Having good posture can improve your confidence, mood and overall health. A study in Health Psychology found that people who feel stressed can kick their negative mood and even boost their self-esteem by sitting upright. Other research found that good posture was associated with better body image among people with depression·
5 Exercises to Improve Posture
Having good posture helps to develop strength, flexibility, and balance in the body.
These can all lead to less muscle pain and more energy throughout the day.
Proper posture also reduces stress on muscles and ligaments, which can reduce risk of injury.
Improving your posture also helps to become more aware of the muscles, making it easier to correct posture.
This resting pose stretches and lengthens your spine, glutes, and hamstrings. The child’s pose helps to release tension in your lower back and neck.
· Sit on shinbones with knees together, big toes touching, your heels splayed out to the side.
· Fold forward at your hips and walk hands out in front.
· Sink hips back down toward the feet. If thighs will not go all the way down, place a pillow or folded blanket under them for support.
· Gently place forehead on the floor or turn head to one side.
· Keep arms extended or rest them along the body.
· Breathe deeply into the back of rib cage and waist.
· Relax in this pose for up to 5 minutes while continuing to breathe deeply.
Practicing cat cow stretches and massages the spine. It also helps to relieve tension in the torso, shoulders, and neck while promoting blood circulation.
· On hands and knees with weight balanced evenly between all four points.
· Inhale to look up, dropping the abdomen down toward the ground as the spine extends.
· Exhale and arch the spine toward the ceiling and tuck the chin into the chest.
· Continue this movement for at least 1 minute.
This exercise allows for opening and stretching the chest. This is especially useful if you spend most of your day sitting, which tends to make the chest move inward. Strengthening the chest also helps to stand up straighter.
· Stand with feet about hip-width apart.
· Bring arms behind and interlace the fingers with palms pressing together. Grasp a towel if hands do not reach each other.
· Keep head, neck, and spine in one line while gazing straight ahead.
· Inhale and lift the chest toward the ceiling and bring the hands toward the floor.
· Breathe deeply as you hold this pose for 5 breaths.
· Release and relax for a few breaths.
· Repeat at least 10 times.
The high plank pose helps to relieve pain and stiffness throughout the body while strengthening shoulders, glutes, and hamstrings. It also helps develop balance and strength in the core and back, both important for good posture.
· Come onto all fours and straighten legs, lift heels, and raise hips.
· Straighten the back and engage abdominal, arm, and leg muscles.
· Lengthen the back of neck, soften throat, and look down at the floor.
· Make sure to keep the chest open and shoulders back.
· Hold this position for up to 1 minute at a time.
This exercise helps to strengthen and activate the glutes while relieving lower back pain. It also improves the functioning and alignment of hips and pelvis, leading to better posture.
· Lie on your back with knees bent and feet about hip-distance apart.
· Keep feet about a foot away from the hips.
· Rest arms alongside the body with palms facing down.
· Exhale as you bring feet closer to the hips.
· Hold this position for 10 seconds and then move them further away from the hips.
· Continue this movement for 1 minute.
· Do this exercise a few times per day.
· Squats burn calories faster – they help build muscle, which makes the body become more efficient at burning calories
Modifications or Additional Exercises
· Downward Dog
· Isometric Rows
· Thoracic Spin Rotation
· Pigeon Pose