Exercises that Target Muscles for Better Posture

(RxWiki News) These simple stretching and strengthening exercises target muscles essential for good posture.

These simple stretching and strengthening exercises target muscles (such as the hamstrings and abdominals) essential for good posture. Try to do them in the morning and again in the evening.

Lower-back and abdominal workout

  • Lie on your back with arms out to your sides.
  • Bend your knees and raise them toward your chest.
  • Slowly lower both knees to the floor on one side.
  • Hold for 15 seconds.
  • Bring knees back to starting position, keeping arms and shoulder blades on floor, then lower to other side.
  • Repeat 5 times on each side.

Thigh stretch

  • Lying flat on your stomach, grasp your left ankle with your left hand.
  • Press the bent leg back against your hand’s resistance.
  • Hold for 20 to 30 seconds.
  • Then pull that leg upward to your buttocks.
  • Hold for 20 seconds, then lower your leg part way.
  • Repeat.

Hamstring stretch

  • Working with a partner, sit on the floor with legs straight and hands behind you for balance.
  • Put one leg on your partner’s shoulder and press down 20 to 30 seconds.
  • Then ask your partner to press down just above your knee while they rise slightly to create a passive stretch.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat 5 times with each leg.

Neck stretch

  • Sitting on a stool or chair, and holding the seat with your right hand, put your left hand on the rear right side of your head.
  • Gently pull your head down while rotating your chin to the right.
  • Change hands and repeat on the opposite.
  • Repeat 5 times on each side.
  • You can also stretch your neck by gently pulling your head down toward your shoulder.
  • Hold for 20 to 30 seconds.

Shoulder and upper back workout

  • Sit on a straight chair, but without touching the back.
  • With your hands clasped behind your head, raise your shoulders toward your ears, then press down.
  • Press the back of your head into your hands, so the muscles along your upper spine tighten; hold for 5 seconds.
  • Press your elbows back 10 times, so you feel the movement in your shoulder blades.

Watch this American Council on Exercise (ACE) video that demonstrates shoulder exercises to correct shoulder roll-in that occurs when sitting for long periods.

Back stretch

  • Hold the rim of a sink, with your arms straight but not locked.
  • Place your feet hip-width apart, right under your shoulders, knees slightly bent.
  • With neck muscles relaxed, let your hips sink back as if you were about to sit down.
  • Feel the stretch down the length of your spine.
  • Hold position for 10 seconds. Gradually stand up.
  • Repeat 5 times.

Yoga is a natural posture corrector that incorporates the muscle groups outlined above. Stretch with this 10-minute video for improved posture.