Do you often end up slouching when watching television, browsing the internet on your smartphone or computer or just studying or while reading a book?
In this day and age, most of the time is spent sitting while focusing on interesting and stimulating things in front of us.
For many of us, this results in poor posture.
If you are looking for ways to counter this, a posture brace can be a helpful tool. It is especially useful in helping you get familiar with what good posture is.
However, you can’t rely only on the posture brace. Other than getting used to maintaining good posture, you also need to do various exercises that stretch and strengthen your muscles and you need to improve the ergonomics of your surroundings.
In this short article, I want to talk about what kind of expectations are realistic to have about using a posture brace. More specifically, what it might look like before and after using a posture brace.
But let me first tell you, if you chose to only use a posture brace I doubt that you will see good results. You probably won’t experience see an awesome before and after transformation like you so often see in marketing material.
But what I do believe could greatly improve your looks, physical and mental health, is if you use a posture brace consistently and properly, do various exercises, improve how you interact with your surroundings and get a habit of maintaining good posture.
By the way, you can check out this buyer’s guide if you are looking for a great posture corrector.
Common Posture Issues
The thing you need to understand is that your body posture is like a reflection of how you spend most of the time.
Check out what the American Chiropractor Association has to say about posture.
Your spine is a flexible thing and it can bend and compress if it is pulled or pushed for long periods of time. Additionally, your muscles can lengthen or shorten and they can become stronger or weaker depending on how they are used.
Obviously, these kinds of changes do not happen overnight. Your posture is something that is developed over a long period.
To better understand what your posture looks like before you commit to improving it, let me list a few very common posture issues.
My guess is that you have at least one of them.
Forward head posture
Head is tilting forwards and your neck gets an angle. Think about how Mr. Burns from The Simpsons looks like.
Usually, this develops from a long time spent looking at your smartphone or on a computer screen in a bad angle or when you read. This excess flexion creates stress on your spine and it can even make you appear smaller.
Long periods of hunching over pull the shoulders forwards and inwards.
It also affects your looks negatively (it can look really bad, to be honest) and it causes pain and uncomfortableness in your shoulders and increases the risk of injury.
Potentially it can make you feel less confident and negatively affect your breathing.
Hunched posture or hunchback posture:
Do you know Quasimodo from the Disney movie The Hunchback of Notre Dame?
This is more or less how this posture looks like. You can think about it like a combination of the two above.
Tight hip flexors (Anterior Pelvic Tilt):
We spend so much time sitting every day.
One of the many negative effects of sitting is how it affects the hip flexors. They become very tight and this pulls the pelvis forward resulting in a protruding belly and a butt tucking upwards.
It can also affect posture in your upper body and it can make you appear fatter and less fit.
There is a very popular exercise routine for fixing tight hip flexors. It has helped A LOT of people and I have tried it myself.
I think it is really good and I wrote a review you can check out here.
While I have listed all these poor postures individually, they are regrettably often seen in combination and can cause a lot of issues.
What Does It Then Look Like After?
After improving your posture, you will basically not look like the common posture issues mentioned above.
You will stand tall, straight and beautifully aligned.
Here is a youtube video that shows the whole before and after idea very well.
It is a bit long but worth the watch.
Perhaps even more interesting than how improving posture makes you look better and more attractive is how it can affect other things positively in your life.
You see, posture does only affect your looks or how well your muscles and joints can move around.
An increasing amount of research shows that your posture seems to have an impact on the overall quality of your life.
Improving posture reduces the level of stress hormones in your body and increases testosterone.
This makes you feel more confident and less anxious.
Additionally, potentially enhancing that confidence-boosting effect, is that other people will think more highly of you and perceive you more confident.
This will reflect in how they interact with you and potentially making you even more confident.
Your brain might also work better as good posture promotes better blood flow. A study has shown that you do much better in important tests if you maintain a good posture compared to slouching.
Good posture also improves digestion, breathing, and weight loss.
That is a lot of benefits.
I am not trying to hype good posture, but the truth really is that improving posture and including a posture brace in those efforts has the potential to make a big difference to your overall life quality.
Additionally, if you take some before and after photos you could see an awesome transformation.
You cannot expect big things to happen fast, even if you do a ton of exercises and get the most expensive posture correcting products.
But what you can expect is that performing exercises, wearing the posture brace consistently and being mindful of your posture will gradually have its effects, and before you know it you have made a big positive difference in your life.