Having good posture plays an important role in improving your confidence. It can also go a long way in preventing pain in your body, helping you develop strength, balance, and flexibility. Maintaining proper posture can reduce risks of injury by reducing stress on your body muscles and ligaments.
Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to maintain your posture. If you struggle to maintain your posture and you’ve been experiencing back pain, some exercises can help to correct your posture.
Read on to learn the six best exercises to improve your posture and reduce back pain.
1. Pilates exercises
Pilates is one of the best exercises for improving your posture and structural alignment. What makes it an important exercise in respect to posture is that it trains you to develop and use your core strength.
Using the core muscles (the abdominals, pelvic floor, and back) to support your posture allows your head and neck to move freely, relaxes your shoulders, and relieves the stress exerted on your hips, legs, and feet.
Bridges are simple but important exercises that help to strengthen your gluteal and abdominal muscles. This relieves stress in the lower back and makes movements easier. To start doing bridges, lie on your back and bend your knees and feet flat on the floor. Engage your core and glute muscles to lift your hips, raising your glutes and lower back off the floor, and then lowering back to the ground.
3. Strength training exercises
To use strength training exercises to correct your posture, you should ensure that you incorporate posture-targeted moves into your workouts. A full-body strength training routine will help ensure that you exercise all muscles for an improved posture.
Keep in mind that your posture consists of different muscle groups throughout your body. From your hamstrings to the feet, shoulders, back muscles, and the head, your body relies on these muscles.
Squats are dynamic strength training exercises that require several body muscles to work together simultaneously. Most of the muscles involved when doing squats help power you through your day-to-day tasks such as carrying loads, walking, running, climbing, and bending. Therefore, adding squats to your workouts can decrease the risk of injury, improve your performance, and help you move more easily. Squats can also help improve and maintain a good posture by strengthening your core muscles.
5. Cat-cow stretch
The cat-cow is a yoga asana stretch that targets both the spine and abdominals. This exercise involves two stretches, stretching the spine and warming it up as you breathe in and out. You also curve in the spine up and down to help improve blood circulation and relieve back pain.
To do the cat-cow:
- Stand on all fours and balance your weight evenly
- Inhale as you curve your spine down and allow your belly to sink
- Breathe out as you arch your body up and move your chin towards your chest
- Repeat these motions as many times as you would like
6. Cobra pose
This is a great exercise to reverse the slouched effect, release tension and stress, and increase the capacity of your lungs. To make this move, start by lying down on your belly, extending your legs straight behind you, and engaging your whole body by pressing the top of your feet into the floor. This will open up your chest, stretch your spine, and improve flexibility.
7. Plank pose
One of the simplest exercises you can do is the plank. This is because it has a few simple steps. However, while holding a plank is easy, its difficulty can range from easy to excruciating. Easy and short-term planks won’t provide you with the much needed strength improvement to improve your posture.
Planks involve your core muscles, which means they work your whole body, from the pelvic girdle to the shoulder girdle and legs. Therefore, the plank can help to strengthen your spine, trapezius, rhomboids, and abdominal muscles, which gives you a stronger posture.
8. Fish pose
The fish pose, or Matsyasana, is a counterpose to the Sarvangasana, but it is equally powerful. It is a backbend type of pose where you extend your spine by arching your back. Therefore, this pose is very energizing. In addition, the arc in the upper spine can help correct your posture. Another great benefit of the fish pose is that it involves a variety of muscles, including the spinal extensors, neck extensors, rotator cuff muscles, the pectoral muscles, the abdominal muscles, and the neck flexors.
9. Chest opener stretches
When driving, gazing at your computer screen, and texting, most people tend to lean forward. However, you can reverse this posture when you stretch your pectoral muscles. To start this exercise, stand up with your feet apart, then hold a belt or yoga strap behind your hips with your thumbs facing one another and palms facing away. Raise your strap or belt and adjust your grasp with a wider grip. As you lift your strap, you will feel your chest stretching. Lower your strap and repeat these motions three to five times.
Deadlifts may sound scary, especially because of the word “dead.” However, they’re among the best exercises for improving posture, strength, athletic performance, and injury recovery. When it comes to improving your posture, deadlifts help strengthen your posterior chain (hamstrings and glutes). Deadlifts can engage more body muscles and build up your stabilizer muscles when done correctly. This helps to keep your posture upright.
Start Improving Your Posture Today
Maintaining the right posture is one of the things you should take seriously if you want to remain healthy. Poor posture can cause back and other body pains. There are a number of things you can do to correct your posture, including trying the highlighted exercises.
However, to ensure that you choose suitable exercises for your circumstances, you should work with a personal trainer. To get started or learn more about the right exercises for correcting your posture, contact Nathan DeMetz today.
Nathan DeMetz holds degrees in Exercise Science, Business Administration, and Information Technology as well as certifications in strength and conditioning, sports nutrition, run coaching, and other areas. His credentials come from organizations such as Indiana Wesleyan University, Ivy Tech College, Utah State University, and the ISSA College of Exercise Science.
Nathan has 20 years of personal and professional experience in the health and fitness world. He works with people from across the globe, including locations such as Kuwait, Australia, and the USA.
To work with Nathan directly on your personal training goals, contact him today!