A good posture will help you look more confident. It will also help reduce muscle pain, improve your balance, flexibility, and make you stronger. Start by paying attention to how you’re sitting while at your desk or on the couch. Small adjustments like these can help you improve your posture.
Next, get a more comfortable and ergonomic chair. Then, adjust your computer screen so you don’t have to crane your neck while looking at it. Similarly, hold your phone in front of your face instead of looking down. If you still feel uncomfortable with your posture, consider visiting a chiropractor for a professional diagnosis. Once you have made all these changes, your next step is to perform exercises to help improve posture. Stretching your muscles and exercising will help to correct poor posture. If you don’t know where to get started, follow on for Posture: 8 Gentle Exercises That Will Improve Yours!
1. Chest Opener
The first exercise on this list is one that you should do while standing up. As its name suggests, it will open your chest, but also stretch your muscles and help you improve your posture.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and clasp your hands together behind your back. Keep your head, neck, and spine straight, and inhale as you slowly push your hands towards the floor. Hold this pose for five breaths, then release, and repeat ten times.
2. Armpit Opener
The armpit opener is another exercise that will help open your chest, and not just your armpits.
While sitting on a chair with your back straight, clasp your hands together above your head.
Start by stretching your arms up, then bend your elbows to open your armpits, as far as they will go. Hold this pose for one breath, then straighten your arms back up. You can then repeat the exercise ten times.
3. Reverse High Five
The reverse high five is another exercise you can do while standing up.
Shrug your shoulders up to your ears, and then bring them down to relax them. Next, turn the palms of your hands and push them back, as if you wanted to give a double high five to someone standing behind you.
Repeat your double high fives ten times before resting. This exercise will help relieve the tension in your shoulders and help you stand up straighter.
4. Forward Fold
If you have tension in your spine, your hamstrings, and your glutes, you should try the forward fold from the yoga system. This exercise will gently stretch your back, hips, and legs, which will help improve your posture.
Stand straight, with your big toes touching each other, and your heels slightly apart. With your knees slightly bent, slowly fold forward at your hips, letting your hands touch the floor or your ankles. Tuck your chin, and keep your head down. Keep this pose for a full minute if you can.
5. Child’s Pose
The child’s pose is another exercise that will gently stretch your spine, hamstrings, and glutes. It will also release the tension in your neck and lower back, making it easier for you to adopt a good posture.
Sit on your shin bones, either on the floor or on an exercise mat. Your knees should be together, with your big toes touching. Fold forward at your hips, stretching your arms in front of you. Let your hips sink towards your feet, place your palms and your forehead on the floor or mattress, and breathe deeply. Relax in this pose for up to 5 minutes.
6. Cat Cow Pose
The cat-cow pose will stretch and massage your spine.
Start this exercise on your hands and knees, either on the floor or on a mat. As you inhale, look up and let your abdomen drop down while you extend your spine. As you exhale, look down and arch your spine towards the ceiling. Repeat this exercise for at least a minute.
7. High Plank
The high plank helps relieve pain and stiffness in your body while strengthening your shoulders and core muscles. On an exercise mat or on the floor, come down on all fours, then straighten your legs.
Hold your weight on your hands and toes, lift your heels, straighten your back, and engage your abdominal muscles. Keep your chest open and your shoulders back. Look at the floor in front of you, and hold this position for up to one minute.
8. Downward Dog
Finally, you should definitely try the downward dog to strengthen and align your back muscles and relieve back pain.
Start by lying on your stomach, and press into your hands and your toes, while slightly lifting your heels. Lift your knees and hips. Bend your body at the waist, extending your arms. You should keep this pose for up to a minute whilst breathing deeply.
Which of the above do you use for good posture? What are some of your favourite yoga poses or back exercises? Let us know in the comments below, and join in the conversation on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram!