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Exercises to Improve Your Posture

As we live in a society full of activities that contribute to poor posture, bad posture is a frequent problem for many individuals. Postural dysfunction (bad posture) occurs when our spine remains in an abnormal position for an extended length of time as a result of regular activities.

Slouching in a chair, hunching your back, an incorrect concept of ideal posture, a sedentary lifestyle, a lack of an exercise regimen, poor core stability, and gazing down at your computer and/or mobile phone for lengthy periods of time are all causes of bad posture. Poor posture, on the other hand, is readily remedied.

Why You Should Fix Your Bad Posture

Bad posture doesn’t only make you look unhealthy and unattractive, it also causes several health problems. Take a look at this infographic to learn how bad posture makes you look and feel unhealthy and tired, and how good posture makes you look and feel healthy and confident:

Is Your Posture Bad?

Let’s examine some examples of poor posture versus good posture.

  • Poor Posture: Rounded shoulders, slouching, head tilted forward, bent knees, pot belly

  • Good Posture: Straight line from your ear to your shoulder to your hip, balanced and upright posture

Exercises to improve posture

Here’s Some Simple Exercises to Improve Your Posture:

Poor posture can lead to serious neck pain and muscular imbalance. To correct this, we must activate our weak muscles while stretching out tight muscles.

The following video outlines several exercises you can do to improve your posture:

Let’s examine these exercises you can do to improve your posture in greater detail:

Exercise #1 – Reverse Plank Bridge

The Reverse Plank Bridge activates specific muscles while stretching key muscles like your pectoral muscles and the muscles in your neck. This exercise requires the following:

  1. Keep your arms straight and pull your shoulders back.

  2. Bring your shoulder blades together.

  3. Tuck your chin.

  4. Push your chest up and extend your spine.

  5. Your fingers can be pointed forward or backward.

Exercise #2 – Arch Up

The Arch Up exercise consists of three movements. All three movements require you to tuck your chin and do an external rotation of your arms (thumbs should go upward).

  1. Shoulder flexion. Push your arms and shoulder blades upwards and try to raise your arms as high as possible without bending them.

  2. Horizontal abduction. Lift your arms as high as possible to the side and try to bring your shoulder blades together.

  3. Shoulder extension. Push your arms upwards (thumbs up) and lift them as high as possible.

Exercise #3 – Plank

Planking:

is one of the simplest exercises that give you plenty of health benefits. Planking can improve your posture if done correctly. When doing the plank exercise, be sure to keep your legs straight, don’t allow your lower back to sink, and make sure you are looking down at the floor.

Exercise #4 – Posture Belt

Another way to fix your posture, especially your back posture, is to wear a posture belt. Wearing one during the first few hours of morning is good practice.The following steps were outlined by Pranayoga.

  1. Place the strap over your upper back and hold the ends in each hand.

  2. Drape each end of the strap over its respective shoulder.

  3. Cross the strap in the back holding one end in each hand.

  4. Pull the straps so that you feel it in your trapezius muscles and secure the ends at the front.

Exercise #5 – Wall Angels

This exercise is a simple way to test your posture. To do this exercise, simply lean back against the wall and lift your arms up and down (think of lying down in the snow and creating “snow angels”).

Make sure your rear is touching the wall and your back is flat against the wall. Watch the following video for a demonstration of this exercise:

Exercise #6 – Up Against the Wall

One of my favorite stretches is Up Against the Wall. Here you will put your hands behind your head, place your elbows to the wall and stretch. The following video provides a demonstration of this stretch:

Exercise #7 – Text Neck

Lastly, this exercise will help you prevent bad posture, and it’s easy to do several times during the day. The exercise is simply to stop looking down at your phone. Obviously, we are not going to stop using our phones anytime soon, so a solution is this: bring your phone to you at eye level.

Your posture is guaranteed to improve if you follow these 7 exercises; however, you must be disciplined and train your body to achieve good posture. Also, start today! It becomes much more difficult to improve bad posture the longer you put it off. Improving your posture will improve your life.

9 Tips for Better Posture

  • Don't Be a Slouch

  • Straighten Up

  • Don't Slump at Your Desk

  • Beware of 'Text Neck'

  • Don't Be a Low-Rider

  • Save Heels for a Big Night Out

  • Hit the Hay the Right Way

  • Exercise and Tone Your Abs

  • Check for Problems

How to Fix Your Posture

  • Be mindful of your posture during everyday activities, like watching television, washing dishes, or walking

  • Stay active. Any kind of exercise may help improve your posture, but certain types of exercises can be especially helpful. They include yoga, tai chi, and other classes that focus on body awareness. It is also a good idea to do exercises that strengthen your core (muscles around your back, abdomen, and pelvis).

  • Maintain a healthy weight. Extra weight can weaken your abdominal muscles, cause problems for your pelvis and spine, and contribute to low back pain. All of these can hurt your posture.

  • Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes. High heels, for example, can throw off your balance and force you to walk differently. This puts more stress on your muscles and harms your posture.

  • Make sure work surfaces are at a comfortable height for you, whether you're sitting in front of a computer, making dinner, or eating a meal.

How can posture affect my health?

Poor posture can be bad for your health. Slouching or slumping over can

  • Misalign your musculoskeletal system

  • Wear away at your spine, making it more fragile and prone to injury

  • Cause neck, shoulder, and back pain

  • Decrease your flexibility

  • Affect how well your joints move

  • Affect your balance and increase your risk of falling

  • Make it harder to digest your food

  • Make it harder to breathe

Posture Exercises

  • Child's pose.

  • Forward fold.

  • Cat cow.

  • Standing cat cow.

  • Chest opener.

  • High plank.

  • Side plank.

  • Downward-facing dog.

Can you fix bad posture?

Get into the habit of sitting correctly. It may not feel comfortable initially because your muscles have not been conditioned to support you in the correct position. Exercises to strengthen your core and buttock muscles, and back extensions, will help correct a slouching posture.

Correcting Posture

How can I improve my posture when standing?

  • Stand up straight and tall

  • Keep your shoulders back

  • Pull your stomach in

  • Put your weight mostly on the balls of your feet

  • Keep your head level

  • Let your arms hang down naturally at your sides

  • Keep your feet about shoulder-width apart

How can I improve my posture when sitting?

Many Americans spend a lot of their time sitting - either at work, at school, or at home. It is important to sit properly, and to take frequent breaks:

  • Switch sitting positions often

  • Take brief walks around your office or home

  • Gently stretch your muscles every so often to help relieve muscle tension

  • Don't cross your legs; keep your feet on the floor, with your ankles in front of your knees

  • Make sure that your feet touch the floor, or if that's not possible, use a footrest

  • Relax your shoulders; they should not be rounded or pulled backwards

  • Keep your elbows close to your body. They should be bent between 90 and 120 degrees.

  • Make sure that your back is fully supported. Use a back pillow or other back support if your chair does not have a backrest that can support your lower back's curve.

  • Make sure that your thighs and hips are supported. You should have a well-padded seat, and your thighs and hips should be parallel to the floor.

Do posture correctors really work?

Do posture correctors work? While having good posture is a great goal, most posture correctors don't help you achieve it. In fact, some of these devices can do more harm than good. That's because your body begins to rely on the devices to hold you up, especially if you wear them for long periods of time.

How long does it take to correct posture?

By practicing good sitting posture, regularly stretching, and doing core-strengthening exercises, you should see results in anything from a few months to half a year. Posture correction is an ongoing process and everyone responds to it at their own pace.

The Takeaway

Good posture is about more than standing up straight so you can look your best. It is an important part of your long-term health. Making sure that you hold your body the right way, whether you are moving or still, can prevent pain, injuries, and other health problems.