Improving posture requires a combination of exercises that strengthen and stretch the muscles involved in maintaining proper alignment. Here are some exercises that can help improve your posture:
Stand with your back against a wall, feet shoulder-width apart, and arms bent at 90 degrees with the backs of your hands touching the wall. Slowly slide your arms up the wall while keeping your back and elbows in contact with the wall. Then, lower your arms back down. Repeat this movement while focusing on maintaining proper alignment.
Assume a push-up position with your forearms on the ground and elbows aligned under your shoulders. Engage your core and keep your back straight, avoiding sagging or arching. Hold this position for 30 seconds to 1 minute, gradually increasing the duration as you build strength.
Start on all fours with your hands under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Extend your right arm forward while simultaneously extending your left leg backward. Keep your core engaged and your back flat. Hold for a few seconds, then return to the starting position. Repeat on the opposite side. This exercise improves core stability and promotes a neutral spine.
This exercise targets the muscles in your back, including the erector spinae. Lie face down on a mat or the floor with your arms extended overhead and your legs straight. Lift your arms, chest, and legs off the ground simultaneously, keeping your neck in a neutral position. Hold for a few seconds and then lower back down.
Sit or stand with your back straight and shoulders relaxed. Gently tuck your chin inwards, as if you’re creating a double chin, without tilting your head up or down. Hold for a few seconds and repeat several times.
Try sitting on an exercise ball or a chair without back support. Place your hands behind your head, elbows pointing outward. Arch your upper back gently over the ball or the backrest of the chair. Hold for a few seconds and return to the starting position. Repeat several times.
Shoulder Blade Squeeze
Simply sit or stand with your arms by your sides. Squeeze your shoulder blades together as if you’re trying to hold a pencil between them. Hold for a few seconds and then release. This exercise helps strengthen the muscles between your shoulder blades, promoting better posture and reducing the tendency to round your shoulders forward.
Lie face down on a mat with your hands by your shoulders. Press your hands into the mat and lift your chest off the ground, keeping your neck aligned with your spine. Hold for a few seconds and lower back down. Repeat several times.
Start on all fours with your hands beneath your shoulders and knees below your hips. Arch your back up toward the ceiling, dropping your head and tailbone down (cat pose). Then, let your belly sink toward the floor, lifting your head and tailbone (camel pose). Repeat this movement, focusing on the fluidity of the motion.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Place your arms by your sides, palms down. Press your feet into the ground, engaging your glutes and lifting your hips off the floor until your body forms a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Hold for a few seconds, then slowly lower your hips back down.
Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart and arms relaxed by your sides. Roll your shoulders back in a circular motion, then reverse the direction. Repeat this exercise for several repetitions to help release tension and promote proper shoulder alignment.
Thoracic Spine Rotation
Sit on the floor with your legs crossed or on a chair with feet flat on the ground. Place one hand behind your head and twist your upper body, reaching your elbow toward the opposite knee. Repeat on the other side. This exercise helps improve mobility in the upper back, which can impact posture.
Chest Opener Stretch
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and interlace your fingers behind your back. Squeeze your shoulder blades together, straighten your arms, and lift your hands away from your back. Keep your chest lifted and open. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds while focusing on deep breathing.
Yoga (aff link) can be beneficial for improving posture. Poses like Mountain Pose (Tadasana), Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana), and Child’s Pose (Balasana) can help lengthen and strengthen the muscles along the spine, open up the chest, and promote overall body awareness.
You can perform rows using resistance bands or dumbbells. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold the resistance band or dumbbells with your arms extended in front of you. Pull your elbows back, squeezing your shoulder blades together, while keeping your back straight. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat 10-12 times.
Remember, consistency is key when it comes to improving your posture. Incorporate these exercises into your routine along with mindful body awareness throughout the day. Additionally, it’s important to seek professional guidance from a physical therapist or exercise specialist for a personalized approach to your posture concerns.