exercises for posture improvements

3 Exercises for Posture Improvements Using a Steel Mace

October 12, 2019

Poor posture is a common problem in the world at large. Sitting down for the vast majority of the day and staring down at a smartphone leads to the development of bad posture for many people.

Furthermore, erroneous workouts and unbalanced training is another major cause of poor posture...

how to fix bad posture

Now, you are probably wondering:

“Can you correct bad posture?”

Thankfully, bad posture can be corrected with some simple yet effective techniques, exercises, and an overall awareness of bad posture habits.

In this post, we are going to show you 3 exercises for posture improvements using one of our favorite training and posture correction tools, the Steel Mace

steel mace

Before we get into the "bad posture exercises, let’s discuss the following:

  • What is good posture?
  • Why is good posture important?
  • What causes bad posture?
  • Different kinds of bad posture.
  • How to fix bad posture.

What exactly is good posture?

Good posture is when the muscles of your body support the skeleton in an alignment that is stable and efficient. Having good posture relates to how you stand, sit, and move.

Here is a picture of someone with good posture vs bad posture.

exercises for bad posture

Why is good posture important?

The benefits of good posture are not to be overlooked.

If you have good posture, your muscles will be working properly and engaging correctly during movements. This will make you stronger and it will decrease your chance of injury. 

Conversely, bad posture is terrible for your joints. It can cause your shoulders to impinge. And it creates a lack of mobility in your thoracic spine (the t-spine is supposed to be the mobile part of your back). This, in turn, causes your lumbar spine to become more mobile to make up for the t-spine's lack of mobility, which isn't good because your lumbar is supposed to be stable! This is a big reason why a lot of people with poor posture have low back pain issues. 

Finally, having good posture will improve your appearance greatly. And who doesn’t want to look good?

What causes poor posture?

There are a host of reasons why people develop poor posture.

For most people, poor posture develops naturally and slowly over time as the effect of gravity acts on our structure. This is why elderly people often have bad posture.

Poor posture can also develop from an injury, muscle guarding, muscle tension, muscle weakness, and even wearing high heels (sorry ladies).

Most common cause of bad posture

Nowadays, the two most common causes of poor posture are bad daily posture habits and unbalanced workouts.

More people are developing bad posture, and at a much younger age.

This is because more people are living sedentary lifestyles, thus sitting down all day. 

Moreover, more people are working out than ever too, yet not everyone knows what they are doing…

And with that, we have a bad posture epidemic of sorts.

The good news is, by understanding posture and doing exercises for posture improvements, you can fix it!

Hunched Back & Rounded Shoulders

There are two types of poor postures that people develop that we want to address here today, both are typically fixable. They are hunched back posture and rounded shoulders posture.

Let’s have a look at both.

Hunched Back Posture

The average person in the modern world sits at a desk between 7 to 8 hours a day, and most people sit in a slouched, hunched back position.

What’s more, they check their phones hundreds of times, each and every day, flexing their neck down to stare at their phone…

Sitting down and using the phone causes people to lean forward, slouch, and bend their neck forward.

After years of constantly slouching, rounding shoulders over, and flexing the neck down, you are bound to develop poor posture.

Ever heard of “tech neck” or “text neck? It’s a widespread problem that is taking America by storm.

How to fix hunched back posture and text neck?

We are going to show you exercises for hunch back posture improvements using the steel mace…but first (for a basic understanding), hunched back posture is caused through years of bad posture habits (slouching and craning neck down) and a weak upper back, tight chest, and imbalanced shoulder muscles.

To fix hunch back posture, you need to strengthen your upper back, neck, and rear shoulders, as well as, do chest stretches and neck posture drills.

Rounded Shoulders Posture

Rounded shoulders are typically due to bad posture habits, muscle imbalances and overtraining certain exercises.

For example, doing way more chest exercises than back exercises will lead to muscle imbalances, a weak upper back, and tight chest muscles, which in turn causes rounded shoulders.

How to fix rounded shoulders?

Rounded shoulders can be fixed and prevented by exercising properly and doing bad posture correction exercises.

Exercises that strengthen your core and upper back will help fix rounded shoulders. Also, opening up and stretching your chest muscles and anterior shoulders can help to correct rounded shoulders.

bad posture exercises

You probably noticed that both rounded shoulders and hunched back posture have similar causes and fixes. They also look very similar, as the two postural issues have overlapping effects.

So, because of this, we can essentially combine the two when discussing exercises for posture improvements.

The key factors to correcting bad posture:

To correct both hunched back and rounded shoulders, we will need to make sure we focus on the following:

  • Muscle flexibility
  • Joint mobility
  • Strengthening the upper back
  • Opening up the chest muscles
  • Strengthening the core
  • Balancing strength on both sides of the spine
  • Awareness of good posture habits (sitting, standing and sleeping)

To do this, we are going to use a steel mace for certain postural correction exercises, and we are also going to balance out our training and practice good posture habits throughout the day.

Best Posture Correction Tool - the Steel Mace & Why

The reason why the steel mace is one of the best posture correction tools comes down to its design and how it is used.

The steel mace has a long lever with a solid round head at the end of it. The weight of the mace is unevenly distributed, with most of the weight being in the head of the mace.

The offset weight and long lever make steel maces great for training:

  • Core Strength & Stability
  • Stabilizer Muscles & Joint Stability
  • Shoulder & Thoracic Spine Mobility
  • Scapular stability
  • Muscle Imbalances
  • Body Awareness

All of these are important aspects of good posture.

The traditional use of the mace is for it to be swung. If you don't know what we mean, you will see with the steel mace exercises for posture improvements below.

Swinging is what it was truly designed for. When swinging the mace around, you will be creating incredible torque and force, and this force will attempt to knock you off balance and out of position unless you control it.

This type of training works to improve core strength, joint stability, thoracic flexibility, and body awareness. Moreover, it places emphasis on shoulder and upper back strength and mobility (along with grip strength but doesn't exactly relate to this article). 

We are now going to show you how we use the mace to enhance, develop and fix bad posture.

3 Steel Mace Exercises for Posture Improvements

By performing the following 3 exercises each week, you will begin to improve your posture, ultimately correcting it completely so you can move good, feel good, and look great.

We will show you how to do each exercise, and we are going to explain how it relates to improving posture.

Exercise #1: Pendulum Stretch

exercise for posture improvement

Out of all the posture correction exercises we are going to show you, this one is the easiest to learn.

This exercise for posture improvement is actually a static stretch, so it should be done after a workout and during the day.

How to:

  1. Feet hip-to-shoulder width apart; neutral spine.
  2. Hold the mace in front of you at your centerline with your hands stacked at the middle of the handle.
  3. Carefully bring the mace behind you back so that it is vertical and the mace head is facing down. Your hands should still be stacked and close (but not touching) to the back of your neck.
  4. Slowly walk your hands towards the end of the handle, as the mace head moves towards the ground. Try to get your hands close to the end of the handle.
  5. Now you are in the position. Hold this for 20-30 seconds (up to 60 seconds is ok). Keep your shoulders down and back and your rib cage tucked.
  6. Carefully walk your hands towards the head of the mace until they are at the middle of the handle, then pull the mace over to the front of you and rest for as long as you help the static stretch.
  7. Repeat this for 4 sets.

You can do this stretch every day to improve your posture. We recommend doing 4 sets in the morning and 3 sets at night.

Note: Make sure you switch which hand is on top every set, as to not create any imbalances.

How does this exercise improve posture?

The pendulum stretch will increase mobility in your shoulders while also opening up your chest and stretching your lats.

People with rounded shoulders and hunched backs typically have a lack of shoulder mobility and a tight chest, so this will help loosen up your shoulder muscles and chest muscles so that you can improve your shoulder’s range of motion, directly prepping your body to start standing with good posture.

Exercise #2: Pendulum Swing
 

This exercise brings movement to the stretch above.

So, instead of holding the mace in a static position, you will be swinging it back and forth.

How to:

  1. Feet hip-to-shoulder width apart; neutral spine.
  2. Carefully bring the mace behind your back so that the steel mace is centered along your spine. Hands should be aligned with the bottom of your neck - the lower the better as more stretch equals more mobility.
  3. Swing the mace side to side. Use the momentum and gravity to keep the flow. Keep your shoulders down and back and your rib cage tucked. Try not to let your elbows flare. The mace should be just far enough away from your back that it does not hit your butt.
  4. Feel the mace pull your shoulder into greater flexion.
  5. Do 10-20 reps (both ways is one rep).
  6. Then carefully bring it back to the front and rest.

This movement is a mix of dynamic stretching, muscular endurance, and muscular strength.

You can do this stretch every day to improve your posture. We recommend doing 4 sets in the morning and 4 sets at night.

Note: Make sure you switch the top hand every set, as to not create any imbalances.

How does this exercise improve posture?

This exercise has all the same benefits as the pendulum stretch, but it also adds in core, trap, lats, and shoulder strength as you have to control the swinging force. Do this for enough reps and you will feel your core, traps, lats and shoulders working.

What’s more, the pendulum swing puts you in a good posture position, so it will train you to feel comfortable in this position.

Exercise #3: 360

This exercise has a learning curve. There are a few regression exercises that you should do before you start doing 360s. One of them is the pendulum.

Start with pendulums, pendulum swings, and 360 practice moves before you start performing 360s for posture correction. The last thing you want is to injure yourself because you can’t perform the exercise properly.

How to:

  1. Stack your hands near your navel and start with the mace at vertical front. Feet hip-to-shoulder width apart; neutral spine.
  2. Swing the mace over your shoulder at the 10 or the 2 (depending on how your hands are stacked - with hands right over left you should swing to your left; left over right means you swing to your right).
  3. Keep your ribs tucked, don’t flare your elbows and keep your hands as low as possible behind your head and the mace close to your back on the back part of the swing.
  4. When the mace reaches the opposite side (the 10 or 2) pull it over your shoulder using the momentum and strength and bring it back to the starting position.
  5. 1-second pause, keep tight, then repeat.

Tip for beginners:

Choke up on the mace if it’s too heavy or if you want to practice the movement before lowering your hands to the end of the mace handle.

How does the mace 360 exercise improve posture?

First, let’s note, the 360 is to the mace what the kettlebell swing is to the kettlebell. This is the money exercise. It has many benefits, but we are going to focus on how it fixes and improves posture.

When performing a 360, your shoulders will need to be mobile while your hips are stable.

Your lats and thoracic spine will be working in tandem to control the mace head being pushed and pulled back around the body (hence the name 360).

This will have your core working hard to keep your hips stable. It will also increase your range of motion while building upper back and shoulder strength, just like the pendulum does.

Performing 10-20 reps of 360s with the mace will take time to learn. So don’t be discouraged when you first try. It won’t feel smooth, but once you get the hang of it, it will become fluid and it will instantly correct your posture and strengthen your shoulder stabilizers so they are less likely to be injured form other activities. Strengthening the shoulders is important as people with poor posture generally have weak shoulders...and weak shoulders lead to injuries like rotator cuff tears.

We honestly believe this to be the best posture correction exercise, ever.

You will immediately feel the difference in your posture after performing 360s. It feels great. Ask anyone who swings a steel mace, and they will confirm this.

Other steel mace exercises for posture improvement:

Offset row, offset overhead press, plank, etc.

Steel mace exercises, in general, will instill good posture and movement mechanics.

This is all thanks to the incredible design of the mace.

Working with an awkward, offset, long lever training tool will help you maintain structural integrity, so that you can remain stable and in control of how you move no matter what you are doing, whether it is running, raking leaves, fighting an opponent in the ring, playing sports or any other physical activity that you face in your day to day life.

steel mace exercises for posture improvement

Tips for improving posture

Although the steel mace exercises for postural improvements are amazing for structural and postural integrity, it isn’t the only thing you should do.

You need to always keep posture top of mind until it becomes innate.

Tip 1: Well-Balanced Training

You’ll need to have a well-rounded training program that trains all areas of your body equally.

And, it’s not just about strengthening your muscles evenly. You need to focus on flexibility, endurance, and balance, as all of these aspects of fitness play a role in improving and maintaining good posture.

Tip 2: Standing Posture

Always remember to stand with good posture. You need to break the habit of standing with poor posture, and by constantly reminding yourself to stand with good posture, you will ultimately end up standing with good posture naturally.

How to stand with good posture:

  • Put your weight primarily on the balls of your feet.
  • Keep a slight bend in your knees.
  • Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart.
  • Allow your arms to hang down at your sides naturally.
  • Stand straight and tall with your shoulders pulled backward.
  • Keep your stomach tucked in.
  • Keep your head level, don’t tuck your chin our raise it high, or push your head forward, backward or to the side.
  • If you must stand for a long period of time, shift your weight from your toes to your heels, or one foot to the other.

Tip 3: Sitting Posture

The same goes for sitting, you need to train yourself to sit with good posture until it becomes natural.

How to sit with good posture:

  • Keep your feet flat on the floor or on a footrest if they can’t reach the floor.
  • Do not cross your legs. Your ankles should be in front of your knees.
  • Keep a slight gap between the back of your knees and the front edge of your seat.
  • Keep your knees at or below hip level.
  • Adjust the backrest of your chair so that it supports your low and mid back, or use a back support.
  • Keep your shoulders relaxed.
  • Don’t hunch forward, sit up straight.
  • Avoid sitting in the same position for long periods of time. Get up and move every hour or so for 15 minutes or move from a sitting working position to a standing working position. 

Tip 4: Good Sleeping Posture

You spend around a third of your day sleeping. Thus, it is just as important that you have good sleeping posture.

How to sleep for good posture:

  • Find the mattress that is right for you - a firm mattress is typically recommended, but some people find that a softer mattress reduces their back pain. Comfort is important as good sleep is essential.
  • Sleep with you head on one pillow, and a pillow under your knees, when on your back.
  • Sleep with your head on one pillow and a pillow in-between your knees when on your side. If you sleep on your side, avoid the fetal position. Try to keep your legs extended with a slight bend at the knee.

Summary

Good posture is essential to living a healthy, happy, and injury and pain-free life.

If you have bad posture, it’s never too late to start doing exercises for posture improvements. 

Follow the tips above and practice the bad posture exercises using a steel mace to really streamline and speed up the process of fixing poor posture.

Where to buy a steel mace?

You can buy a steel mace from us.

We recommend a 7 or 10lb mace when doing exercises for posture improvements. 

7lb mace

The steel mace is what we specialize in, so any questions you have, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

What size steel mace weight should I get?

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