Exercises to improve your posture


Mind Moves (De Jager, 2009) is a movement programme that can be utilised on a daily basis to build neurological networks and improve posture. The following Mind Moves can be done in a controlled manner, 3 times per day, if possible.

Read more about why you should adjust your posture here.

Rise and Shine
Fling the arms wide open while breathing in deeply and slowly. Close the arms over the chest in a hug, breathe out deeply and slowly. The parent may simultaneously hug from behind. This move boosts relaxation, rhythmic breathing and a sense of wellbeing.
In order to improve posture, we need to strengthen our core muscles. When our core muscles are weak, our spine doesn’t have adequate support to maintain perfect posture.

   
Core workout

Step 1
Lie on the back. Slowly move the left arm and leg as if tied together and turn the head look at the left hand. Slowly move the right arm and leg as if tied together and turn the head to look at the right hand. Repeat ten times

Step 2
Remain on the back; repeat step 1, but this time slowly move the head in the opposite direction of the extended arm and leg. Repeat ten times.

Step 3
Still on the back, tie a blue ribbon to the left arm and right leg, and a red ribbon to the right arm and left leg. Bring red arm and leg together and extend the other arm and leg without any head movement. Then bring the blue arm and leg together and extend the other arm and leg without any head movement. Repeat ten times. Relax.
   
Step 4
Once step 1 – 3 can be performed without difficulty (may take weeks), crawl on all fours and turn the head to the left and right.

Step 5
Once step 4 is done with ease, ask child to stand up and do bilateral crawl while eyes turn up, down, left, right; focus near and far.

NO head turning allowed.


Trunk rotator
Lie flat on the back, spreading the arms wide and raising the knees to hip level. Slowly rock the knees to the left until the left knee touches the floor, and then to the right until the right knee touches the floor. The shoulders and lower back should stay glued to the floor. This movement strengthens the core muscles while separating the shoulder action from the hip action to promote sitting, focus and concentration. It also forms the basis for crossing the lateral midline.


   
Neck Flexor
Imagine that the spine is a string of beads. Pull the imaginary string above the head until the beads hang in a straight line. Place the palm of the hand against the forehead, pushing firmly for a count of eight. Remember to breath. Alternate the position of the hand to the back, the left and the right side of the head, repeating the process first with one hand and then the other.

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[Accessed 12 9 2015].
De Jager, M., 2009. Mind Moves - moves that mend the mind. Johannesburg: Mind Moves Institute.
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Available at: http://www.psychcentral.com/news/2012/10/16/poor-postur-can-affect-mood-energy/
[Accessed 12 6 2015].

This article was written by Sandra Smit for the Mind Moves Institute