You probably have bad posture if you spend most of the day seated. And it could be worse if you donít exercise at all.
Most studies show that bad posture can harm your physical health and spoil your mood.† To be specific, it can damage your spine and cause back and joint pain.
With these exercises, youíll be able to undo the effects of sitting and improve your posture. You donít need any equipment or weights to do these exercises. They can be done anywhere, using nothing but your own body weight.
Below, are 7 no-equipment exercises you can do to correct bad posture.
1. Doorway Stretches
Leaning forward when sitting tightens the chest muscles. As a result, the shoulders are pulled forward and the upper back becomes curved. The doorway stretches will loosen the chest and shoulder muscles.
To stretch, stand on the door way and place your hands on the both sides of the doorframe. Then lean forward such that your chest sticks out and your hands are behind you. Hold that position for 10 seconds and repeat 5 times.
2. The Glute Bridges
This is a great exercise to fix the lower cross syndrome Ė which is characterized by arched back and flat or hanging gluteal muscles. It will strengthen the lower back muscles and the butt muscles Ė both of which are essential for good posture.
To do this exercise, lie flat on your back and bend your knees. Place your hands beside your hips and lift your butt off the floor as high as you can. Hold for 2 seconds at the top then slowly lower the body to starting position and repeat. Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
3. The Chin Tuck
Leaning forward when using a phone or a computer causes the head to stick out forward. This hurts the spine and can cause back pain. The chin tuck will realign the neck to its natural position.
To perform the chin tuck, stand straight and pull the head backward. Then tuck your chin and use your hand to push the chin back. Push it for 15 seconds and repeat several times.
4. Pull ups
This may not be the easiest exercise, especially for folks who donít exercise. But it’s essential if you have a hunched back.
You see, leaning forward when seated weakens the back muscles and causes the back to be curved. Pull-ups will strengthen the back muscles and help pull the shoulders back.
To perform pull ups, grab a pull up bar with a shoulder-width grip. Pull yourself up until your chin is above the bar, then slowly lower yourself to starting position and repeat.
Do horizontal pull ups if you find vertical pull ups too challenging.
5. The Plank
Weak abdominal muscles force the pelvis to tilt forward and the back to be arched. Therefore, you need to strengthen the abdominal muscles.
To perform the plank, lie flat on your stomach. Place your forearms on the floor (facing forward). The elbow should be directly below the shoulders. Lift the torso and thighs off the floor and keep them aligned in a straight line. Hold that position for at least 30 seconds.
6. Hamstring stretches
Sitting down for long tightens the hamstring and the glute muscles. Stretching the hamstrings will loosen those muscles.
To stretch the hamstrings you need to bend and touch your toes without bending the knees. If you canít reach the toes just stretch as much as you can and hold for at least 20 seconds and repeat.
7. The Back Bridge
This is the best exercise for improving posture. In fact, itís recommended by most chiropractors as a posture rehabilitation exercise. If youíre unfit, start with the glute bridges then advance to the back bridge as you get fitter.
To perform this exercise, lie flat on your back and bend your knees. Place your hands beside your head such that your fingers are facing the body. Then push the body off the floor to support yourself with the arms and feet only. Try to push your back as high as possible. Hold that position as long as you can and repeat at least 3 times.
These exercises will definitely improve your posture and even burn calories. Perform them as frequently as possible.