The Best Back Brace for Posture is NO Brace at All
So, what’s our answer to the best brace for posture….drumroll please….NO BRACE AT ALL!
That’s right! You read that correctly! Dr. Josh and I both firmly believe that back braces do more harm than good. Let me explain…
Why is Going Brace-LESS, the Best Thing for your Posture?
I’m sure you’re wondering why, right?!
Before I explain why we don’t advocate our patient’s wearing posture correction back braces, I do want to note that this is not applicable to someone with a flare up (or what we call an acute condition), as in these times braces are needed for short-term usage (1-2 weeks for stability).
Our answer to why we don’t advocate any posture brace at all is because, while posture braces may hold your body and muscles in the correct place, they’re completely doing all the work. Meaning that these braces ‘help’ TOO much, causing your muscles to get weaker because you aren’t using them anymore. This is similar to an arm sling, crutch or neck brace.
If you have poor posture, what your muscles truly need is STRETCHING and STRENGTHENING. I know buying a $50 back brace and strapping it on every day is SO much easier than actually being disciplined to stretch and exercise, but it’s your health and it’s TOTALLY worth the extra effort.
So, What Kind of Exercises and Stretches are Good for Posture?
I’m sure you’re next question is ‘So, what do you recommend for stretching and strengthening, then’?
If you don’t have any pain and have been cleared by your doctor, yoga and pilates are the BEST! Not only because they’re good for your posture, but because they are low impact and good for your balance and your mind as well!
I recommend trying both to see which better suits you (I’m personally a yoga lover) and doing them at least 2-3+ times per week.
How Else Can You Improve Posture?
Row Row Row your boat! Seriously, though, rowing is absolutely FANTASTIC for both cardio and back muscle strengthening, and it’s completely underrated. Try to add it into your routine 2-3 times per week.
Everyone is different when it comes to their cardiovascular stamina and exercise routine, but I generally recommend 15+ minutes per session, if you’re able.
TRX Bands are amazing because you can use them at home or at the gym and they provide a total body workout. Back rows using TRX Bands is a great way to strengthen those muscles. I recommend doing 3 sets of back rows, minimum 12 reps each, 2-3X per week.
You can totally go traditional, old school and hit the weight room, if that is your thing! There are always countless amounts of machines for back work, as well as free weights. Try rhomboid rows, lat pull downs, pull ups, and dumbbell rows, just to name a few!
So, there you have it! I’m sorry to break it to you…you can’t wear a brace to improve your posture, much like you can’t take a magic pill to lose weight or take away pain forever!
But, with a little dedication, you can improve your posture and live healthy and well!
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