Having good posture is about more than looking good. It helps you to develop strength, flexibility, and balance in your body. These can all lead to less muscle pain and more energy throughout the day. Proper posture also reduces stress on your muscles and ligaments, which can reduce your risk of injury.
Improving your posture also helps you become more aware of your muscles, making it easier to correct your own posture. As you work on your posture and become more aware of your body, you might even notice some imbalances or areas of tightness you weren’t previously aware of.
QUADRAPED DUMBBELL ROW – This exercise takes you back to the basics of the row, fixing many form issues, such as over-rowing at the top of the movement, overstretching the arm at the bottom of the movement, and lower-back compensation. Do this exercise before completing any other rowing movements.
- Get on all fours with a dumbbell positioned in each hand. Ensure your back is straight, hands are directly below shoulders, and knees are directly below hips.
- Row up with your right arm, pulling your elbow up and bringing the dumbbell to your armpit. Keep your elbow tucked throughout the movement. You’ll notice here that if you row too far, you’ll lose your balance.
- Extend your arm, returning the dumbbell to the ground, and repeat on the left side.
- Complete 3 sets of 12 reps on each side.
CHIN TUCKS – Chin tucks can be performed while standing or sitting. Here is a simple way to do chin tucks for a beginner:
- Sit upright and look straight ahead with the ears directly over the shoulders.
- Place a finger on the chin.
- Without moving the finger, pull the chin and head straight back until a good stretch is felt at the base of the head and top of the neck. (There should now be some separation between the chin and finger.)
- Hold for 5 seconds if possible.
- Bring the chin forward again to the finger.
- Repeat for a total of 10 times, or as tolerated.
In the beginning, it can help to have the finger as a point of reference. As the chin tuck becomes more comfortable to perform, it may no longer be necessary to hold up the finger.
BAND PULL-APARTS – Fix your posture by strengthening your upper back with Band Pull-Aparts. Don’t be afraid to do lots of high-rep sets. It takes a lot of volume to undo the postural damage caused by too much slouching and heavy benching. This exercise can be performed while lying on the floor, sitting in a chair or standing. If you are sitting or standing remember to relax the shoulders, keep ribs in and do not arch the low back. Start on the floor and once you have the posture then progress to sitting or standing.
- Hold a light band at arm’s length with your palms down and hands shoulder-width apart.
- With your chin tucked and abs tight, pull your hands away from each other until the band hits your chest, squeezing your shoulder blades together.
- Slowly return to the starting position and repeat.
DEADLIFT – Besides being an exercise of overall awesomeness, Deadlifts, if done, correctly, are a fantastic way to fix bad posture. Few exercises require the ability to organize all your body parts into proper alignment like the Deadlift.
Think about it—to execute a good Deadlift, you have to:
- Puff your chest out and pull your shoulders back.
- Tuck your chin.
- Hinge at your hips without rounding your back.
- Brace your abs to keep your lower back neutral.
- Start with a light weight and then advance to holding kettlebell or a heavy bar in your hands.
If you can master the form with added weight, chances are you’re definitely going to your posture! But be careful—Deadlifts with bad form can make lousy posture even worse. If you have any questions or concerns about your form please don’t hesitate to ask one of us. We will be happy to instruct you on good technique so you can build strength and improve posture at the same time.
THORACIC SPINE ROTATION – This exercise relieves tightness and pain in your back while increasing stability and mobility.
Rather than just holding the stretch, rotate your thoracic spine repetitively to increase tissue mobility and neural stimulation to your muscles.
- With the right side of your body on the floor and your knees and hips bent at about 90 degrees, bring your palms together and extend your arms in front of your chest. You can put a pillow between the knees if you need it.
- Put a firm pillow or cushion beneath your head for support.
- Exhale as you rotate your torso to your left, lifting your left hand over your body and bringing your left shoulder and arm to the floor.
- Squeeze your inner thighs together to stabilize your lower body. Your upper body should resemble the letter “T”.
- Hold the stretch position for two deep breaths before returning to the starting position.
- Perform six to 10 reps on both sides of your body.
As always we are here to help so please don’t hesitate to ask us for help of if you have any questions. We are more than happy to help!