Standing up properly chelps form a good overall impression about who you are.
One of the first things you notice about someone when they walk in the room is their posture — and blokes who stand tall have more presence than Santa Claus. Can anyone remember James Bond hunched over with his shoulders slumped, head drawn forward sipping a martini with his chin pulled down? Standing up straight makes you look taller, slimmer, and most importantly, more confident, so these are the keys to a more manly posture.
What is good posture?
Straight back, head up, chest out, stomach in — you should be able to draw a straight line from the tip of your head through your hips down to your feet, without your shoulders and head being pulled forward to curve your spine like an old man. A good test is to stand with your back against a wall and your heels six inches away from it, then see how much space there is between the wall and the small of your back — any more than two inches is the mark of a curving spine. You don’t just look better when you stand up straight — correct posture allows your muscles, ligaments and tendons to perform at their best and your organs to sit in their proper place.
Supported by good quality footwear, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart to keep your body aligned, knees slightly bent to ease pressure on your hips, with your weight on the balls of your feet rather than your heels. Standing with your hands in your pockets leads to round, slouching shoulders so keep your mitts by your side, which also exudes more positive body language.
It’s the new smoking, the experts warn, so if you’re going to spend all day sitting at a desk you better make sure you’re doing it as healthily as possible. Have the computer screen at eye level, knees at a 90-degree angle, shoulder blades back and elbows tucked in by your sides rather than lazily stretched forward over the mouse, which is an express ticket to muscle tension. An ergonomic chair is a worthwhile investment, otherwise a small pillow to support your lower back does the trick, too.
Strong stomach muscles keep your body straight, while weak abs exaggerate the curve in your lower back and make your stomach stick out — so any exercise that’s good for core strength (think the classic plank, sit-up and crunch) is great for your posture. Strong muscles in the upper back also help keep your shoulder blades sit back in their correct position — lat pulldowns, rows and scapula retractions are perfect.