Exercises to Correct Your Posture
Whether you sit at a desk all day or have found yourself spending too much time on the sofa during lockdown, your posture may have been neglected, leaving you with aches and pains in your back. Bad posture can cause not only uncomfortable pain but it can also make you look slouched and therefore appear slightly shorter. With some exercises to strengthen your stabilising muscles, you can transform your shape to appear taller and slimmer, as well as freeing your back from unnecessary tension caused by hunching over. You can do these exercises at home or in the office, making them easily accessible to anyone.
Reverse Low Five
With a tall, straight stance and arms down by your side, shrug your shoulders up towards your ear lobes and then relax them back down. Now with your palms facing behind you, push your hands back as if you’re trying to give someone behind you a double low five. Repeat this for 10 pulses then rest and repeat.
Sometimes slouching can be caused by tight muscles at the front of the body bringing your shoulders forward. To loosen these muscles, link both hands behind your back then squeeze to bring your elbows as close together as they can be. Once squeezed, straighten your arms out from your elbow, creating a bigger stretch across your chest. Hold this position for 5 deep breathes, then relax and repeat.
Rear Shoulder Squeeze
While sitting upright – either on a stool, chair or sofa – lift both arms to your side with your hands next to your head. Your elbows should be parallel to the ground, creating a right angle with your arm. Keeping your arms raised, bring them as far back as you can, making sure to squeeze your shoulder blades as you do the exercise. Do this for 10 pulses then relax and repeat.
In your seated position, lift both of your hands above your head while holding them together, straightening your arms as much as possible; this will be your starting position. Keeping your hands together, lower those behind your head while also bringing your elbows behind your head, similar to a reverse shoulder press. When you have reached the lowest and furthest back point, hold this position for a deep breath and then bring your arms back up. Do 10 reps, rest, and then repeat.
The classic core strengthening exercise, planks are easy to do and can be done anywhere, anytime! All you need to do is get into the push up position and hold yourself there as long as you can, keeping your body completely straight. You can either have your arms completely straight with your palms on the floor or you can bend your arms, using your elbows to hold you up. Start off by holding this position for at least 30 seconds, then increase this as your strength grows. Repeat a plank at least 4 times.
Arm Roll Stretch
Laying on your front, put both arms straight out to your sides so that you are in a T pose. Roll your body over to the left side, using the roll to force your arm behind you. Bring your other free arm behind you, trying to touch your hands together, keeping both arms straight. Roll back over to your stomach and repeat for the other side. Do this exercise for 10 reps each side, then rest and repeat.
These exercises are sure to have you feeling stronger and more flexible, promoting better posture and limiting the day to day strain on your back. The results are not instantaneous, so don’t feel disheartened if dramatic changes are visible within the first month; just keep at it and you’ll slowly see improvements over time.