A Guide to Improving Your Posture

Seven Movements to Help You Stand Taller

Constant cellphone use and long hours on computers and personal devices means that these days, many of us are constantly looking down and bending forward. Unfortunately, this also means we are damaging our posture, compressing the vertebrae in our neck and the organs in our abdomen. Bad posture can lead to health problems including headaches, neck, shoulder and back pain, hip, knee and ankle pain and trouble breathing. It can even negatively affect our digestion. In addition to elevating our devices to eye level while using them, here are a few stretches and exercises to help you stretch out and strengthen your muscles. You’ll feel better and have better posture!

Shoulder Rolls

Shoulder rolls can be done while sitting or standing. Inhale and raise your shoulders toward your ears. Hold for a few seconds before exhaling, roll your shoulders backward, pulling your shoulder blades down and together. Repeat 5 to 10 times at least twice a day.

Chest Stretch

Begin by sitting or standing up straight.Using both hands, reach behind your body and interlace the fingers with the palms pointing upward. Keeping your back and arms straight, gently pull back and down through the shoulders, then raise your arms behind you till you feel a stretch in the front of your shoulders and arms. Hold the position for a few seconds, then release.

Seated Twist

From a seated position, use the right arm of your chair to twist to the right, exhale as you twist. Your abdomen and chest will be facing the right arm of your chair. Hold this position for a few breaths, return to the starting position, and repeat on the other side. This exercise can be performed throughout the day.

Kneeling Stretch

Begin by kneeling next to something you can hold onto for balance. Place one leg forward, foot flat on the ground. Gently lunge forward to feel a stretch in the front of the hip above the knee on the floor. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat on the opposite side.

Forearm Plank

Begin on all fours with your forearms parallel to one another and shoulder-width apart on the floor. You can either interlace your fingers or place your palms flat on the floor. Curl your toes under and step both feet back until your legs are straight and hip-width apart. Stack your shoulders directly over your elbows. Your shoulders, hips, and heels should all be in one straight line. Keep your front ribs in, tailbone extending toward your heels, and tilt your pelvis inward to engage your core. Gaze slightly past your fingertips. Hold as long as you can, 60 –90 seconds if possible.

Back Extension

Lie on your stomach with your legs straight and arms bent, palms flat on the floor next to your chest, like you’re going to do a push-up. Looking down at the floor, keep your head and neck straight. Gently push yourself up, using your arms to lift your upper body, while keeping your hips and legs on the floor, arching your lower back. Hold this position for a few seconds, then gently lower to the starting position. Repeat this exercise 8 to 10 times.

Bridge

Begin by lying flat on your back with your legs shoulder-width apart, knees bent, and your heels as close to the buttocks as possible. With your arms and hands at your sides, lift your buttocks, lower back, and shoulder blades off of the floor, tightening your buttocks as you lift. There should be a diagonal line from your knees to your hips and down to your shoulders.Hold this position for a few seconds, then gently lower the hips to the floor. Repeat this exercise 8 to 10 times.

Comments

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About the Author

Noreen Lange

Noreen Lange

Noreen Lange has a BS in kinesiology with a minor in fitness, nutrition and health. With over 10 years combined experience as a certified group fitness instructor, personal trainer, and nutrition and wellness consultant, Noreen has worked with celebrities, high profile athletes, and professional sports teams including Tony Gwynn and the San Diego Padres. Comments

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Read Bio Read Posts