When your parents used to tell you to sit up straight or to walk with your chest out, it wasn’t because they liked picking on you. It’s because they didn’t want you to develop bad posture. Unfortunately, it is easier than ever to develop bad posture, whether it is having a desk job which requires hours of sitting hovering over a computer or watching many hours of TV on the couch while slouching.
The good news is that with a little exercise and determination posture problems can be solved. Not only is taking the steps to correct your posture important for you back, but for the overall function of your body and organs since they work better when everything is well-aligned. Here are exercises that should help improve your posture:
Planking went viral in the past, but actually planking with intention is very good for the core, as well as strengthening your abs, shoulders and back.
Similar to a regular crunch, for this exercise with both hands behind your head, you will have to bring up one shoulder at a time from left to right, like a regular crunch but twisting your body. This will begin to work out and improve your abs and obliques.
Dumbbell Side Bends
Stand up straight and holding a dumbbell on each side. You have to bend on one side, stand straight and bend on the other side. This will again work out your obliques which are important for posture.
Reverse Dumbbell Flyes
This one will require a standing bench. Lay face front on the standing bench with a dumbbell on each hand and extend both wide, which makes both your shoulder blades squeeze together. This is perfect for anyone with rounded shoulders, since it significantly focuses on the upper back.
A very simple but effective exercise, shoulder rolls can be done in a sitting position. Just inhale and raise your shoulders as if you are attempting to touch your ears with them. Hold and then exhale before bringing your shoulders back down. This is great for those suffering from bad posture as a result of a desk job and an exercise you can do at work while taking a breather.
The kneeling stretch exercise is great because it focuses on your iliopsoas muscle, which is the muscle between hip and spine. You can stretch this muscle by kneeling down, taking turns on each leg and placing your hand on the leg that is upward and just lightly pushing your hips forward. You will feel a stretch which is the aforementioned iliopsoas. By doing this exercise you are making your iliopsoas more flexible, which is vital for standing up straight.