The Ultimate Exercises to Improve Posture (Simple and Effective)

Bad posture is a common problem for many people, as we live in a world full of activities leading to poor posture. Postural dysfunction (poor posture) is when our spine is situated in unnatural positions for extended periods of time, occuring as a result of one’s daily activities. [1]

Some causes of poor posture include: slouching in a chair, hunching your back, improper understanding of correct posture, leading a sedentary lifestyle, not having an exercise routine, poor core stability, and looking down at your computer and/or cell phone for extended periods of time. However, poor posture can easily be corrected .

Why you should fix your bad posture now

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:[2]

Know if your posture is really bad

Let’s examine some examples of poor posture versus good posture.[3]

  • 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

So, what can you do to correct poor posture?

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 our tight muscles.[4]

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.[5]

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”).[6]

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.

Featured photo credit: Freepik via freepik.com

 

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