Improving Posture

Ask the Expert

Q:

Help! My posture is terrible. What can I do?


A:

There are steps you can take to improve and straighten a slouched upper back, the most common appearance of bad posture. Your exercise plan should focus on strengthening and tightening your back, while stretching your chest muscles. These movements can help:

Posture Builder #1:

  • Lie on your stomach with your arms by your sides.
  • Keeping your toes on the ground, lift your head and shoulders off the ground. Hold that position for a few seconds. Repeat.

Posture Builder #2:

  • Stand with your arms out to the side, palms facing forward.
  • Slowly bring your arms back so you feel a stretch in your chest muscles.
  • For a deeper stretch, stand in a doorway with both arms on either side of the door frame. Lean forward slightly to stretch.

Posture Builder #3:

  • Stand in front of a chair so the seat is facing you.
  • Hold a light hand weight in one hand, bend at your waist and place your other hand on the chair seat for balance. Slightly bend your knees.
  • Let the hand that is holding the weight hang down.
  • Keeping your abdominal muscles tight, knees bent and spine aligned, pull the weight to your hip.
  • Lower the weight back down, keeping the movement under control.
  • Repeat 8 to 12 times, then switch sides.
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