I recently moved and now have a long commute to work. I’m not a person who likes sitting still for very long, so I thought I would share some exercises to keep you busy and improve your posture while sitting in the car.
These are isometric exercises, which are often used in posture training because postural muscles must work for extended periods of time. Thus, isometric endurance training is helpful to train your muscles to work while sitting at the computer, driving a car, washing dishes, etc.
For all the exercises, sit forward in your seat; do not lean back. (see last photo in this blog)
Start by exhaling and engaging core muscles then contract for the isometric exercise. Continue to breath normally.
Note: Isometric exercises can raise blood pressure. For this reason I prefer to stick with short duration multiple repetitions: 3 sec hold and 15-20 reps.
Always listen to your body. Stop if you feel light headed or dizzy and of course pay attention to the road. The exercises should make you more alert and energized.
1) Sit forward in your seat. Inhale and lengthen your spine. Drop the chin and lengthen the back of your neck.
Exhale deeply and contract the core muscles (pelvic floor, transverse abdominals, obliques, diaphragm, back extensors – see previous blogs for details) by drawing in the tummy while continuing to lengthen the spine upright.
Repeat, allow the belly to expand as you passively let the air rush in (inhale), exhale and contract the core muscles while maintaining a wonderful elongated spine.
Repeat 15-20 times
1) For pectorals, open elbows at a comfortable height press into the wheel. Inhale to prepare, exhale to engage core lengthen spine and press hands in. Feel your long upright spine and a contraction of the front of your chest and shoulders. Keep breathing normally and hold 3 sec. Relax and repeat 15-20 times.
2) For rear deltoid and peri-scapular muscles – hold wheel and pull elbows wide. Feel the muscles in your upper back and shoulders contract. Continue to maintain upright posture sitting forward in your seat.
3) Repeat 1st exercise with arms at a lower angle and push in and up into the wheel. Continue to exhale engage abdominals, inhale lengthen spine. Keep shoulders wide as you contract the chest muscles.
4) Repeat 2nd exercise with arms at a lower angle like on a rowing machine. Feel muscles between the shoulder blades contract but do not pinch shoulders together feel upright and wide through the back and chest.
Repeat entire sequence from the top. This is a nice 10 min series that will help you improve your posture and feel accomplished when you arrive at your destination.
Enjoy, and continue to lengthen, strengthen and move.