Poor posture is an issue that many of us deal with and often do not know where to begin in regards to correcting it. The good news is there is something you can do about it and it’s SO easy! Adding a few specific exercises into your regular fitness routine will assist in the improvement of your overall posture. These types of exercises are not limited to what is listed below; many posture improving exercises exist and primarily focus on core strength and stability.
1. Planks. This exercise is great for core strengthening, which in turn will provide more support to the back and spine, and improve posture. To complete this exercise, lie down facing the ground, flat on your forearms with your toes lifting you off the ground (push-up position). Hold this position for 30 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, and then repeat both steps 5-10 times.
2. Wall-Squats. This exercise is great for the buttocks, which is valuable in regards to spinal/back support. Complete this exercise by placing your back flat against a wall, with your feet together and knees bent at a 90 degree angle. Hold this position for 30 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, then repeat both steps 5-10 times.
3. Superman. This pose is great for flexibility and core strength. Lie face down on the ground with your arms extended beyond your head and toes pointed. At the same time, lift your arms, chest, and legs off the ground (into flying ‘superman’ position) and hold for 30 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds and then repeat steps 5-10 times.
4. Curl-ups. Core muscles are essential for proper posture and curl-ups are a great way to get this region in shape! For this exercise, lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place your hands behind your head with your elbows pointed in the same direction as your knees. While exhaling, keep your feet stationary on the floor and use your abdominal muscles to pull your elbows toward your knees. Repeat this about 25-30 times.
5. Pilates Roll-Up. This is a more intense form of a “sit-up” and will strengthen the core muscles needed to support proper posture. To complete this exercise, lay flat on your back with your legs straight, feet flexed, and your arms lying flat overhead. While keeping your legs flat on the ground, use your core muscles to bring your straightened arms up until you are in a seated position, and then slowly roll back down onto your back using your abdominal muscles to do so. Repeat this about 10-15 times.