Having good posture is more than just looking put together and not slouching. Practicing intentional good posture practices improves flexibility and balance while also boosting your strength. Because having good posture reduces the stress levels on your muscles and ligaments, you will also help to mitigate your risk of various injuries and ailments. You are not helpless when it comes to improving your posture. Here are five exercises that you can do to improve your posture.
This classic yoga pose is one of the best exercises if improving your posture is your primary goal. This easy stretch lengthens your spine and glutes muscles while simultaneously releasing tension in your neck and your lower back. To do this exercise, sit on your shinbones with your knees close together. Lean forward and stretch your hands out in front of your body. Lay your forehead on the floor or turn your head to the side to find a comfortable position. You can relax in this pose for as long as is comfortable for you, but it is a good idea to try to hold it for at least five minutes for maximum benefit.
This pose is extremely effective at minimizing stiffness while strengthening the muscles in your glutes, shoulders, and hamstrings. You will also develop balance and strength throughout your core, improving your posture in the process. Be sure to keep your body as straight as possible while doing the plank. You also need to pay attention to keep your shoulders back and your chest open during the entirety of the plank position. Hold the position for up to one minute for the best results.
Sit on an Exercise Ball
Sometimes the problem with our posture is that we are sitting hunched over in a chair all day. One great way to fix that is to start sitting on an exercise ball which is a piece of chiropractic equipment that you can purchase. Many people find that sitting on an exercise ball helps them to sit straighter, engage their core and properly align their spine. It’s also a great way to give your body a little workout while you are focusing on work.
You can also receive extra exercises and tips on more ways to correct your posture from your Chiropractor. And having regular adjustments can greatly improve your posture as well.
Downward Facing Dog
This is another classic yoga pose that many find useful in their quest to boost their posture. As one of the most popular yoga resting poses, the downward-facing dog will balance out the entire body. Not only does this pose help to mitigate chronic back pain, but it will also strengthen the back muscles. Strong back muscles contribute to better posture, making this a good pose to incorporate into your daily routine. Start the pose by lying on the floor on your stomach. Slowly lift your knees and hips so that your bones raise up toward the ceiling. Be sure to keep your hands firmly in place with your heels lifted slightly off of the ground. For best results, work your way up to holding this pose for one minute.
In addition to the various yoga poses and floor exercises, there are also a variety of seated exercises that you can engage in to promote better posture. For example, try sitting upright on a chair and lifting your arms up to resemble a football goal post. Keep your elbows bent at a 90-degree angle so that they are even with your shoulders. Slowly pull the elbows behind you. While performing this motion, it may be helpful to imagine that you are holding a marble between your shoulder blades. Release the pose and then repeat the motion for ten times. While sitting on the chair, you can also perform exercise that will open the chest by stretching your arms up to the ceiling and holding for up to ten seconds.
Regardless of why your posture is suffering, you do not have to accept this fate. Engaging in the right practices and exercises on a regular and consistent basis will help you to enjoy better posture and lead a healthier lifestyle.
Contributed by Samantha Higgins who is a professional writer with a passion for research, observation, and innovation. She is nurturing a growing family of twin boys in Portland, Oregon with her husband. She loves kayaking and reading creative non-fiction.