Having good posture is not just about how you look, it has lots of health benefits as well. Good posture keeps all the muscles, bones, and joints in the right alignment and helps to release the stress of your spine. Bad posture, on the other hand, can lead to headaches and a sore back or neck.
Incorrect posture is not necessarily a bad habit, but it can be caused by muscles that are too weak or tight. And if you know which muscles need extra attention, it’s very possible to fix your posture.
We at Bright Side did some research and prepared this selection for our readers.
1. The corner stretch
The corner stretch helps to open the shoulder blades and chest and is something you can do at any time, almost anywhere.
- Stand facing the corner of the room.
- Step with one leg forward, keeping the knees soft.
- Place your hands on the walls with the elbows slightly below your shoulders.
- Lean toward the corner, stretching the chest and shoulders.
- Hold for 20 seconds and return to the initial position.
2. Lateral leg lifts
Although side leg lifts are normally included in a lower body workout routine, it’s also effective for maintaining good posture. By paying attention to your back, keeping your head up, and your shoulders open while doing this exercise, you make your back muscles stronger and also get in the habit of straitening the back during everyday moves such as walking and lifting.
- Stand straight with your hands resting on your hips.
- Shift the body weight onto your right side, keeping the back straight and raising your left leg.
- Bring the leg to the initial position.
- Repeat 10 times on your left leg and then 10 times on your right leg.
- Repeat the cycle 3 times.
- Use a chair or wall for stability if you need it.
3. Bent knee triangle stretch
The bent knee triangle stretch opens the shoulders and the chest, and also helps with lower back pain relief.
- Place your feet wide apart.
- Turn your left foot 90° while making sure that your knee is aligned with the center of the ankle.
- Bring your arms up to shoulder height, opening the chest and shoulders, and keeping the head up.
- Bend the left knee, bringing the front hand forward and down, and the back hand up.
- Gently turn your head to your right hand.
- Hold for 1 minute and slowly return to the starting position.
4. Puppy stretch
The puppy pose stretch is another excellent exercise if you need to relax and open your shoulders.
- Start by getting on your hands and knees, placing the shoulders directly over the wrists and the hips above the knees.
- Walk your hands forward, lowering your forehead and chest toward the floor.
- Make sure that you don’t feel any strain on your neck.
- Hold this for 1 minute and slowly return to the starting position by walking your hands toward the knees.
5. Cat-cow stretch
The cat-cow stretch massages your spine, opens the chest and shoulders, and releases tension in your neck, torso, and shoulders.
- Start with getting on your hands and knees, placing the shoulders directly over the wrists and the hips over the knees.
- Drop your belly down toward the ground while looking toward the ceiling.
- Arch your spine toward the ceiling while looking down.
- Repeat the movement for 1 minute.
6. Downward facing dog stretch
The downward facing dog stretch is another big shoulder and upper back opener that also strengthens and aligns the back muscles.
- Start from getting on your hands and knees, placing the shoulders directly over the wrists and the hips over the knees.
- Tuck in your toes and lift your hips up.
- Keep your ears in line with your upper arms.
- Slowly bend your knees and return to the initial position.
7. Cobra stretch
The cobra pose is a gentle stretch for your shoulders and chest and it strengthens your back.
- Lie on your stomach with your hands extended and elbows directly under your shoulders.
- Activate your back muscles and lift your chest and head.
- Hold this pose for at least 20 seconds.
- Slowly return to the initial position.
The bow pose stretches and opens the shoulders and chest while strengthening every muscle in the back. This is one of the most effective exercises to improve posture.
- Lie on your belly while placing your hands alongside your body.
- Bend your knees and grab the ankles, keeping the knees no wider than the hips.
- Lift your feet up, raising the thighs.
- Slowly move to the initial position.
The tree pose stretches and opens the shoulders and tones abs.
- Stand up straight and slightly transfer your body weight onto the right foot.
- Lift your left knee and grab it.
- Move the knee to the side.
- Place the left foot onto the inner thigh or the shin if reaching the thigh is too challenging.
- Activate your abs and back muscles and place your hand in front of your chest.
- Reach your arms to the ceiling.
- Slowly return to the initial position.
Which exercise are you going to try first? Do you have your own workouts you use to get perfect posture? Tell us about your favorites in the comment section below.