‘The Hunch’ is a pretty common posture for windsurfers, but is there a way of straightening out and standing tall? Boards fitness expert, Lucy McCormick investigates…
So, you may be familiar with the HUNCH – whether it’s years of windsurfing with poor posture, or years of sitting at a computer in a slouched position, the likely hood is you will have caused your body to remain in a slightly hunched over position.
The Hunch position is achieved by holding your body in a slouched or hunched over way for a prolonged period of time, in this position your shoulders are rounded forwards. This position makes the muscles at the front (chest) become tight which pulls your shoulders forwards – as your shoulders are constantly pulled forwards the muscles in your upper and middle back become weaker as they get lengthened. Over time the muscle imbalances, leading to the spine becoming curved thus creating a hunch back through bad posture.
Now the hunch is not a good look and definitely not great for your health. Most of the time it is reversible and preventable, so by following the few simple tips below, you can help to be upright once again!
- Be conscious of your posture at all times – especially when windsurfing.
- Ensure you follow a balanced training programme – don’t over train one area (Guys- Don’t just work your pecs, remember your back as well!).
- Strengthen your core, as this will help you to have a healthy spine.
If you do suffer from the hunch you can use corrective exercises to help loosen up the tighten muscles which are pulling your spine out of alignment and you can also strengthen any weak muscles that your body has.
Below are a set of exercises that can help strengthen your upper back and shoulders and in turn help prevent the hunch back!
SINGLE ARM ROW
Place one knee and hand (same side of body) on a bench with the other foot on the floor and the weight in the other hand. Lean forwards so that the spine is straight and nearly parallel to the floor. Pull the weight upwards, towards your chest. Do not allow excessive rotation of the back or shoulder elevation. Lower the dumbbell back to the starting position under control and repeat.
Stand with feet shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent. Grip a bar with shoulder width over arm grip. Shoulders back and core pulled in. Bring the bar up to your collarbone in a slow and controlled manner. Lower and repeat.
Grip the bar slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Pull up from fully extended arms so that you are chin level with the bar. Slowly lower yourself down and repeat.
Grip a pair of short bars and stand with your feet hip-width apart and your knees bent. Bend forward at the hips and let your arms hang straight down from your shoulders, palms facing. Raise both arms out to the sides as you squeeze your shoulder blades together. Return and repeat.
With the exercises featured above I have used windsurfing equipment, to give yourself a more intensive workout you can use weights instead.
REMEMBER TO CONSULT A DOCTOR BEFORE TAKING PART IN ANY PHYSICAL ACTIVITY