On average, we spend 2 hours and 55 minutes staring down at our smartphones. Due to this, our posture may change as the head tends to go forward while shoulders become rounded. This can lead to unexpected health problems like heartburn and incontinence.
We at Bright Side know how important it is to have a good posture and would like to show you some simple exercises that you can practice at home. There’s even a bonus feature for you at the end of the article.
1. The lift-off exercise
- Stand up straight with your neck extended. Don’t tilt your head and look straight ahead.
- Put your hands behind your back and place one palm on the other, as is shown in the picture. The arms should be slightly bent at the elbow.
- While exhaling, begin to push your arms back while lifting them away from your buttocks. You should feel some tension.
- Return to the starting position.
- Repeat the exercise for 30 seconds, then change your hands.
2. Forward head posture
- Place your feet hip-width apart. Place your hands behind your head with your elbows facing away.
- Bend your knees slightly. The back should be straight and tilted slightly forward. The head is looking downward.
- Tighten your neck and start pushing your head back against your hands. The head should not go back.
- Remain in this position for 20 seconds.
3. Shoulder rotations
- Lie on your left side. Your hand should be on the pillow underneath your head. The legs are also slightly bent at the knees.
- Bend your right arm at a 90-degree angle and make a fist. Bring your hand to your stomach so that your fist is facing the floor as it’s shown in the picture.
- Start raising your hand upward, clenching your fist and feeling tension. You can also hold a small dumbbell. Don’t forget to maintain the 90-degree angle for your hand.
- Repeat for 45 seconds and then change sides.
4. Resistance exercise
- Lie on your right side with your head resting on the pillow and your legs bent.
- Place your right hand in front of you with a fist up at a 90-degree angle. The left arm should be bent at the elbow, the palm resting on the floor.
- Start pressing with your left palm on top of your right palm as it’s shown in the picture. The right palm must resist. Bring your right palm to the floor at a 90-degree angle. You should constantly feel resistance.
- Keep resisting your hand for 15 seconds, then change sides.
5. Levator scapulae stretch
- You can do this exercise both in a seated or standing position.
- Gently tilt your head to the left. Now grasp over the top of your head with your left hand. Start applying mild force with your head toward the left so you can feel some resistance.
- Stay in this position for 20 seconds and repeat on the opposite side.
- Do 3 repetitions for each side.
6. Chin tucks
- Sit upright or stand up and look straight ahead. Your ears should be directly over the shoulders.
- Now place a forefinger on the chin.
- Don’t move your finger and start pulling the chin and head straight back. You should feel a good stretch at the base of the head and top of the neck.
- Hold this position for 10 seconds.
- Return to the neutral position.
- Repeat for a total of 10 times.
7. Rolled towel exercise
- Place a rolled towel around your neck and hold the ends with your hands as it’s shown in the picture.
- Look up as far as you can, rolling your head over the towel. Do it slowly.
- Apply gentle pressure on the towel as you extend your head back. Don’t hold the position and return to a neutral one.
- Repeat 10 times.
8. Neck isometrics
- Press your palm against your forehead. Resist with your neck muscles. Hold for 10 seconds. Relax. Repeat 5 times.
- Now do this exercise by pressing your palm to the side of your head. Repeat 5 times and switch sides.
- Do the same exercise by pressing on the back of your head. Repeat 5 times again.
Bonus: how long it takes to fix rounded shoulders
Rounded shoulders are a sign of bad posture. Remember that posture is a habit, and experts say it’s reasonable to think that if a habit was formed over many years, it would take just as long to correct it. But here’s some good news: with daily exercise and the right technique, you won’t have to wait for a long time to see results. In fact, it’s relatively easy and quick.
What exercise helps you to relieve pain or discomfort in your neck? How often do you exercise to keep your spine healthy?