3 Simple Exercises to Improve Your Posture
Proper posture means that you’re using the most efficient amount of energy to keep your joints aligned. When aligned, your heels, knees, pelvis and neck are all stacked on top of each other and your body moves much more effectively, reducing the probability of injury. Poor posture can lead to issues like TMD, neck pain, headaches and even shoulder pain. Remember every time your mom told you to “stand up straight”? She had a good reason for doing so. Poor posture in any position, even when lying down, takes its toll on the body.
Give yourself a posture check with these exercises to ensure that your poor posture isn’t negatively affecting your body’s function in the long-term.
Bilateral Shoulder External Rotation
• Start by wrapping a resistance band around your hands.
• Position your arms at your sides with your elbows bent 90 degrees and your hands about shoulder width apart.
• Pull the resistance band apart by squeezing your shoulder blades together and rotating your shoulders.
• Pull apart as far as you can, keeping the 90 degree bend in the elbow and pain-free.
• Keep good neck posture with the back of your neck long and your chin dropped slightly (not poking forward).
• Hold for 5-10 seconds and repeat 10 times for 1-2 sets.
Wall Field Goal Post
• Positioned against a wall in a mini squat position, or seated with good posture, start with your hands together in front.
• Raise your hands up over your head and keep them together and then out into a position like a football field goal post.
• As you move your hands out, feel the stretch in the front of your chest and squeeze the shoulder blades down and back.
• Try not to arch your upper back and keep a good neck posture (chin slightly dropped, back of your neck long).
• Hold for 10-30 seconds in the field goal position.
Seated Head Nod-Chin Drop
• Find a good sitting or standing position: If sitting, put your weight on your sit bones or just in front with your ribs stacked over your pelvis, roll your shoulders up and then down back, “setting” them.
• Drop your chin slightly while making the back of the neck long (imagine a string pulling up from the crown of your head). This is a small gentle motion (not forceful).
If you have any questions or any pain with these exercises, please consult a Therapydia physical therapist. We can tailor an exercise program based on your unique body and individual goals.