When it comes to us tall girls, over 90% of us have a problem with our posture. Alright, we totally made that up - but we are positive that more of us than not have an issue with what has been deemed the "Tall Girl Slouch" (add that to the #tallgirlproblems list). Some of us may have developed this habit unintentionally, while others may acknowledge it's from many years of purposefully trying to appear shorter. Unfortunately, the effects of bad posture are vast and some can be very serious (read more here). Thankfully, with some time and effort, your posture can be corrected. Brittany Jones of Brittany Jones Wellness (@brittanyjoneswellness) shows us how to reverse our hunching ways with a variety of exercises. The best part? None of them require a gym membership or fancy equipment! Now that's a tall girl solution we can get on board with! Here's what Brittany has to say about working with tall women: "Training a tall girl brings an extra element into the training program - the "Tall Girl Slouch". Rounded shoulders, head protruding forward and a posterior tilt in the pelvis (hips rolled under). When designing a fitness program for women of height, it is essential to first work on mobility and emphasize correct posture and form. Our body is in a disadvantage when posture is not aligned. However, there are a few things you can start doing today to put yourself on the right track towards better posture and standing tall and proud! There will be some very specific muscles to stretch and strengthen for a tall girl! I won't go into all of the science-y details, but we need to stretch the chest + upper shoulders/upper back + hip flexors AND strengthen the mid-back + glues + hamstrings. Let's take a look at how you can do just that!"
Lifts for Tall Girls
BENT-OVER FLY: In a strong, bent-over position, ensure that pressure is through your heels to engage the glutes and protect your low back. Bring palms to face each other and bring a micro-bend into your elbows. Hold that micro-bend. Engage the muscles of your mid-back and lengthen your spine. You will strengthen your posterior deltoids by bringing the arms out wide and creating a letter 'T' with your body. Be sure to keep your chest open and avoid dropping your shoulders during the movement.
BAND WIDE ROW: Seated on your sits bones with legs straight out in front of you, wrap your band around the bottom of your shoes. Ensure your posture is tall. Then drive your elbows back behind you and squeeze the bottom of your shoulder blades together by engaging the muscles of your mid-back. Be sure to hold form here, there will be no movement outside of your arms pulling back - keep the chest open and the spine straight!
DEADLIFT: With feet a bit wider than shoulder distance and toes forward, find length in your spine. Your weight will be right between the balls of your feet. Bend your knees and hips at the same rate
and lower down to pick up your weight. Be sure to keep your weight 80% in your heels and 20% in the balls of the feet. Lead this entire movement with your hips. Hips reach back and down, then hips drive forward. You will be using your glutes, hamstrings, quads and many muscles in your back + core! With good form, this exercise will strengthen your entire body!
Yoga for Tall Girls
HALF MOON: Front knee is directly over the ankle with weight on the heel to engage the glutes, and back leg is softened on your mat. Ensure your hips are aligned by pulling your front hip back and your rear hip forward. Shoulders are positioned over your hips while you reach and extend your arms overhead. Pull your shoulders away from your ears and soften your face as you hold this deep hip flexor stretch.
CHEST OPENER + WIDE STANCE FORWARD FOLD: Feet are wide with heels wider than your toes and pressure even on both feet. Bring hands behind your back and interlace your fingers. Lengthen your spine and slowly hinge at your hips to reach your chest towards your mat. When you can no longer hinge forward, then round the back and relax into this deep stretch. To open your chest and shoulders even further, keep the fingers interlaced and pull your hands towards the sky. With every inhale, lengthen your spine. With every exhale, deepen your stretch.
Other Stretches for Tall Girls
DOORWAY CHEST STRETCH: Standing tall into a doorway, have your arms out into a goal post position (elbows + shoulders at 90 degree angles). Maintain your posture as you slowing push your body forward. This will bring a deep stretch into the muscles of your chest - pectoralis major and minor.
LEVATOR SCAPULA STRETCH: Either sitting or standing, come into good posture. Bring your right palm to touch the base of your neck, turn your head left about 45 degrees, then lower your head another 45 degrees. From here, take your left hand and very gently assist your head down to feel a deep stretch in the back of your neck on your right side. Do not put this one, the levator scapula muscle is very small and sensitive. Slowly come out of the stretch the same way you entered, and repeat on the other side.
So...how often should you perform these exercises to see results?
- Weight lifting: every other day, to allow your body time to rest and recover.
- Yoga: every day
- Stretches: every day
Well, there you have it: a simple and effective tall girl solution. Always remember to stand TALL, walk with confidence, and practice self-love daily! Your height is a blessing and not a curse. Have a great day, tall babes!
If you are looking for more tips & exercises, contact Brittany here: firstname.lastname@example.org.