My years of hunching over a laptop have been rewarded with rounded shoulders, a collapsed chest and protruding gut. I'm generally gangly and uncoordinated, and have little cardiovascular strength.

I consider the body to be the connection between the person and the world.

I feel disconnected.

I'm seeking to develop my connection to the world i.e. my body.

Philosophical stuff aside, I want to focus with posture and breathing for now. Seems like improving posture will naturally lead to improving breathing by opening up the lungs.

It's one thing to think about, another to make change unconscious. I don't know how to do that. I can straighten up, but a few minutes later it's gone. Seriously, is there a way to train good posture without going crazy trying to constantly remember not to hunch?

Tags: breathing, habits, posture

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Have you every done yoga? It really helped me with my posture. I used to slouch all the time. then i stated taking yoga and it stopped. Also doing rows will help as well. what it seems may have happened is your back is no longer as strong as your chest. Once you balance it you you should stop slouching. rows and yoga might just do the trick.
+1
You're just really going to have to work at it. Be thinking about it all of the time. Put a post-it note on your laptop, computer screen, TV, steering wheel. Tie a string around your finger. Where a cummerbund with everything.
Ditto what Christopher said, one of the best things at this point in your life will be targeted back work. Deadlifts, Squats, Bent Over Rows, Lat Pull Downs, etc, all of these target and strengthen your lower and upper back. Strengthening these muscles will naturally draw your back up and into a straight and optimal position. You'll have to focus to maintain it for a while, but after you've strengthened your muscles and maintained good posture for a while it becomes second nature. There are also several stretches that can be performed at home that will help.
Was gonna mention the deadlifts. A mix of exercises is always the way to go but of them all I have found death lifts to do wonders for my posture
Once you're experienced there's nothing like a good heavy set of DLs to make you stand tall!

I have the same problem.  I read consistently that a lot of poor posture has to do with weak core muscles, as Miss Inconnue suggests.  I intend to fix the problem by getting professional help, that is, a few private sessions with a personal trainer or of pilates.  

Knowledgeable men, however, tell me you can also find good exercises on YouTube, or your friends at the gym might have suggestions.

 

Meanwhile, when standing, do NOT hold your hands with arms mostly straight, clasped in front of you.  This slouches your shoulders forward, making you look meek and shorter.  It's called the "fig leaf pose."  At least hold your hands behind you, though that can make you look like a guilty schoolboy, but a tall one.

+1 on the suggestion of deadlifts, lat pull downs and I would not forget ab crunches on stablity ball, you want to look after the whole core.  Just make sure with deadlifts your back is straight, not curved or you will be on a first name basis with your chiropractor. Start with light weights to get the technique right.

 

Yoga is a good addition to the workout regime and changes things up. Speaking from experience from my first class this past week, it's not as easy as it looks and you will be stiff later in the day.

There are good task chairs specifically designed to help posture at work too... some are variations of a balance ball, others a stool. In addition to exercise, something like that may help.
There is nothing like a mother telling you to Stand up straight!  For those of us who have outgrown Mom, like me, well, yeah I know...  Yoga, Pilates, crunches, McKenzie method, bridging, all of them really good.  Except you have to do then.....

No. I spent four years in college either hunched over a desk or a poker table. I still catch myself slouching on occasion. Start making it a point to lift heavy things. Build up your upper body strength. Any cardio should help with the breathing. Mainly, when in public, remember to suck it in, and keep your shoulders set. After a few months of consciously working on it, it does start to become a habit. After a while, you start feeling like a schmuck if you are slouching. It's really all about the will power to keep at it.

 

One other thing I've noticed, cowboy boots seem to make good posture seem more natural. Something about the higher heel. If that's your style, it's a good cheat.

+1 to a heel

I'm going to lose my girl-card for revealing this, but wearing high heels usually makes for a physically happier day because it corrects my posture.  Of course, my heels are 3" max, and my favorite pair are the best-made shoes I own, so it all depends.

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