Exercises and Stretches to improve your body posture with a whole-body approach. so let’s get started. so one of the biggest things to have a improve posture is to work on the neck. a lot of times, especially if you’re working on a computer or maybe you’re gaming all day long, you tend to get that forward neck posture. you know as you’re focusing on something, you get more forward and move forward. so, here is the 5 proven way to improve your posture.
Chin tuck for improve your body posture
So one of my favorite exercises/stretches are the chin tuck. and the chin tuck is just a great way to help strengthen the muscles, stretch the muscles, and kind of reset those neck muscles for your posture.
so it’s pretty easy. all you have to do is keep your chin in a neutral position. so right now for this one, it’s not tucking in this way, it’s tucking and going this way. try and keep everything kind of in a neutral position, and just tuck everything in.
so you’ll get lots of little Chin’s right there. sometimes, you don’t always have to, but I like to put my finger on my chin just to give myself a target, and then you’re gonna leave the finger in the same spot, tuck in, hold it for about three to five seconds, and then release and then a lot of times you’ll see there’s a little bit of space in between. That means you’re kind of resetting those muscles. so again you might not be able to do as much as I do.
I do chin tucks all the time. This is something that I work on because a lot of times I get that forward head posture. so you might not get that big movement, you might just go from here to here which is okay. More practice will make you better.
so maybe just start off with five, five with three to five-second holds. but again pulling it in, holding that really kind of resetting those neck muscles in there, relaxing. you don’t have to use the finger, I think just a lot of times when you’re first starting out doing it it’s nice to have that target.
Chin tuck with deep flexor muscles for improve your body posture
so the next one is still a chin tuck, but now we’re going to add in getting the deep flexor muscles. so you are going to tuck your chin in as well. so start off with the regular chin tuck going back, and then to help activate those deep flexor muscles, now you’re just going to try and bring that chin down towards your chest.
you can see this isn’t a lot of movement, even when I do it a lot. it’s not because you’re kind of bringing everything in and getting those deeper flexor muscles, which aren’t the big ones that pull it down this way. so you want to get those closer to the spine, that cervical spine, to help stabilize everything, strengthen everything, and get that better posture in there.
so I would say the same thing, you come back into that chin tuck. maybe do five just slow chin tucks down for that deep flexor muscles in there. but again don’t go to pain or anything. just go to tension and feeling that stretch. so it shouldn’t be painful while you’re doing it.
so once you kind of work on the neck muscle areas, then you want to go into the chest area or the thoracic area. because a lot of times with bad posture, people kind of curl over like this and that’s a sign of tight chest muscles and weak upper back muscles.
Thoracic extension movement for improve your body posture
So one of the exercises that I really like to help with upper back muscles is to lie down on your tummy and do kind of what we call a thoracic extension movement. that just kind of help work those muscles but this one again it might be a little uncomfortable if you’re you know really tight in the front and not a lot of muscles working in the back.
so don’t feel like you’re gonna make a big movement like me the first time. but it’s something that if you have a pillow to kind of put over your tummy area, it’s nice because it just kind of helps protect your back and everything. so you’re just gonna lie over the pillow.
it could be on your tummy slash chest area a little bit. you can put your hands wherever they’re comfortable. I like to kind of put them like this because that helps kind of open up that chest area. and all you’re gonna do is bring your upper body or shoulders and everything, you can kind of do a chin tuck while you come into it. so do that chin tuck first and then pull back again.
you shouldn’t go to any pain. if you’re feeling any pain in your low back area, you’re probably pulling up to too much. so just come up till you feel some tension and again try and hold that for maybe three to five seconds.
And then nice and slowly coming back down. so again maybe just starting off with five. If you haven’t done these before, they might be a little bit uncomfortable, but really trying to see if you can get that bigger movement without pain. but again if you haven’t done this before, you might only be able to get to right there, which is fine, but if you can come up higher without that pain that’s what you want to try and do because that’s going to help activate those muscles.
You can also do this way which is going to help get those upper back muscles a little bit more. and come up with this motion. so when you come up, you’re bringing those elbows back. and so that’s kind of a step up that makes it a little bit harder. so you can see I’m working a little bit harder and coming and then holding that position. and then nice and slowly coming back down.
Chest stretches for improve your body posture
so that would be the next step to it if the other one is easy. the next ones are going to be standing up. so now I want to go into some chest stretches. we’ll go back to some upper back strengthening exercises in a second, but I really wanna get the chest stretch out now because again, if we’re like this, you know if we’re on the computer or we’re gaming or doing something where we’re focusing this way a little, a lot this rolls forward.
So we want to get those chests and those PEC muscles stretched out. so an easy one to do, you can do them you know to stretch out in a corner and things like that. but if you don’t have easy access to that, you can just take your hands and clasp them behind your back like this.
you should feel it right in here where those PEC muscles are. so pushing down and out, pushing the chest kind of forward, if you want to bring those chin in just a little bit to get that chin tuck as well. and this is the full stretch for 30 seconds. so this is a nice hold stretch. you want to hold it for that full 30 seconds.
do some nice breathing with it really to get that stretch. if you just want to do deep breathing see how many deep breaths you can do for 30 seconds so you don’t have to count out that 30 seconds. take a little break, and do that three times in a row.
Upper back strengthening exercises improve your body posture
so once you get that nice and stretched out we’re going to go back into some more upper back strengthening exercises. and we’re gonna use a resistive band for that.
if you don’t have a resistive band, you can just do the motions and still get it. but most of the time you can get some resistive bands from anywhere. Just make sure you know what the strength is for each brand because each brand’s different colors mean different things. so I would always start off with the lightest one.
I have a little bit heavier than the one just to do these just so you can see the band a little bit better because the red color works. so this is going to be rows. rows really help those upper back muscles.
when you’re standing to do these, you can do them sitting down or on the floor, but when you’re standing just anchor them on to a wall somewhere. and the key that you want to do is try and keep your shoulders down. a lot of times people will come up like this. a lot of times people will use their arms or pull in like this, but you’re really using those upper back muscles to get the rowing motion. so it’s just like it sounds. it’s like you’re rowing a boat.
I like keeping my thumbs up on top. you might see people do different things, I also like staggering my stance because a lot of times if people stand with their feet together, they end up wanting to really extend their back, and you want to keep your back straight up and down while you’re doing these.
keep your elbows pretty close to your body and just pull back and in squeezing those shoulder blades together when you do it. and making sure that you’re using those back muscles, not your arms.
so you’re coming in getting that nice squeeze, and then really just coming back controlling that band. so when you’re coming back, you can see elbows are pretty close to the body. so they’re not out like that, that’s a different exercise. this one is coming in this way.
so depending on how difficult these are for you if you haven’t used a resistive band before you again might just want to do five to ten a couple of times a day and see how it feels. so the next one is going to be a little combination of a face pull. You might see me do some face pulls with some external rotation of the shoulders to really open up that chest, really strengthen the back muscles.
so what you’re gonna do this time is you’re coming higher up kind of towards your face. special disclaimer alert! anytime you’re using a resistive band, but especially if you’re pulling towards your face, make sure it’s securely anchored or somebody’s holding onto it tightly because when you’re pulling towards your face, you don’t want it to come loose and hit your face.
so make sure you’re using them correctly because you don’t want it to come back and smack you in the face. so what you’re gonna do this time is you’re coming higher up kind of towards your face, but we’re gonna do it a little bit further out just so I can get that external rotation in my shoulders while I’m doing it.
so my thumbs are coming back this way, and I’m turning. see how I’m rotating back? so it’s kind of a combination move where I’m getting that shoulder rotation, kind of going into that stop sign with those thumbs coming back to get that motion.
You should really feel that up in the back kind of between your shoulder blades, that’s where you want to feel that motion. but you see I’m not just coming back towards my face, I’m also getting that rotation in my shoulders as I go. so again just starting off with five to ten depending on how your comfort level is. they should never be painful. if they’re painful, you might not quite be doing it right, or you might not be ready for it.
Hip Flexion exercise for improve your body posture
so then the last set of stuff is coming down to your hips. a lot of times when you have that posture that’s not so great, you kind of come in. you’re walking around like this. and you can see that my hip flexors are weak, that’s why everything’s kind of rotating this way, and those hamstrings are tight. so you want to strengthen those hip flexor muscles. again you can do these without a band.
if you’re first starting off, you might not want to use a band, but if you want to use a band for resistance, you can. I also always suggest holding on to something. you know a sturdy chair, a countertop when you’re doing these. and then you can progressively go away from it because it requires a lot of balance too.
so all this is going to be is a simple March motion, but you’re using a resistive band to help get those hip flexors. you want to keep your feet about that hip-width distance apart the whole time. The band’s going to want to pull your foot towards each other, but you really want to keep them out because that’s gonna activate the other muscles as well. somebody’s saying something.
so all you’re doing is you’re just gonna march with the band. so you don’t have to bring that knee up really high to start off with. if you’re using the band you’re just coming up and you can see this is a balance component as well.
so that’s really gonna help strengthen those hips. But I’m trying to keep those feet apart when I’m coming up, bringing that knee up. so I’m really getting those hip flexors working as I’m doing that marching motion. so again you might want to try these without the band first, just doing a regular March which you can do because again it’s a balance component.
so start off holding on to something, and then if it gets easier, you can go without, and then if that gets easy you can use the band too. the same thing, just start off with a little bit a couple of times a day and then you can progress from there if it’s feeling better. so then the last one is just hamstring stretches.
so again if we’re like this and our hips are rotated back behind us those hamstrings are going to be tight and they’re pulling us back and we kind of get into this position.
so an easy way to stretch the hamstrings, you can do them on the floor, in your bed, sitting, and then standing. and so standing is nice because if you’re somewhere you just want to stretch out, you don’t really need anything except just a little bit of balance. so again, if you want something to hold on to you can, but you’re just going to prop the foot out in front of you that you want to stretch. The key is to keep your legs straight.
so if your knee is trying to bend, you’re not going to get a great hamstring stretch. pull up your toes. That’s going to help activate those calf muscles as well to give you a double stretch and bring your hips forward. a lot of times people want to come down like this, but that’s not going to give you the best hamstring stretch. keep your hips forward, keep your back straight, and just bend forward at your hips.
so it’s not curling down trying to touch your toes. I’m actually getting less of a stretch then if I keep my back straight. and just then bend forward at my hips. and you should feel that stretch at your hamstrings right there. so again this is a full stretch. you have to hold it for 30 seconds. get that nice hold in there. do some deep breathing with it to help relax those muscles. take a little break and do that three times. so there you have it. These were stretches and exercises for the better posture of the body.