Can I wear a posture corrector while working out?

Curious as to whether or not a back brace is safe to wear while exercising? The answer is both yes and no. One of the main reasons a corrector works so well is its ability to hinder certain movements, and because of this, your range of motion may not be as wide with some workout positions. Of course this entirely depends on the design of your brace. As an example, it would be difficult and dangerous to lift weights while having straps firmly wound around your shoulders. Doing so may result in injury or further straining your muscles.

With that said, there are still some other exercises (or rather stretches) that you can safely accomplish with a back brace on. Try some of our recommended ones below:

Planking 

Planking, also known as the Hover exercise, targets the abdominal muscles and can greatly improve your posture if done regularly (and correctly).  By strengthening your core muscles, you can help reduce the amount of stress placed on your joints and be strong enough to hold up a healthy, natural stance.

Instructions 

  1. Position yourself facedown with your forearms and toes on the floor, and elbows directly aligned under your shoulders. 
  2. Keep your body in a straight line from your ears to toes without bending. 
  3. Remain in this position for at least 10 seconds if you are a beginner. You can increase your workout time and set longer goals as you go along.

What to avoid 

  • Ensure you keep your shoulders down and wide to avoid putting too much weight on your arms as this will result to straining your shoulders.
  • Avoid extending your neck upwards to prevent straining it.

Hip flexor Stretch 

The hip flexor stretch exercise helps improves balance and coordination throughout your torso. Once your body feels more aligned and has developed better balance, your posture will soon follow suit and greatly improve with it.

Instructions 

  1. Kneel down with your right knee.
  2. Place your left foot forward and bend your knee at a 90-degree angle. 
  3. Ensure that you keep your back straight and chest forward all throughout.
  4. Keep your head upright without extending your neck.
  5. Place both hands on your left thigh.
  6. Gently press your hip forward and remain in the position for up to 20- 30 seconds. 
  7. Repeat the stretch on your other leg.

 

Mountain Pose 

Also known as Tadasana, the Mountain Pose is a relaxing way to be fully aware of your muscles and balance. It increases both strength and flexibility within your feet, legs, and hips. It is also a foundational yoga pose for all standing poses.

Instructions 

  1. Stand upright and keep your feet a hip width apart. You may also opt to stand with both your big toes touching and heels just slightly apart.
  1. Keep your feet rooted down into the floor while standing tall. Be sure to avoid locking your knees together.
  1. Feel the muscles in your calves, on your upper legs, and finally on your buttocks. Be aware of the muscles in your inner thighs and slightly bring your knees outward.
  1. Spread your weight evenly throughout your muscles in order to relax them and prevent pressure from building up.
  1. Drop your shoulders down and back, so your chest tilts forward, making sure your spine is aligned and balanced, making minor adjustments when needed.
  1. Maintain your shoulders in a relaxed position and allow your arms to fall to the sides of your body with your palms facing forward.
  1. Take 5 to 10 breaths once you are sure all your alignments are intact while remaining in the same position. 

 

What to avoid 

  • Do not perform this exercise if you are experiencing low blood pressure, dizziness, or nausea since it will be difficult to keep balanced.

Neck Rotations

Neck rotations, or side-to-side head rotations, are a great way to prevent pain around the neck, as well as further improve your posture. With this stretching exercise, you can decrease the tightness around your neck and shoulders, which in turn will increase your level of mobility. This can be done while lying on your back, standing, or even sitting down, making it the perfect break for when you are at the office, school, or while lounging at home.

  1. Keep your back and neck aligned and make sure your spine is comfortably balanced.
  2. Slowly rotate your chin towards your right shoulder.
  3. Hold this position for 15 – 20 seconds.
  4. If you feel your neck needs a little help, you may use your hand to gently push your head farther into the stretch. Careful not to force it else you may cause a strain.
  5. Slowly bring your head back to the center.
  6. Slowly rotate your chin towards your left shoulder.
  7. Hold this position for 15 – 20 seconds. Again, you may push your head farther if necessary.
  8. Slowly bring your head back to center.
  9. Repeat 5 times, alternating on each side.

What to avoid 

  • This exercise is not fit for all types of neck pain. Should you experience increased pain while doing this exercise, do not force it and stop performing the stretches immediately.

There are many other workouts that you can try with a posture corrector on, and you can find it in our article: When should you wear a posture corrector?. However, keep in mind not everyone can easily pull these off with a brace on. Either way, they are a great addition to your regular fitness routine in order to strengthen your back muscles and your core muscles, which can provide better support to keep you standing upright and improve your posture.

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