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4 Bar Method Exercises to Improve Posture
Imagine a workout that leaves you feeling great beyond the few moments following class. Imagine a workout that transforms your entire body. Imagine a workout that leaves you standing a little bit taller, not only because it’s improved your posture, but because you leave feeling more confident too. This full mind & body benefiting workout you are imagining is The Bar Method. Beyond making you mentally and physically stronger, consistent Bar Method classes will also result in better posture. Today, we are sharing 4 of our favorite Bar Method exercises that improve your posture. So if you’re reading this slumped over your desk or while hunched over your cell phone, let’s put the electronics aside, grab a pair of 2-4 lb hand weights and get ready to transform.
The Bar Method’s lat pulls are here to bring sexy back…literally! Lat pulls are not only excellent for building back strength, but they are also therapeutic in the way that they stretch your shoulders and chest. The lats run along the side of the back and help you stand tall while also keeping you safe from back issues & injuries. Stand with your feet hips-width apart and parallel. Soften your knees, grip your glutes and bend forward at your waist to align your shoulders over your hips. Use 2-4 lb weights and bend your arms into 90-degree angles. Open your forearms out to the sides until your arms look like two L-shapes. Slide your elbows behind the plane of your spine. Draw your elbows in closer towards each other, in, in, in. Do about 30 reps to finish.
To truly improve your posture, you have to target all areas of your back, and at The Bar Method we realize this. Cue, rhomboid pulls. The rhomboids are postural muscles that pull the shoulder blades in towards each other. They help to hold you upright with good posture as you focus on flattening your upper back. Stand as you did for lat pulls. Bend your arms back into 90-degree angles. Lift your arms away from your torso until your elbows are 45-degrees lower than your shoulders. Pull your elbows behind the plane of your spine. Keep your forearms parallel to the floor and allow your weights to open slightly wider than your elbows. Angle your weights diagonally in towards each other. Pull your elbows back towards one another in a one-inch motion, back, back, back. Continue for about 20-30 reps. Has reading this got you feeling ambitious? To take this exercise up a notch and increase your heart rate, perform this exercise in a second position. Take your feet out wide and turn your toes slightly in to match the turnout of your knees. Bend your knees and come down a third of the way. Grip your glutes and bend forward at your waist. Feel free to press your knees down an inch about 20 times to warm up before focusing on your rhomboids. So beyond weight work, how can we improve our posture at The Bar Method? Keep reading to find out some of our favorite barre exercises for posture!
While the name of this exercise might insinuate that we are targeting our perky peaches, standing seat offers so much more! Standing seat is a full-body, seat focused exercise designed to strengthen you all the way form your ankles to your neck. This exercise requires focusing on perfect posture while specifically targeting your glutes. Building glute and back strength will not only help you walk around more safely and comfortably, it will also have you standing a little taller. To begin, face your support and stand a comfortable arm’s length away from it. Place your hands lightly on top of your support. Draw your heels together and separate your toes a couple inches apart. Soften your knees, grip your glutes and tuck under. Bend forward at your waist. Place your right foot on the floor behind you and tuck again for good measure. Use your glutes and your hamstrings to lift your foot off the floor. Press your leg back one inch against your tuck. Focus on your back muscles and use them to draw your shoulder blades closer towards one another and down your back. Continue to press your leg back in one-inch movements while engaging your posture muscles to hold your spine upright. Within seconds you will feel the burn along your entire backside!
Our next posture boosting Bar Method exercise can be done anywhere, making it the perfect zing when taking a break from your desk. Sculpting your calves in this fast sizzle exercise can also improve your posture. Next time you are in class & your instructor gives you the challenge options to raise your arms or take a balance during heel lifts, go for it and use this as an opportunity to strengthen your posture muscles. Heel lifts tone not only your calves but your quads, glutes, abdominals and posture muscles. It may be a fast exercise, but it is a powerful one too. Start by standing a comfortable arm’s distance away from your support and put your hands lightly on it. Draw your heels together and turn your feet out into a comfortably wide position. Straighten your legs, grip your glutes and tuck under. Bend forward at your waist. Lift and lower your heels. Lift, lift, lift. Lift as high as comfortable for you and make an effort to lower your heels all the way to the floor between each rep. Go for the challenge and raise one or both arms up. Drop your shoulders down your back and feel your posture muscles engage. Do about 60 reps.
We covered 4 of our favorite posture improving Bar Method exercises, but there are so many more to explore. Curious as to what they are? Join us in class to find out.