Bad posture has become a common problem these days. This can lead to lower back, neck, and shoulder pain and in some cases also disrupt blood circulation leading to other serious health issues.
There are many causes of poor posture. Some major ones include – living a sedentary life, slouching in a chair, not exercising regularly, sitting in front of a computer for a long time, having low core strength, etc. While you can’t escape your seated work, you can work on your posture and correct it by doing certain exercises daily.
Incorporating certain exercises into your daily routine can improve your posture and help you stand tall. It can also prevent the pain and discomfort that usually occurs when standing or sitting with poor posture. To help you get started, we’ve put together some basic yet effective exercises you can do daily to improve your posture.
Exercises to practice daily for good posture
Here is an overview of six such exercises:
1) Wall Angel
The wall angel is one of the easiest exercises to promote good posture. It relaxes tight shoulders and helps relieve neck, shoulder and upper back pain.
- Stand up against a wall and make sure you are at least five inches from the wall.
- Place your arms against the wall and keep your feet shoulder-width apart.
- With your back straight and your head straight, push your shoulders and arms against the wall and count to ten.
- Release and repeat several times.
It is a very productive exercise that helps improve posture and strengthens the transverse abs and obliques. This is one of the best exercises for strengthening core and back muscles.
- Start on your knees and hands and place your palms flat on the floor below your shoulders.
- Move your legs back and keep your toes tucked under. Pull your belly button toward your spine to avoid arching your back.
- Keep your gaze straight on the floor and hold the plank position for as long as you feel comfortable.
- Release and repeat the exercise for two more sets. To make it even harder, try balancing on your forearms.
3) The posture of the child
Child’s pose is a versatile yoga asana that offers several benefits. It strengthens the upper chest, stretches the spine and also targets the hips. Motreover, it provides great relaxation after a long hectic working day.
- Start in a kneeling position and place your hands along your body. Spread your knees slightly apart and keep your toes under your hips.
- Slowly lower your body by bringing your hands forward and resting your head on the floor. Stretch your spine to elongate your hands and hold the position.
- Breathe easily and stay in the pose for a few seconds.
- Release and repeat.
4) Rotation of the thoracic spine in the supine position
This exercise relieves pain and tightness in the back and improves stability.
- Lie on your back on the floor or on a mat. Position your arms at your sides, palms up, and form a “T” with your body.
- Bend your knees 90 degrees and make sure they are stacked directly above your hips. To make the position more comfortable, you can place a folded towel or a foam roller under your back.
- Turn your right palm down and start rotating your upper back to move your knees to your right side.
- Be sure to rotate your thoracic spine (middle or upper back) and don’t let your arms or shoulders move off the floor.
- Lower your knees as far as you can and breathe easily at all times.
- Return to starting position and repeat on the other side.
5) Standing Cat-Cow Stretch
The cat-cow stretch is a great yoga exercise that opens the chest and promotes good posture. It activates the core and back and gently stretches the spine to relieve back pain and tightness.
- Place your legs hip-width apart and keep your knees bent. Put your hands in front of you or rest them on your thighs.
- With your legs steady, begin to adopt Cat Pose by lengthening your neck and moving your head toward your chest while maintaining a flat spine.
- As you exhale, round your pelvis and lift your head into a cow position.
- Hold each pose for a few breaths and repeat as needed.
6) Cobra Pose
Cobra pose helps stretch and strengthen the spine and lower back muscles. It is an effective yoga pose that prevents slouching, promotes good posture and also relieves back pain.
- Lie on your stomach with your legs stretched back and your palms flat on the floor near your chest.
- Press down firmly on the tops of your feet and pull your belly towards your spine.
- Begin to lengthen your torso and slowly lift your chest and head off the floor. Keep your gaze on the ground and don’t put pressure on your neck.
- Lower your body to the floor and repeat the exercise several times.
So here are some of the most common exercises you can do daily to work on your posture. Try to perform them three times a day and hold each position for at least 20 counts.
If you have severe back pain or other discomfort, consult a doctor before trying these exercises. Also, be sure to warm up for a few minutes before exercising, as training muscles without preparing them can lead to muscle strain and injury.
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