Correct posture aligns everything in your body — your bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons can all function at their best when you sit and stand up straight. Even your organs perform better when you have excellent posture because they can stay in their proper place!
With so many of us slumping, slouching, and staring at screens all day, great posture can be difficult to maintain. Here are 6 simple exercises you can do to improve your posture in the comfort of your own home.
1. Planks: A strong core is essential to great posture and the classic plank is a wonderful core exercise that will strengthen abdominal muscles while working on the shoulder and back. Start by holding your plank for 15 seconds and increase time according to your ability.
2. Dumbbell Side Bends: This exercise works your obliques in order to strengthen your core. You’ll need one or two light dumbbells for this exercise. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, shoulders relaxed. Bend to one side and then return to the starting position. Repeat 10-20x per side.
3. Back Extensions: Strengthening your back will improve your posture. Lie face down, extending your arms above your head. While keeping your head in line with your spine, lift your shoulders and legs as far off the floor as you are able and return to the starting position. Repeat 10-20x.
4. Reverse Dumbbell Fly: Poor posture often results in rounded shoulders, and this exercise is a great remedy. Using two light dumbbells, grasp one in each hand with your palms facing each other. With your feet shoulder width apart, bend slightly forward at your waist and soften your knees. Keep your head up and eyes facing forward, then raise your arms to your sides until they are parallel with the floor (elbows slightly bent). Slowly lower your arms to the starting position. Do 3 sets of 10 reps each.
5. Standing Dumbbell Row: This exercise targets the upper and middle back. Stand shoulder width apart and hold a weight in each hand. Your palms should face one another. Bend forward slightly from the waist and squeeze your shoulder blades together while driving your elbows behind you. Pause before slowly returning the weights to the starting position. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.
6. Shoulder Rolls: Shoulder rolls are great for relieving tension and supporting correct posture. You can do these while sitting or standing, with weights or without weights. Inhale as you raise your shoulders toward your ears and exhale as you pull your shoulder blades down and together. Do this 5-10 times at least twice daily.