In today’s world, it is no wonder bad posture is such a huge problem if we take into account that a lot of people have jobs that involve a lot of sitting. Also, we tend to slouch a lot because of our computer and smartphone usage.
Without doubt, a bad posture does not just look unattractive, but it is also not good for our health. A good posture helps you feel and look better and have more self-confidence.
This being said, it is pivotal to better our posture and un-slouch the shoulders, according to Healthy Holistic Living.
The Main Causes for Poor Posture
- Constant slouching
- Excessive stress
- Improper sleeping poses
- Tightness in the muscles
- Weak muscles
- Low self-confidence
The longer you have a poor posture, the more difficult it will be to fix it and your risk of serious health problems will elevate. Some of these problems include chronic back ache and pain in the shoulders.
Problems Associated with Poor Posture
- Frequent headaches
- Back ache
- Atrophied muscles and weakness
- Muscle strain
- Nerve compression
- Digestive problems
- Difficulty breathing
- Poor blood flow
- Joint ache and discomfort
Top 10 Exercises to Better Your Posture
- Back extension
This exercise can strengthen the muscles in the back, keep the spine safe, reduce slouching and better your posture. Here is how to perform the exercise:
Lie down on the floor with the stomach. Put the forehead on the ground and the arms on the sides. Press the palms on the thighs and straighten your elbows. Then, squeeze the legs together. Keep the toes outwards. Breathe out and elevate the head, chest, and upper abdomen and inhale and lower them down. Make 10 repetitions.
- Pectoral doorway stretch
This exercise is useful in reducing slouching. To perform it, do the following:
Stand inside the doorway with the right arm at 90 degrees. Keep the forearm against the doorframe. The bent elbow needs to be at shoulder height and rotate the chest to the left to get a good stretch. Keep the pose for 30 seconds and repeat the same with the left arm.
This exercise will strengthen your core and enable a good posture. While in a press-up position, rest the body weight on your forearms while your elbows are bent on the ground. Ensure your body is in a straight line. Engage the core and suck in the belly. Keep the pose for a minute or more. Gradually elevate the duration.
- Pectoral ball smash
This exercise will loosen muscle tightness in the front chest and reduce slouching. To perform the exercise, you need to:
Put a tennis ball between the chest near the shoulder and the wall. Begin rolling the ball around until you locate a tight spot and discomfort. Keep it there for 10 to 20 seconds to alleviate the pain. Continue with the rolling of the ball until you locate other spots on both sides.
- Cat/cow pose
This is an excellent exercise for reduction in back ache and less slouching. To perform it, here is what you will need to do:
Go down on all fours. Make sure the palms are under your shoulders and your knees below the hips. Take a deep breath and pull in the bell and stretch the back, similarly to a cat, with the tailbone and head dropping and the back curving. Go back to the primary pose and then extend the head and tailbone up. Keep the abs engaged. Do 5 reps daily.
- Bow pose
This pose can better your posture by strengthening the muscles in front of the shoulders and minimize slouching. This is how to perform it:
Lie down on the stomach and bend the knees. Bring them to the hips or as close to the hips as you can. Hold the feet with your hands and then lift the chest, head, and knees off the mat. Breathe in and kick the legs. Let the arms go naturally with them and exhale. Go to primary pose and do 4 more reps.
- Upright snow angels
Wall angels are beneficial for the thoracic spine and it will lower slouching and hunchback. Here is how to perform the exercise:
With the knees slightly bent, press the lower and upper back and head against the wall. Then, press the back of the arms against the wall by pushing with the fingers. Next, the arms above the head slowly and continue pushing the body against the wall, as if you were doing a snow angel, but a standing one. Do 10 reps.
- Thoracic extension
This is a great exercise to avert neck, back, shoulder, and hip ache and enhance the posture. To perform the exercise, do the following:
Lie down with your back on a foam roller so that it is perpendicular to the spine and going across your shoulders. Then, lift up the glutes. By using the heels, move back and forth. Continue rolling until you feel uncomfortable. Once you feel discomfort, stay in that place for 20 to 30 seconds and then resume with the rolling.
- Broom shoulder stretch
This is an ideal exercise to relax shoulder tightness. To perform it, do the following:
Hold a pipe, broomstick or a band in front of you with a wide grip. Gradually, begin to lift it over your head all the way around and back until your reach the buttocks. Do 10 repetitions.
- Cobra stretch
This stretch is highly beneficial for opening up the ribs, lungs, and chest and for bettering the breathing and posture. Here is how to do the exercise:
Lie down on the floor and put your hands on the floor, palms down, under the shoulders. Breathe in and lift the ribs off the floor and the with the heart forwards. Keep the shoulders back, but be careful not to crunch your neck. Hold the pose for 30 seconds and then release.