8 Simple Exercises to Improve Your Posture and Reduce Back Pain
Besides back and neck pain, researchers have found many other issues that can arise from bad posture. Poor balance, headaches, breathing difficulties, and even heartburn can also be consequences of slumping in your seat. That’s why doctors recommend doing special exercises that can help you to escape all of these problems.
We at Bright Side follow professional recommendations and found 8 simple, yet effective exercises to fix poor posture that you can perform even during a work break. You’ll also find a tip at the end of the article.
1. Open shoulders
- Put your feet shoulder-width apart, arms should be straight down along the body, and your back should also be straight.
- Raise your arms out to the sides and open your chest.
- Start by switching your arms in front of you (one on top of the other). Your right hand should go to the left and your left hand should go to the right so your elbows meet.
- You should feel your shoulder blades working.
- Repeat crossing your arms for 45 seconds to 1 minute.
2. Wing fly up
- Put your feet shoulder-width apart, bend your legs slightly at the knees, and lean forward. Your back should be flat.
- Look at the floor and keep your head straight.
- Lift your arms out to the sides and bend them at your elbows. Squeeze your shoulder blades.
- Now bring your hands in front of your chest.
- Repeat squeezing your shoulder blades like you are flying for 45 seconds to 1 minute.
3. Quadruped thoracic rotations
- Get on all fours.
- Now put one hand behind your head. The second hand should be extended in front of you and resting on the floor.
- Bring your elbow down toward the floor.
- Then rotate that same elbow up toward the ceiling.
- Rotate your head in the same direction as your elbow.
- Do this for 45 seconds to 1 minute, change hands, and repeat on the other side.
4. Squat and reach
- Get into a deep squat. Cross your hands and reach for your feet. The left hand should touch your right foot and the right hand should touch your left foot
- Start raising your right hand up and then down. Your head should follow your arm.
- Repeat for 45 seconds and then change arms and repeat on the other side.
5. Extending in the chair
- You can perform this exercise in a chair, even while working in front of the computer.
- Bring your hands behind your head and spread your elbows out to the sides.
- Focus on extending your upper back.
- Lean back and stretch your spine.
- Repeat this exercise each time you feel that you’re tired of sitting.
6. Band-over-and-back exercise
- You can do this exercise with an elastic band or with a towel.
- Hold your band straight in front of you with an overhand grip.
- Now pull the band apart and create tension.
- Raise your band up and then behind your back.
- Repeat this exercise for 45 seconds.
7. Upper back cat stretch
- Kneel on the floor with your hips back toward your heels. Your forearms should be on a foam roll (you can also use a pillow).
- Round your middle back up and breathe in.
- Start breathing out, and let your chest arch down toward the floor in an arc shape.
- You should feel the tension in your mid-back. If you feel this in your lower back, move your buttocks closer to your heels.
- Repeat 8-12 times, 2-3 times per day.
8. Foam roll angels
- Lie on your back on a foam roll or a cushion. Your hands should be at your sides, with your palms facing upward.
- Gently tuck your chin to lengthen the back of your neck.
- Bring your ribs down to flatten your lower back. Don’t tense your abdomen.
- Start breathing slowly in and out for anywhere from 3-20 minutes, feeling your shoulders drop toward the floor.
- As your chest and shoulders relax, you can slowly move your arms higher. Your forearms should stay on the floor.
Bonus: Help yourself to maintain good posture while sitting.
You need to work on your posture every day, even while watching TV. You can use an easy trick: just put a rolled towel behind your shoulders. Don’t let the towel fall and try to sit up straight.
How often do you feel pain in your back? What exercises do you practice while working at your desk?