Posture training is any exercise or stretching regimen that focuses on improving the health and positioning of the spine. Poor posture can lead to back, neck, hip, and leg pain. Core muscles become weaker or less resilient as posture suffers. Most posture training regimens will focus on building and maintaining core muscles — abs, hips, lower back, and others — that support the spine during day to day activities. Other posture training habits include sitting in an ergonomic chair during hours spent at the office, correcting gait issues such as pronation, and developing and toning pectoral muscles to keep the chest open and the shoulders back.
A core workout is one of the most important aspects of posture training. Such a workout develops the muscles in the body's mid-section, including the abs, lower back, and hips. These muscles are responsible for supporting the spine, as well as the normal functioning of the hips and legs. Core training can be done using free weights and other resistance training methods, and many of the exercises can be enhanced using a stability ball, which can also help improve balance. People suffering from lower back pain due to poor posture will benefit from a core workout, as the muscles will support the spine more effectively as the muscles grow.
Other aspects of posture training revolve around simple day-to-day habits that can affect the overall health of the spine. One of the biggest contributors to poor posture is the office chair; many models of the office chair offer little to no lumbar support, which means the lower back sags. The spine is then settled in an awkward position that puts stress on the muscles of the back, and the natural tendency is to lean forward, thereby placing stress on the neck and shoulders. To avoid this problem, one can placed a rolled-up towel or other lumbar support behind the lower back to ensure the spine stays in line.
Stretching throughout the day also helps with posture training. Tight muscles tend to pull, meaning the shoulders will cave in, the spine will sag, and the neck may bow. Standing up and stretching periodically throughout the day keeps the muscles limber, meaning they are better prepared to efficiently support the spine, neck, and shoulders. For every half hour of sitting one does at the office, he or she should stand up and walk around for ten to 15 minutes.