If you are slouching a lot and maintain what is also known as hunched posture with rounded shoulders and/or forward leaned head, then you have probably thought about how to fix this.
You might realize that you need to pull your shoulders back, but holding them in that position quickly gets tiring and uncomfortable.
The reason why you tire quickly is that your muscles have been trained to be in that position resulting in a muscular imbalance and to change that is tough.
One interesting way to look at posture is that it is simply a reflection of what position you spend most of the time in.
So, if you sit in a forward leaned position focusing on things in front of you most of the day, then that kind of posture is exactly what you get.
The solution is to perform different exercises that will reverse your muscular imbalances and to be mindful of your posture in the future.
Usually, it is the chest and neck that are tight and strong, and muscles in the back which are elongated and weak.
To reverse this is a slow process, but there are some products you can buy that will make it easier for you.
If you want more information on what to buy, I suggest you check out my guide on choosing the best product to improve posture.
The Importance Of Good Posture
Poor posture does not only look bad, but it has also been shown to affect both your body and mental health negatively.
Bad posture will create more stress on your joints. The scary thing is that you might not feel any pain now, but what about in 5-10 years?
Having a good posture with a neutral spine and open chest has been shown to make you feel better and increase self-confidence.
Finally, If you often exercise then having poor posture increases the risk of injury.
Solution: A Brace To Hold Shoulders Back For You?
If you need to pull the shoulders back for better posture but it is hard to keep them there, then a brace to assist you must be the solution right?
A posture correcting brace is even simple to use and relatively cheap.
It also seems like a lot of people say these braces have helped them out.
If you are currently experiencing uncomfortableness or even pain wearing a brace could potentially provide some degree of immediate relief.
However, I would like to emphasize that a brace is not going to be your silver bullet fixing all your posture problems.
You can’t rely on only the brace as “real work” needs to be done.
You will have to work your muscles in order for them to become stronger, and you will have to learn to be mindful of your posture.
Here are some exercises you can do to improve your posture.
The Problem With Posture Braces
The issue with posture braces is that using them too much have the potential to make your posture even worse!
The thing is that putting on the brace and strapping yourself in will pull your shoulders back mechanically.
It is the brace itself which is doing almost all the work and not your muscles.
This is a problem because weak and underused muscles are the common cause for poor posture.
If the brace is doing all the work your weak muscles can potentially become even more weak, which is obviously a bad thing.
Now you might be wondering, if this is such a big problem why are people finding them helpful?
I would argue that posture braces can be helpful, but only if they are used correctly.
Use Them Sparingly
As you can probably tell, you should not wear a posture brace for too long at a time.
It is hard to give you an exact number, but if you are using a brace for many hours every day, you might want to consider if it is hurting you more than helping.
Also, use the brace thoughtfully don’t just put it on because it feels nice.
Wearing the brace should increase your awareness of how to better position your body and maintain good posture.
Perhaps give your experience with using better movement patterns and the fact that it feels better (or less painful).
The idea is that wearing the brace should also have a posture improving effect when you are not wearing it.
Posture Correcting Shirts
There is an alternative to posture braces that do not have the same issue, but they come at a higher price.
At first glance, these shirts and other clothing look similar to normal compression clothing, but they are designed in a unique way that stimulates your muscles.
So unlike posture braces that mechanically pull your shoulders back, a posture correcting shirt will stimulate your muscles to do the actual work.
From this perspective, a posture correcting shirt can be well-suited for long-time use.
Fixing your rounded shoulders is not an easy task. It can be a long process and requires a lot of effort from your side.
Getting a posture brace or posture shirt can make things easier.
I have written a guide on choosing the best posture corrector for rounded shoulders.
I think it could be helpful to you.