4 Home Exercises to Improve your Posture
Written By: SportsShoes
Maintaining good posture and a body that is in correct alignment brings multiple benefits to our performance and general wellbeing. As many of us continue to work from home, often at makeshift work stations, our posture can suffer, resulting in increased tension and stresses on the body (we explain this in more detail in this piece about the body impact of a sedentary office desk job).
Good posture helps to ensure less strain on the spine, joints, ligaments and muscles and promotes better lung capacity, optimal digestion and increased concentration. It follows that correct form in exercise translates into better performance and a reduced risk of injury, so it’s well worth practicing techniques that will help to improve it.
Doing these four simple exercises at home will help to counteract slouching, hunching and other bad habits, while gently strengthening the body and encouraging better postural alignment.
1. COBRA POSE
This yoga-based exercise is a natural back extension that strengthens the lower back and boosts flexibility.
How to Do it
- Lie on your stomach with palms flat to the floor near the shoulders
- Elbows should be close to your sides
- Extend legs straight behind
- Pull abdominal muscles in and up towards your spine.
- Slowly raise head and chest from the floor using only your back muscles
- There should be minimal weight on your hands.
- Draw shoulders back with chest forwards, keeping hip bones on the floor
- Slowly lower back to original position
- Repeat up to 5 times.
This exercise promotes correct alignment with a neutral spine, helping to strengthen the lower back and boosting stability and balance.
How to Do It
- Starting position on hands and knees with hands directly under shoulders and knees directly under hips.
- With a slow and controlled movement, slowly raise your left arm until parallel with the floor
- Simultaneously raise your right leg and extend behind, keeping shoulders and hips parallel to the floor
- Hold pose for several seconds and then return to starting position
- Repeat 12 times.
Well known to improve postural awareness, this yoga flow movement is also good for releasing stress and tension and boosting spinal flexibility.
How to Do It
- Start off in table top position
- Wrists should be directly underneath shoulders and knees directly under hips.
- On inhalation, lengthen the spine, lowering your belly towards the ground and lifting the chest
- Exhale and return to start position, ready to flow into the Cat Pose
- On exhale, draw your belly into your spine and round the back up to the ceiling.
- Release head toward the floor without forcing your chin to your chest
- Inhale and return to table top position.
4. HIGH PLANK
This super-strengthening exercise for the core is also great for your posture as it strengthens the upper body and lower back, engages the abs and builds all over strength.
How to Do It
- Start in table top position on all fours
- Shoulders should be directly over hands and hips directly over knees
- Step one leg back and then the other
- Ensure a straight time from the top of your head to your heels
- Engage abs, quads and glutes
- Hold for 15 seconds and build up