Neglect your posture and you’re inviting trouble in the form of a bad back, stiff neck or frozen shoulder.
Fortunately, you can undo the damage caused by hours of sitting or standing incorrectly. Stretches can fix bad posture and strengthen muscles. If you practice these five posture stretches you may begin to notice changes to your posture.
As you become more aware of your muscles with stretching, you could also become aware of imbalances and tightness you’ve never noticed before.
Why Does Good Posture Matter?
The importance of good posture can’t be understated. Proper posture means muscles and ligaments need not work harder than necessary. Deep muscle layers can support the body in its natural position for long periods but if the posture is less than ideal, the body can’t rely on these muscles. They tire quickly and you feel fatigued but the real damage occurs with time.
Poor posture can make unused muscles weaker and shorter which can compact the bones of the spine, worsening your posture over time.
Try These 5 Stretches For Better Posture
Your future self will thank you when you do these stretches regularly to improve your posture and flexibility.
Improve uneven hips by strengthening the lower back, core muscles and buttocks.
Planking is a good stretch that can strengthen your muscles and help with improving your posture.
To do a plank: lie on your stomach and raise your body on your toes and bent forearms keeping your legs straight and hips raised so your body forms a straight line. Keep your stomach muscles tight and shoulders directly above your elbows. Hold for up to 10 seconds. Repeat up to 10 times.
#2 Back Extensions
If you slouch while sitting, concentrate on exercises that strengthen the core, shoulder and neck muscles.
Lie on your stomach, bend your elbows and place your hands on the floor under your face. Arch your back while pushing your hands down until you feel your stomach muscles stretch. Remember to keep your shoulders back and neck straight while you hold for up to 10 seconds. Repeat up to ten times.
#3 Chin Tuck
If you are an office worker who looks at a screen all day, there’s a good chance you have a forward-head posture.
This exercise is a good stretch to do while sitting at your desk or in the car. Roll your shoulders back and down. Look straight ahead, place two fingers on your chin, slightly tuck your chin in and move your head back. Hold for up to five seconds. Repeat up to 10 times.
#4 The Resistance Move
Strengthen your upper back muscles especially between the shoulder blades with a stretch that uses a resistance band.
Sitting on the floor with your legs out in front, place the band around your feet and cross the band to form an X. Pull the band’s ends towards your hips bending your elbows so they point backward. Hold and slowly return doing 10 repetitions for three sets.
#5 Cat Cow Stretch
If you have a tight back, hips or buttocks, the cat-cow stretch can help.
Kneel on your hands and knees while balancing your weight evenly on all four points. Drop your abdomen and look up while inhaling. Arch your spine toward the ceiling and tuck your chin into your chest while exhaling. Continue for at least one minute.
Other Stretches For Your Posture
Stretches for improving posture aren’t limited to these five. Try a range of different stretches like the ones suggested here and with time you’ll notice improvements in your strength and posture.
Concerned About Your Posture?
If you think you have less than correct posture we recommend seeing a medical professional for advice that is specific to your needs.
Along with regular stretching, ergonomic furniture and equipment could help with improving your posture. Visit the Ergolink showroom, call us on (08) 9240 7066 or contact us online for more personalised advice.