The 5 Best Exercises to Improve Posture

Do you catch yourself sliding down in your chair while sitting or hunching while working at your desk? 

Did you sit up a little straighter when you read that sentence?

Whether working at a desk or scrolling on our phones to unwind, we seem to spend a lot of time sitting down. The more we sit, the easier it is to have poor posture. However, there’s good news!

A stronger core and well-stretched muscles can improve your posture and boost your overall health. 

In this blog article, we’ll break down the five exercises to improve posture that counteract hunching and slumping. Adding these moves to your exercise routine will help you sit up straighter and carry yourself with more confidence in no time!

Exercise #1: Planks

Let’s get one of the most challenging exercises out of the way first — the ever-popular plank. This workout engages your abdominal muscles, which are essential for proper posture.

Successful planks start with good form. The best way to do a plank is to act like you are about to do a push-up and hold your back as straight as possible. You should be able to imagine an invisible line going from the top of your head through your heels. 

Start by holding the pose for at least 15 seconds and extend the time as you become more comfortable.

You can also modify this exercise to match your fitness level. If you need the plank to be a bit easier, lower your knees and maintain that straight line. If you want more difficulty, move from your hands to your elbows for maximum core engagement.

Exercise #2: Side Planks

We’re following planks up with its close relative — side planks! 

This core strengthener engages your obliques and hip muscles. Adding them to your routine will increase stability and help you stand straighter.

To properly perform a side plank, start by laying on your side. You’ll then hold your body straight — imagine the same line from head to heels that you do in a plank — and press up with the arm touching the ground. 

Start by holding the pose for a shorter time (around 15 seconds) and progress to a longer time when you’re ready.

You also can modify side planks in a similar way to regular planks. Grounding through your knees will make things easier while dropping to your elbow will increase difficulty.

Exercise #3: Superman Hold

Sometimes, we forget that our core is more than just our abs. Regular Superman hold exercises can help you build your lower back muscles, the other (and often less targeted) side of your core.

You’ll begin a Superman hold by laying flat on your stomach with your arms stretched forward. Then, raise your arms and legs to mimic Superman’s pose while he flies through the air.

Like planks, you’ll hold this pose for a bit. Start with 15-30 seconds and progress as you get stronger.

If you need the exercise to be more or less difficult, adjust the height of your arms and legs. The higher you hold your limbs, the more challenging the workout will be.

Exercise #4: Standing Forward Fold

Strengthening your muscles is an excellent way to improve posture, but lengthening them is just as important. Regular stretching will help you keep your muscles loose and prevent tightness that encourages poor posture.

Standing forward folds will stretch your lower back and hamstrings to make it easier to stand taller. Start by standing up straight, then bend over and let your arms reach down toward your toes.

Actively trying to touch your toes will stretch your legs more, while letting your body relax and hang will stretch your lower back.

If you want an even deeper stretch, you can place your palms on the ground while you bend over or wrap your arms behind your legs. Just be careful not to force your movement.

Exercise #5: Neck Stretches

We spend a lot of time looking at our devices, creating a new posture phenomenon called “Text Neck.” This posture happens when you tilt your head down at your phone to send a message or scroll on social media.

One of the best ways to counteract text neck is with a neck stretch. Begin by sitting or standing up straight, then tilt your ear toward one shoulder to stretch out the opposite side of your neck. 

Hold the position for a bit, then lean your head to the other side to balance out the stretch.

You can also stretch the back and front of your neck by slowly nodding your head forward, tucking your chin close to your chest, and holding it for a few seconds. Then, leaning your head backward.

The more you stretch your neck and shoulders, the easier it will be to prevent slouching and improve your upper body posture.

Learn How to Improve Posture With Us at Fit Body Boot Camp

These workouts for posture are a great start, but they only scratch the surface of what’s possible. Our personal trainers at Fit Body Boot Camp can get you started on your fitness journey by helping you set and achieve realistic fitness goals that improve your posture and overall health.

Stop by a location near you today to learn how we can help you get in better shape!

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