang down, wriggle your toes and rock backwards and forwards a bit until you feel 'anchored' then imagine your head is being pulled up by a thread. That is roughly (very roughly) the mountain pose 'Tadasana' in yoga. Just keep trying that pose it takes two minutes, if in doubt YouTube it.

I'm slightly obsessed with posture and I can appear to lose half a stone just by standing properly. I also imagine my tummy button is being pressed back towards my spine, to lose my 'mum tum' wink

ragged Fri 23-Feb-18 21:23:18

Mine has improved hugely. was the only cure for Bad back pain!

KichenDancefloor Fri 23-Feb-18 21:27:09

Thanks all. Good to know that various things can work if enough effort is put in. Now to find my forgotten muscles.

Alison100199 Fri 23-Feb-18 21:27:55

Absolutely. The Alexander Technique is the answer. Pm me if you want to know more.

Pollaidh Fri 23-Feb-18 21:47:14

Don't do 'chest out, shoulders back' or you'll be seeing even more of that physio. Correct posture is a more subtle position.

Pilates or Alexander technique. Personally I do pilates. You need a good teacher, small class (4-6) - not a massive anonymous class in a gym, taught by someone who once did a weekend's pilates-fitness course. Because you'll only be in pilates 1-2 a week, and that's not enough on its own to counteract all the hours of bad posture before, and between classes. So you need to understand what you're changing, and you need to be in a small class for that.

If you can afford it, a course of 1:1 classes with a pilates instructor might be very useful, and then move onto a small class environment after.

It will feel achey and even wrong at first, because you'll have been hanging off large muscles, and not using postural muscles. I've seen teachers get results with 80 years old.

Pollaidh Fri 23-Feb-18 21:48:05

In the meantime, imagine you have long rabbit ears sticking up, or that there's a helium balloon floating your head up.

MaxWeber Fri 23-Feb-18 21:56:11

Alexander technique. It'll change your life.

tectonicplates Fri 23-Feb-18 22:19:16

I'm surprised nobody's mentioned bra sizing yet. Have you been for a bra fitting recently? Wearing the right size can really improve your posture and make you stand up straight more.

Crunched Fri 23-Feb-18 22:30:23

The widespread use of cameras has shown me I look incredibly inelegant and awkward.
I am desperate to find an Alexander Technique residential weekend course. The only one I can find is in a Quaker b&b and I think I will need a bit of alcohol to loosen up!
My DM is also hunched and I dread going down the same road.

KichenDancefloor Fri 23-Feb-18 22:48:43

Ah yes, bras. I'm big of nork and slender of frame (30e when last measured) which doesn't help.

I had beautiful posture as a ballet dancing child but it all went to pot when I started trying to hide my teenage developing body. I'll make sure I tighten straps as it makes a huge difference.

I'll look into what is available locally for all the classes / techniques suggested. I feel like it's a bit of a now or never time. Sort it or slide into old age

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