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What are some exercises that let me sit properly?

I'm a 23, healthy male but never sit properly in a chair in my life. As a kid I forced myself to hunch to hide my belly and it was the reason of my bad posture development. I spent more than half of my waking hours sitting.

Sitting properly is very hard for me currently. If I try to sit properly, I feel tired and sweat a bit within few minutes. I move a lot to avoid uncomfortableness. Maybe 10 times more than an average person.

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Firstly, bad sitting will lead to bad posture, which will also be evidenced by a weak core.

Secondly, no exercises will let you sit properly; all they can do is to strengthen your core and give you good reasons to sit properly. You have to make a conscious effort to sit properly. After practising it for a while, it might become second nature to you; however, it's still up to you to continue.

Thirdly, when you initially start sitting straight, your back will become sore very quickly. This is normal; the soreness will gradually wear off the more you keep sitting properly.

Tips For Sitting Properly

Endeavor to always stand up straight. As ironic as it sounds, it works. If you observe soldiers, the way they sit and stand are identical; they have to sit straight. This is because it allows them to quickly react. The more you stand straight, the easier it'll become for you to sit straight. When standing, try not to lean on an external support, lean on one leg, or bend at the waist.

Remember to exercise your core: There are varieties of core-strengthening exercises and a lot of them can be performed without any equipment. Plank is a favorite; push up is another awesome exercise. Burpees, running, jumping jack, and legs up are great ones too. Even high-tempo dances are great for the core.

If you can, alternating between your regular chair and a stability ball such as

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is an awesome way to strengthen your core. Not only is it playful to sit on, it actually forces you to sit straight (most of the time). Don't be surprised if your back becomes sore after sitting on it for less than an hour.

Sit straight in your chair! Unless you're sitting on a sofa or a very-cushioned chair, most chairs have a rigid structure that allows you sit straight. Make sure that your butts are touching the back of the chair and simply sit straight. When your butts touch the back of the chair (or is as far back as naturally possible), the only ways for you to sit improperly would be tilting the chair backwards or bending your chest forward. You can easily correct those once you realize you're doing them.

Tidbits Not To Forget

Sitting properly is very easy to achieve as long as it's a goal.

It'll initially be hard, but it'll get easier as you continue with it.

Don't go gungho on it. Do it gradually. If you use the ball, you can alternate (between it and your regular chair) every couple of hours. You're also allowed to cheat; I know that some people put pillows or soft covers on the back of the chair so that although they're sitting straight, their backs are actually resting on the pillows.

Have fun with it. You can even perform some quick core-strengthening exercises on the ball. Enjoy the process and make it fun. :)

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You might want to consider this answer, related to good strength training programs. Sitting isn't natural for people, especially to the degree that western society does it. But strength training can help a lot:

You'll develop more powerful abdominal muscles that will keep you erect, and likewise your back will be stronger. There are a multitude of muscles that are a part of good posture, and unless you are actively strengthening them it's really no wonder that holding a good posture isn't easy.

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Before you sit down in your chair, go through the following process (it will take a little bit of thinking the first few dozen times, but like most things, it will become second nature with repetition):

  • Stand shoulder width apart, and tighten your glutes; this will properly align your pelvis and hips.
  • Inhale with your diaphragm; extend your belly as you inhale, and tighten it as you exhale ( like someone is going to punch you in the gut). This will help compress your spine.
  • Put your shoulders back, so that they are inline with your ears; extend your arms, rotate your palms up, and bring your arms half-circle, and let them rest by your side (all while keeping minor tension in your glutes and abdomen).
  • Sit down in your chair by hinging at your hips while maintaining a neutral spine and being cognizant of keeping your shins vertical, as to not put any unnecessary stress on your knees.

When you feel yourself start to slouch (typically after 10 minutes or so), stand up, and repeat the process. This isn't so much an exercise, as it is a new adopted method of sitting, but I've been feeling a heck of a lot better since I started going through the motions about a year ago...I don't even think about it anymore.

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