We all know how important good posture is, but most of us are not the best at having it. In fact, even when you read the title of this article, you might have found yourself sitting a little bit more upright instead of hunching over your desk! Having good posture will help you to improve flexibility and balance, reduce stress on your muscles, and decrease your risk of injury in the future. By focusing on improving your posture, you will also become more aware of your muscles and any areas of tightness, allowing you to adjust your posture with more ease. Here are a few exercises that will help you to improve your posture:
- Reverse Plank Bridge
This exercise is a great way to activate the muscles in your lower back and shoulders while stretching the major muscle groups that are used for good posture.
- Sit on the mat with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Placing your hands behind you on the floor with your fingers facing towards your feet, press into your palms and raise your hips up until they are in line with your shoulders and knees (so that you are forming a tabletop position, looking towards the sky).
- Lower yourself back to the floor to complete one rep.
Cat-Cow is one of the best moves to stretch your spine, increasing circulation and helping to release tension in your shoulders, neck, and spine.
- Start on your hands and knees, hands under shoulders, knees under hips, your weight distributed evenly.
- Inhale deeply and slowly look up towards the sky while as you curve your spine downwards towards the ground. Then exhale, drop your head towards your chest and arch your spine up towards the sky.
- Repeat this movement with your breathing, keeping it slow and controlled.
- High Plank
The high plank will help you to strengthen your shoulders, hamstrings, and glutes, as well as your abdominal and back muscles. This will help you to develop strength in the muscles that support your posture.
- Start on all fours with your hands under your shoulders and extend your legs out behind you, lifting your hips from the ground. Your back should form a straight line from your shoulders to your heels. Make sure to engage your core to support this position.
- Keep your neck soft and chest open as you hold this position for a minute.
- Downward-facing Dog
This stretch is great for stretching and strengthening your back. It can also be used as a rest post between other exercises.
- Lie flat on your stomach. Press your hands into the floor, tuck your toes under, and lift your hips up towards the sky. As much as you can, keep your feet flat on the floor (you can bend your knees slightly if necessary) and your palms flat on the floor. Your neck should be straight, creating an extension of your spine.
- Hold this position for up to minute before lowering yourself carefully back down to the floor.
By regularly stretching your spine, as well as building strength in the muscles that help to support it, you will be able to improve your posture, increase flexibility and stability, and become more aware of your body.
Exercise has loads more benefits for your health and wellness. To discover what these are, and to learn how to teach others to do them, you need to do our Personal Training Diploma. For more information, please follow this link.