Posts Tagged ‘ muscle ’

Improving Posture

Listed below are major postural muscles, there functions, and exercises to strengthen them.

Erector Spinae Muscle

 

A weak erector spinae, and therefore a weak back, can cause low back pain and could lead to slouching and bad posture. Doing Back Extensions will help strengthen it and help prevent bad posture.

Levator Scapulae

The Levator Scapulae elevates the scapula and anchorsit in place. Most upper body exercises that involve the stabilization of the scapula would strengthen this muscle. This muscle can also be stretched to prevent tightness. This can be done by tilting the head and one side and holding and then repeating on the other side.

 

Pectoralis Major

The pectoralis major functions to pull the arms across the body. A tight pectoralis major will pull the shoulders forward (protracting), in turn, causing rounding of the upper back (kyphosis). A few exercises that target the pectoralis major include: pec fly, chest press, and push-ups.

 

Upper Trapezius

The upper trapezius functions to elevate the scapula, shoulder, and clavicle. Having a strong upper trapezius helps pull the shoulders back, giving you good posture.

Upright rows and dumbbell shrugs will strengthen this muscle.

                               

Rectus Abdominis

The rectus abdominis aids in flexing the trunk and secondarily aids as a hip flexor. A weak core is bad for posture because it causes the shoulders to roll inward and the body to slouch. Sit-ups, crunches, bicycles, and planks are some exercises to strengthen this muscle.

                    

Rhomboids

The rhomboids bring the shoulder blades together, as well as, bring them downward. This keeps your shoulders back and allows for better posture. The best exercise to strengthen the rhomboids is rows.

     

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Muscle Soreness

When first starting a workout routine or after having a nice hard work out, the morning after seems to bring a little more difficulty when making those first few moves out of bed. Those aches and pains that catch up to your body 24-48 hours after a workout is referred to as an acronym that many aren’t aware of, DOMS. DOMS which is short for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness is caused by small microscopic tears that occur in muscle tissue after physical activity the specific muscle has not regularly been accustomed to.

Now the question on everybody’s mind is “what can I do in order to prevent these aches and pains?” Well unfortunately there really is no special ritual or routine that you can do pre- or post-work out to prevent full-on muscle soreness. It is simply your body’s way of telling you that it is getting accustomed to the work out regime and the stresses that the muscles are undergoing. The soreness is also the muscles’ way of becoming stronger and more prepared for the next time that the identical stresses are placed on them. So if you are new to the world of exercise and therefore not a veteran to the burden of muscle soreness, don’t let it intimidate you. Instead work through it with the proper recovery that your body requires. There are various ways you can help ease the process of soreness however. For instance, icing the sore areas, taking anti-inflammatory medications and giving your muscles adequate rest have all been effective remedies. Also take into account the muscles you worked on that specific day and instead work other muscle groups the next couple days in order to allow the sore muscles recover. Another good habit to start is stretching after a workout. By stretching the specific muscles that you worked out, it can prevent your body from experiencing more soreness than intended. David Draper, a professor in sports medicine/athletic training at Brigham Young University (UT) states: “Probably the most important thing is to have a cool-down phase after your workout. Right before finishing, include 10 or so minutes of easy aerobic work such as jogging or walking followed by stretching.”

Most importantly don’t let muscle soreness get you into a rut. Instead take it easy the few days after a hard workout and then once you feel your body is fully recovered get right back into it. Do not work your body to the point of fatigue or injury because that will only hurt you in the long run. Happy Exercising!

Resource: WebMD

Written by: Heather Coffman