Can strength training improve posture? Fitness trainers answer the most googled questions

Posted by for Strong Women

Can strength training improve posture? Fitness trainers answer the most googled questions.

We should have listened to our parents when they told us to sit up straight. Like us, you might already be feeling the effects of poor posture, including backache and bloating. The bad news is that it’s only going to get worse if we do nothing about it, as slouching causes long term health affects, including poor circulation and chronic pain.

Right and wrong posture is different on everyone, but universal signs of poor body positioning including rounded shoulders and an arched back. Luckily, fixing it is possible. Each week, Stylist’s Strong Women ambassadors answer some of the most asked questions from women who want to get into lifting. Today, they’re explaining the benefits of weight training on your posture. 

What causes bad posture?

TESS GLYNNE-JONES, STRONG WOMEN AMBASSADOR 

“A lot of the reason our posture goes wrong is because we’re not strong enough through our posterior chain, which is the back side of the body. We spend a lot of time at desks where the back side of the body, the muscles, are lengthened and the front side they’re shortened, so we have that rounded shoulder position. When you’re on the tube, at home, at work, we never stand up. We don’t need to hold ourselves up in the same way that we used to so our muscles just get lazy.”

CAROLINE BRAGG, STRONG WOMEN AMBASSADOR

“Weakness causes bad posture as the skeleton is supported by muscles. For example, if your shoulders slump over at your desk, you’ll shorten your chest muscles, which will in turn make it even harder to keep your shoulders back.”

Can strength training improve posture?

TESS GLYNNE-JONES, STRONG WOMEN AMBASSADOR

“Strengthening the weakened muscles is really important to have a better posture. Doing compound lifts and working on your strength means your muscles will be strong and activated so you can sit and stand more upright.”

CAROLINE BRAGG, STRONG WOMEN AMBASSADOR

“Most definitely! By strengthening certain areas and lengthening others we can achieve postural changes. Bad posture can lead to poor bone density as we’re not using our skeleton properly. The best way to increase bone density? Strength training. So it’s a real winner for correcting posture.”

What should I do to improve my posture?

TESS GLYNNE-JONES, STRONG WOMEN AMBASSADOR

“Working on the posterior chain is really important, so add in deadlifts to strengthen the glutes, hamstrings and back. Also think about doing moves that force you to sit upright, like a Z Press, which involve sitting on the floor and pressing a barbell overhead. It will train you to pull your core.”

CAROLINE BRAGG, STRONG WOMEN AMBASSADOR

“Working on those weak chest muscles is really important, so add in pushing movements like chest press or push-ups for strength.”

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