Posture Perfect: Effective Exercises and Stretches to Stand Tall
By: Rommer Dizon, PT
Glen Burnie Location
Think of it as an opportunity to play with your body and discover new movements. These exercises and stretches can help you develop a stronger, more stable core, release tension in your muscles, and improve your overall body awareness.
So let's get started! Imagine yourself standing tall, with your shoulders back, your chest open, and your head held high. With these exercises and stretches, you'll be well on your way to achieving that ideal posture you've been dreaming of. And who knows, you might even have a little fun along the way!
Here are five exercises that can help correct posture:
1. Chin Tuck - This exercise helps to strengthen the muscles in your neck and upper back. Start by sitting up straight and looking straight ahead. Then, gently tuck your chin in towards your chest, keeping your head level. Hold this position for 2-3 seconds, then release, do 15 reps of 2 sets, remember to rest after the first set.
2. Wall Angels - This exercise helps to improve posture by strengthening the muscles in your upper back and shoulders. Stand with your back against a wall, with your feet shoulder-width apart. Then, raise your arms to shoulder height and bend your elbows, so your hands are pointing towards the ceiling. Slowly move your arms up and down, keeping your elbows and wrists in contact with the wall. Do 15 reps and then rest for 30 secs to 1 minute and then do another set of 15 reps.
3. Cat-Cow Stretch - This exercise helps to improve the flexibility of your spine, which can improve posture. Start on your hands and knees, with your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Inhale and arch your back, dropping your belly towards the floor and lifting your head and tailbone towards the ceiling. Exhale and round your spine, tucking your chin to your chest and bringing your tailbone towards your knees. Do 2 sets of 15 reps, resting in between sets.
4. Shoulder Blade Squeeze - This exercise helps to strengthen the muscles in your upper back and improve posture. Start by sitting up straight with your arms at your sides. Then, squeeze your shoulder blades together, pulling them down towards your hips. Hold this position for 5 seconds, then release. Perform 2 sets of 15 reps.
5. Plank - This exercise helps to strengthen your core muscles, which are essential for good posture. Start in a push-up position, with your hands directly under your shoulders and your toes on the ground. Engage your core and hold this position for 30-60 seconds, making sure to keep your body in a straight line from your head to your heels. You should not feel any tightness in your lower back but should feel this in your core muscles, shoulders and buttocks. Do 3 sets.
Here are three stretches that can help correct posture:
6. Chest Stretch - This stretch helps to open up the chest and shoulders, which can improve posture by counteracting the forward rounding of the shoulders that often occurs with poor posture. Stand with your arms at your sides and your feet shoulder-width apart. Then, interlace your fingers behind your back, straighten your arms, and lift them up and away from your body. Hold this position for 30 seconds, then release. Perform 3 sets.
7. Hip Flexor Stretch - This stretch helps to release tension in the hip flexor muscles, which can become tight from prolonged sitting and contribute to poor posture. Start in a lunge position, with your right foot forward and your left foot back. Make sure your right knee is directly over your ankle and your left knee is on the ground. Then, lift your torso up and lean forward slightly, feeling a stretch in the front of your left hip. Hold this position for 30 seconds, then switch sides. Do 3 sets on each side.
8. Upper Trapezius Stretch - This stretch helps to release tension in the neck and upper back, which can contribute to poor posture. Sit up straight and place your left hand on your right ear. Gently pull your head towards your left shoulder, feeling a stretch in the right side of your neck. Hold this position for 30 seconds, then switch sides. Perform 3 sets on each side.
Remember to always consult with a physical therapist or healthcare provider before starting any new exercise program. They can help you determine which exercises are best for your specific needs and ensure that you're performing them correctly to avoid injury.