Need help straighten things out? Here are five exercises for good posture.
To fix poor posture, you need to stretch and strengthen muscles in the back, chest and core. And this exercise is a good place to start. “Lie on your back with knees bent and feet on the floor,” advise experts at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. “Feet should be hip with the part. Gently tighten your abs, then raise your buttocks off the floor until your hips are in line with your knees and shoulders.”
2. Bird dog
For targeting your core, don't hunt for a better exercise. “Get on all fours. Raise your right arm out in front of you while lifting up your left leg and stretch behind you,” explain the folks at Austin's Texas Spine and Sports Therapy Center. “Hold the arm and leg out for 2 seconds, keeping your core tight. Slowly bring the right arm and left knee in for a crunch.” Release and reverse.
To strengthen the lower back and help posture, no heroics are needed. Per the Cleveland Clinic: “Lie on your stomach on a flat surface and raise both your arms and your legs at the same time, as though you are flying. Hold the position for 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times.”
4. Cat cow
According to the health website Verywell Fit, this stretch is great for improving posture. It aligns the spine and strengthens all the needed muscle groups. “Get on all fours, “inhale and tilt your pelvis back for the cow pose, then exhale and tuck your tailbone for the cat pose.”
5. Diaphragmatic breathing
“Learning to breathe effectively through the low rib cage and diaphragm will assist in automatically stacking the shoulders over the pelvis without forcing the shoulders back or arching through the low back,” says physical therapist Jen Fraboni, founder of jen.health. The result? Perfect posture!