If someone told you that a simple two-minute exercise could increase your testosterone and decrease your cortisol, would you believe them? Probably not. I mean, what is this mystery exercise? Jumping Jacks? Air squats? Praying? Tantric sex?
Nope, nope, and nope. The exercise is called “power posing,” and it utilizes how you hold your body A.K.A. your body language. This allows you to take advantage of your body’s natural response to certain poses. For example, watch how any athlete reacts to scoring a goal or winning a game.
The second you win at anything, your arms shoot above your head, your chin follows your arms, and a shameless grin plasters your face. When your body takes this position or any position where you sprawl out, your testosterone spikes while cortisol (the stress hormone) lowers.
In contrast, imagine covering and making yourself as small as possible. Someone who is waiting to get chewed out by their boss would exhibit this kind of body language. Not exactly what you would call “power posing.” Any position that you’re crossing your limbs and hunching body is going to increase your stress hormones, decreasing your performance.
Temporarily spiking your testosterone through power posing improves concentration, mood, motivation, and overall well-being. Simply put, it turns you into a Wonder Woman minus the whip. Lowering your cortisol saves you from its horrible side effects like poor sleep, fat gain, chronic fatigue, headaches, and feelings of panic. Side effects that would turn Wonder Woman into a pile of tears and anxiety.
So, am I saying you should run around with your hands in the air and fake smiles? No, not exactly. You should utilize power posing before performance-related events to boost your abilities.
Let’s say you have a job interview. Ideally, you want to present your best self and wow the interviewer to nab the job. So, instead of cowering in your seat like the other candidates, you should sneak off to the restroom and power pose for two minutes in a stall.
It may sound strange, but power posing actually works and can give you a measurable edge over your competition. Power posing should not be limited to interviews. Any endeavor that involves performance will benefit. The gym is one of these places. Include some power posing as part of your warm-up routine, as the increased testosterone will improve your workouts.
To calm yourself and stop further damage, power posing can also be used in stressful situations. Stress from a bad day at the office should stay at the office. Throw in several minutes of power posing to reset before the commute home.
Power posing can also be combined with meditation for added benefits. Instead of sitting or lying down to meditate, simply meditate in a power pose. Check out the benefits of meditation.
I know, it sounds too good to be true. Just think of it as your warm-up routine for life, and sprinkle it in whenever you need to channel you inner wonder women and kick some ass.