No More Slouching! 19 Tips to Sort Out Your Bad Posture
Worryingly these days we probably spend an ever-increasing amount of time sitting at desks, staring at TVs and computer screens, or hunched over phones and portable devices. All of this can be extremely detrimental to our posture, and having bad posture doesn’t just affect how you look, but also how you feel. Bad posture has been linked to stress, low confidence and self-esteem, hindered athletic performance as well as physically reducing our height. So it’s vital that you work on improving your body’s posture throughout your day, fight the slouch with our 19 posture hacks!
The best thing you can do to alleviate the tension you build up in your muscles from working at a desk all day is to move more. Take a break every 45 minutes and stretch your legs.
Photo: Ergonomics Fix
Downward facing dog might be a bit too demanding for you, but there’s a ton of yoga exercises that are great for strengthening your core, stretching out tense muscles, and improving your overall posture. For a simple exercise, just lie face down on the floor, with each arm at a 90° angle in the high-five position. Raise both arms by pulling your shoulders back and squeezing your shoulder blades together. Hold for five seconds. Release and repeat.
Photo: Divinity Magazine
#3 Wall Work
There are few handier posture improvement accesories than a wall. Stand against one, with your heels, bottom, shoulder blades and back of the head touching it. Hold the pose and then try to raise your arms at 90° angles, palms facing out, and stretch them out and above your head.
#4 Shoulder Rolls
If you work at a desk all day this simple stretch can work wonders for relieving tension and encouraging correct posture in your chair. And you don’t even need to stand up! Inhale and raise your shoulders toward your ears. Hold for a few seconds before exhaling and pulling your shoulder blades down and together. Repeat 5-10 times at least twice a day.
#5 Reverse Dumbbell Fly
People who have rounded shoulders as a result of years of poor posture need to strengthen their upper back. This move is a great solution. Just remember it’s important to use light weights and make sure your form is good, rather than trying to pump the most iron.
Invest in a foam roller to perform a number of different stretches and exercises that can be extremely beneficial to your posture. Try lying on one like below, with knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Create a “T” by extending your arms out to the sides, palms facing up. Hold for 1 minute, release and then repeat for a few more reps.
Photo: The Fit Tutor
#7 Resistance Band
Inexpensive and versatile, there are so many great workouts you can do with this simple gym accessory to strengthen and improve your posture. Best of all, you can easily bring your band around with you to do a few reps here and there throughout your day.
The dreaded plank is perhaps one of the best ways to tackle your bad posture. This is simply because the main aim of the exercise is to strengthen your core. Bad posture is often made worse by having a weak core, which promotes slouching, so make a few minutes of planking a part of your daily routine.
Photo: Runners World
Simply put, and if done correctly, the humble push-up is one of the best postural exercises. It targets a range of muscles across your shoulders, back and neck, as well as your arms and core.
#10 Little and Often
Nobody is born with bad posture, it’s something we develop every day over the course of years. Likewise, there’s unfortunately no quick fix to correcting the problem. However, you can make positive changes by focusing daily, whether at home or at the office, on standing tall and keeping your body properly aligned. Keep your chin up, you should be in line with your shoulders, and your shoulder blades pushed together.
#11 Chest Release
This one is great for improving your breathing, and quickly. Raise your arms so they’re just below shoulder level with palms facing forward. Exhale slowly as you rotate your wrists so your fingers are pointing slightly behind you. Take 3-5 breaths. You can also use a stick or long weight to assist you.
Photo: Shape Magazine
#12 Side Bend
This is another basic exercise that makes a dramatic difference. Simply stretch your left arm up over you head and move your head to the right until you feel a stretch along the left side of your body. Take 3-5 breaths then switch sides and repeat.
#13 Chair Pose
The chair pose is great for balance and strengthening muscles. Standing, raise your arms to shoulder height in front of you and contract your arm muscles. Exhale as you bend your knees and keep them over the toes. Take two breaths and stand. Repeat three times.
#14 The Superman
With this move, you’ll be a superhuman in no time! On all fours, tuck your right toes under and extend your right leg behind you then raise your left leg no higher than hip height. Keeping the core steady, lift the left arm no higher than shoulder height and turn your palm inwards so the thumb points towards the ceiling. Hold for 8-10 seconds and repeat on the other side.
#15 Shell Stretch
Pilates has taught us many vital things, and when it comes to stretching it out, the shell stretch is a must. Sit back with your bum on your feet, and stretch your arms out straight lowering down to the floor then hold for five seconds. This helps your back as well as your posture. Bring yourself back up with deep breaths the whole then repeat a few times.
Photo: Yoga Journal
#16 All Fours Belly Lift
Also known as the cat stretch, while on all fours, arch your back upwards and tuck your bum under while engaging core muscles to encourage shoulder and stomach muscles. Shift your body weight forward so your nose is over your fingers and raise your left hand off the floor without twisting your core. Hold for five breaths and stretch your upper back. Repeat on the opposite side.
#17 Single-Leg Hip Thrust
Rest your upper back on a bench and lie your feet flat on the floor in front of you. Lift your left foot off the floor and raise your hips until your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Hold for a five seconds and then return to the starting position but don’t let your left foot touch the ground between reps. Do at least 8-10 reps per leg.
#18 Breathe and Fill The Stomach
When you breathe deeply through your nose to the point where it fills your stomach, you naturally stand straighter as you have enough oxygen in your body to support your physiological needs. The diaphragm pushes out the shoulders and fills the frame out when properly filled with oxygen.
#19 Simulated Rowing Exercises
Rowing improves the muscle strength of the shoulders and core, therefore making you far more likely to stand correctly. You’re far more likely to hunch your shoulders if the muscles aren’t stretched. Now you can stand tall like a champ!