Your posture plays a huge role in helping your body work effectively and functionally. Many of those aches and pains can all be related to poor posture, which can seem obvious. What can seem less obvious is the relationship between your posture and a weak pelvic floor. Posture can affect your bladder control, prolapse issues and weak pelvic floor problems. So it’s vital to work on getting it right.
Try this out…Sit in a slumped position, with your shoulders rounded and your chest compressed. A fairly typical posture for those who sit alot, and often how we relax on the sofa! Now try to breathe deeply, you should find it is difficult to fill your lungs. In this slumped posture your abdominal contents become compressed and your diaphragm can’t move downwards, so instead of using your diaphragm effectively you use your upper chest muscles to help you breathe.
Slumped forward position and breathing with the upper chest muscles increase pressure on the pelvic floor. Not good. In this position your core muscles (including deep abdominal and pelvic floor) can’t effectively counter the increased pressure.
Guess what, sort out your posture and breathing and suddenly the core muscles start to work in the right way. Our bodies are built in an amazing way.
So start focusing on your posture, with a tall spine, shoulders down in the back, ribcage soft and not pushed out, tall neck and allow there to be space for your abdominals to work.
Next focus on the breath. You want to breath using the diaphragm. That may sound obvious as it is how our bodies are built to work, but so many of us do not breath correctly. It is called Diaphragmatic breathing or thoracic breathing. Some people breath with just their tummies, some people breath with just their ribcage. You want to use BOTH.
Try out this exercise:
Place 1 hand on the bottom of your ribcage and 1 hand on the side of your ribcage. Breathe in slowly and deeply so that you feel your tummy rise and your ribcage expand out to the side. You want to focus on breathing into the tummy and ribcage whilst keeping the upper chest muscles relaxed. Think of your lungs like balloons expanding out to the side of the body.
Breathe out by letting the rib cage fall back to resting and the tummy fall back down.
It takes practise and you may find it quite forced at first. Try practicing when you are relaxing or use it as a way to relax throughout the day and it will become habit.
Exercise 2: breath with a band:
Tie a band or a scarf round your body just below the ribcage. Sit with good posture, your ribcage over your pelvis. As you breath in feel your ribcage expanding into the band. As you breath out the ribcage decreases in size. The band can be a nice way to practice your breathing.