8 Exercises to Please the Posture Police

Anyone else grow up with a teacher or parent that was consistently known as the ‘posture police?’ Like most things in life that come full circle, I now feel it’s my turn to flash my lights and show my badge as your accountability buddy in the crime against poor posture habits.

Your routine may look a little different these days. Maybe your temporary home office space has you slouched over a laptop at the kitchen table or you’re finding yourself less active considering the 10 foot walk required from your bedroom to your kitchen and back to your chair. At the end of a long day, you may notice your shoulders and upper back stuck in a rounded position, not to mention your low back and hips screaming in pain.

The good news is there are some simple exercises you can start practicing daily before and/or after your work day to not only improve your posture aesthetically, but also relieve back pain, neck tightness, and shoulder mobility! Below is my go-to routine when working with individuals that spend a lot of time at a desk job, or are experiencing the widespread effects of poor posture.

  1. Decompression Couch Stretch
    • Begin by finding a sturdy surface you can hold onto such as the back of a couch or the kitchen sink
    • While holding onto the surface, push hips back until elbows are straight and you are looking at the floor.
    • Stay in this position for 20-30 seconds, take deep breaths, and try to relax
  1. Cat Cow Stretch
    • Begin on all fours with your hands positioned under your shoulders and your knees positioned directly below your hips.
    • Exhale while tucking your chin to your chest and rounding your spine gently. Hold this position for 2 seconds.
    • Inhale while lifting your chin and dropping your belly. Hold this position for 2 seconds. Repeat 10 repetitions.
  1. Doorway Chest Stretch
    • Position your elbows and hands in line with a doorframe.
    • Stagger step through the door slowly, until you feel a stretch.
    • Hold this end position for 15 to 20 seconds making sure to breathe fully in and out of the nose.
  1. Behind the Back Neck Stretch
    • Interlace your fingers behind your back and press your shoulders down and away from your ears.
    • Gently press your right ear to your right shoulder.
    • Slowly roll your chin to your chest and press your left ear to your left shoulder. Repeat 5 repetitions.
  1. Thread the Needle Stretch
    • Begin on all fours with your hands positioned under your shoulders and your knees positioned directly below your hips.
    • Push your hips onto your heels with your arms outstretched in front of you resting on the mat.
    • Exhale and thread your right arm under your left arm. Bring your right shoulder and temple to rest on the mat.
    • Hold for 3 slow breaths, then switch sides.
  1. Seated Row
    • Begin by wrapping a resistance band around the bottom of your feet while in a seated position.
    • Hold the ends of the and extend your arms straight to get into the starting position.
    • Pull the ends of the band towards you as you bend your elbows and move them slightly behind your torso by squeezing your shoulder blades together.
    • Hold this position briefly before returning to the starting position by straightening your arms. Repeat for 10-12 repetitions.
  1. Bird Dog
    • Begin on all fours with your hands positioned under your shoulders and your knees positioned directly below your hips.
    • Raise your left arm next to your left ear while also extending your right leg backwards until is it aligned with your torso.
    • Hold this position for 2-3 seconds before slowly returning to the starting position. Repeat with your right arm and left leg.
    • Alternate sides for 10 repetitions.
  1. Glute Bridge
    • Lie on your back, knees bent and heels resting on the floor.
    • Tuck your pelvis so your lower back is against the floor.
    • Press into your heels to squeeze your glute and abdominal muscles to lift your hips off the ground.
    • Lift until knees, hips and shoulders are in a straight line.
    • Hold 2-3 seconds and return to starting position. Repeat 10-15 repetitions.

Incorporating this routine consistently will improve mobility and strength of our posture muscles that support our shoulders, back, and hips. Try out these 8 exercises – and slowly work from completing one full round to completing each exercise 3 times for a full circuit. Have friends or loved ones that could benefit from these exercises? Share it with them and tag me on social media!

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