Good posture does more than make you look taller; it’s essential for your overall health. Your spine connects to every part of your body, and when you stand or sit up straight, all of your bones, tendons, ligaments, muscles and organs sit exactly where they’re supposed to. When you slouch, your body stops functioning at the optimal level, which is why bad posture can lead to breathing and digestive difficulties, and various aches and pains.
If you want to know how to fix your posture, there are several simple exercises you can do to strengthen the muscles along your spine and abdomen, making a neutral and healthy spine much easier to maintain.
Exercises to Improve Posture
This simple exercise helps stretch out the muscles that contract during everyday activities such as driving and using a computer, helping you out of your slouch.
- Sit or stand in a comfortable position.
- Inhale, raising your shoulders to your ears.
- Exhale, lowering your shoulder blades down and together.
- Repeat 5-10 times.
The Pyramid is a great posture correction exercise for straightening out your spine after a long day sitting at a desk.
- Step one foot back, resting it fully on the floor.
- Square your hips and clasp your forearms behind your back.
- Keeping your legs straight, exhale and lean forward from your hips, keeping your back straight.
- Hold for 3-5 breaths and rise.
- Repeat with your other foot.
This classic exercise works many abdominal, shoulder and back muscles at once, making it a great exercise for posture correction.
- Assume a prone position, resting on your forearms with your legs straight out behind and slightly apart.
- You elbows must be directly beneath your shoulders to avoid overload on your joints.
- Ensure you keep your back straight, not arched or with your gluteus raised.
- Engage your abdominal muscles, and hold. Beginners should do 3 sets of 15 seconds, Intermediates 3 sets of 30 seconds, and advanced exercisers should do 4 sets of 60 seconds.
Crunch with Twist
Working your abs and obliques with this exercise will give you the core strength to stand tall!
- Lie down on your back, bending your knees so your feet are flat on the floor.
- Put your hands behind your head.
- Exhale and lift your right shoulder, rotating towards your left.
- Inhale and lower it back to the floor.
- Repeat with the other shoulder
- Aim for 20-30 reps in total.