5 Best Exercises To Improve Posture You Need To Know
In case you don’t know, there is a lot of value to having a good posture. Not just it does boost your body image, make you look much better in wearing a suit, but can also help you decrease likelihood of injury. Good posture minimizes the load on the skeletal muscles, as well as enables body to move more efficiently and freely.
Poor posture can possibly lead to anything such as headaches, back pain, rotator back injuries, and many other common health issues and conditions. To make the long talk short, having a good posture is beneficial and can prevent lots of health problems. But, how we can achieve a good posture? One of the most effective ways is through proper exercises which will be discussed later in this article.
Posture Exercises: Things You Should Know
If you will look online, you will be able to find a seemingly never ending list of exercises to improve posture. The information you found through the can be overwhelming, leaving you confused about where you need to start.
There are lots of patterns of poor posture that people commonly share, for instance, forward rounded shoulders, forward head posture, and Janda’s lower and upper crossed syndromes. These poor posture patterns usually lead to certain muscles either being weak, tight, or overstretched.
If you had the entire day, you need to stretch your muscles that include the following:
- Hamstrings: One huge tendon located at the back of the knee or any comparable area.
- Hip Flexors: Also known as inner-hip muscles or iliopsoas
- Pecs: Pectoral muscles or pecs is what makes up the bulk of muscle in the chest.
- Suboccipitals: Muscles that are found underneath the occipital bone.
And the muscles that need to be strengthened include the following:
- Glute Muscles: Group of muscles that make up the buttocks
- Posterior and Anterior Core: Also known as anti-flexion and anti-extension muscles
- Lower and Mid Trapezius: A large superficial muscles that extends longitudinally from occipital bone to lower vertebrae to shoulder blade.
Depending on the postural pattern you have, you may not need to strengthen or stretch all of the muscles mentioned above, but there are no people who are very flexible with the first list or very strong with the second list.
5 Best Exercises to Improve Posture
In this article, we will give you a list of 5 best exercises to improve your posture. Let's find out.
1. Single Leg Extension: Core Stabilizer
This exercise is one of the best exercises to improve your posture because as you do the reps, your core muscles are trained to work together which stabilizes your pelvis. The pelvis alignment is important as it affects the health of your spine and holds your head in position. In the long run, this exercise will also improve your head posture through proper pelvis and spine alignment. It is best to do this consistently, probably five times a week, until you see improvement in posture.
- In order to do this correctly, as your starting position, you need to lie on your back, with knees bent, feet flat on floor, and hand placed behind the head.
- Press your lower back to the floor and slightly twist your head up off the floor. Strongly exhale and pull in and up your navel towards your spine.
- Pull one of your knees towards your check while keeping your lower back pressed to floor and extending straight your other leg at 45degrees angle off the floor.
- Keep your low back pressed to floor and abdominals pulled in. In case your lower back arch off the floor, you should extend one leg higher towards the ceiling.
- Switch your legs. Do 5 to 10 extension on each leg.
If necessary, you can increase the intensity by pulling both of your knees to your chest and extending both of your legs strait at 45degrees angle through your core in order to keep your lower back pressed on the floor.
Another way to increase the intensity is as your extend both of your legs, also extend both of your arms overreach, reaching the opposite direction from the legs.
2. Cross Over
This is a popular exercise at home, yet this is also one of the most coveted exercises to improve posture. Cross over exercise allows all your core muscles to work, especially the internal and external obliques. This exercise will work on your abdominal and low back area, releasing the stress and tension from slouching and bad sitting habits.
The harder you pull your leg straight and the more your torso touches the bended knee, the more work it is for your core muscles. Do this exercise daily until your posture improve. You can maintain the 3 to 5 times a week frequency until your body posture gets better.
- Get your hands behind your head and lie on your back, with your knees pulled into your chest and your chest lifted off the floor.
- Press your low back toward the floor.
- Pull your navel up and into your spine and exhale strongly.
- Pull your one knee toward your chest and then extend straight your other leg. Into one of your knees that is bent, rotate your torso into it.
- Switch legs slowly and pull your other knee toward your chest and then get your torso rotated into it and at the same time, extend your other leg off the floor.
- Repeat this exercise 5-10x and you can add more if you can.
Keep in mind that the closer your straight leg is in the floor the more difficult the work will be for your core. If you desire to increase the intensity of your exercise, try to extend your leg several inches off the floor and make sure that your lower back will remain on the floor.
3. Yoga Sit Up
It is known that yoga exercise is a body healer exercise. One of the many issues it can remedy is the bad posture. The yoga sit up is an excellent exercise as it works several muscles at the same time. It involves the transverse abdominis or the transverse abdominal muscle (TVA), internal and external obliques, as well as the rectus abdominis or the "abs." This targets the core muscles around your waist as you bend your upper body fully.
The core muscles that wrap around the waist area is where the tension and low back pain starts after slouching or leaning for a long time. This helps trains your body to maintain proper posture while keeping your spine straight. Yoga sit up should be done 3 times a week or 5 times a week for better results.
- You start by lying on your back and straighten your legs. Then, get your feet flexed with your arms reaching on the floor overhead.
- Press your low back into the floor. Strongly exhale and then pull off your arms from the floor and your head and shoulders should roll up one vertebra at a time until you sit up while your abdominals are still pulled in.
- Roll back down slowly and repeat this exercise 3-5x.
If you can, add more as your core gets stronger. If you want to increase its intensity, while rolling up, get your arms crossed over your chest.
4. Plank Pose
The plank pose exercise also works your transverse abdominis (TVA) and oblique muscles. Not only that, since the exercise resembles push-up, it also lets your shoulder muscles do some work. This helps you avoid rounded shoulders and ease shoulder pain. As you hold the pose for several minutes, it keeps your back straight.
This promotes good back posture and proper spine alignment. It is very important to watch your lower back position as you do the exercise and make sure it is straight. If the lower back sags as you exhale when doing the pose, it will not cure bad posture but rather promotes it. Try to hold for at least 60 seconds or as long as you can, then rest and repeat. Plank pose can be done daily.
- Start on your knees and hands and have your palms under your shoulders.
- Straight behind you, extend both of your legs with your toes tucked under into a positon like the pushup’s top.
- The next step is to pull your abdominal muscles in to be able to prevent gazing down and swaying back at the floor.
- Hold the plank until your start to feel exhaustion.
Rest when you get tires and repeat after several minutes of rest. Remain in the position with your abdominals pulled in and up so that your low back would not sag as you exhale. You can increase the intensity of this exercise by balancing your forearms rather than your hands.
5. Back Extension Cobra Pose
It is one of the many poses of the yoga postures. This exercise is an excellent routine to keep your erector spinae straight. The erector spinae is composed of three muscles that allow your back to rotate and keep your back straight. It also targets the low back area as you lift your torso up and tilt your head upward.
It forces the core muscles on your low back to stretch and release the strains and tensions from poor posture positions. As you hold your torso above the floor, your shoulder muscles are also at work. Hold the position for at least 60 seconds. The back extension cobra pose is a great addition to your daily workout routine. You can even do this one inside your bedroom. Do 3-5 times reps.
- The starting position is to lie on your stomach and have your palms flat on your floor close to your ribs.
- Then, get your legs extended straight behind you while pressing the tops of your feet toward the floor.
- Into the spine, pull your abdominal muscles up and in, lengthening out through your spin and raise your chest and head off the floor slowly using only your back muscles.
- You must not push down into your arms to be able to press up.
Remember to keep your hip bones on the floor with your gaze down also on the floor so that you can relax your neck muscles. Lower your back down slowly and repeat this exercise 3-5x. For an increase of intensity, beside your head, reach your arms long and keep your elbows straight.
Tips/Precautions For Your Posture Exercises
1. You need to pull in and up your abdominal muscles into your spine when doing the exercises.
2. Do the exercises with slow and controlled movements
3. Breath evenly and do not hold your breath
4. If you have mild back pain, you may consider to prioritize core-strengthening exercises to both ease the symptoms and improve posture, and prevent any future pain.
On the other hand, if you are suffering from severe injury or back pain, perhaps you are out of shaper, or may have any medical issues, it is important to consult your doctor before starting any exercise program. There are some exercises for posture improvement that are not recommended for certain conditions.
5. Tailor your number of sets and repetitions to your current level of fitness
6. Stop doing any exercise and activity that causes pain or that worsens the pain.
Make good posture your priority; implement these workouts and exercises to set yourself straight into success in life. Show off your more confident, leaner, and healthier image by standing still, proper exercise and better living.