Having good posture takes body strength.
There’s a reason why (if you don’t normally have good posture) positioning your body in the correct, upright stance can be tiring! Although it is the most correct and natural position for your body, having correct posture actually takes muscle work!
There are several exercises and stretches you can do to strengthen your core muscles and make having proper posture easier and even comfortable. The core muscles are abdominal and lower back muscles that are attached to the spine and pelvis. Strengthening these muscles makes having correct posture feel like a piece of cake.
Four At Home Exercises:
1) Glute Bridge Single Leg Extension
How to do it: Lie on your back, holding your stomach muscles in, with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle and slowly straighten one leg, keeping it straight above your knee. It’s important to keep your lower back on the floor, so not to strain your back. And always alternate legs to get an equal stretch. Complete 3 sets of 12 reps.
Why is this good? This is a core stabilizer. It strengthens your core so that when you train your posture for longer, without getting tired. This exercise trains your core to work with your pelvis.
2) Cobra Pose- Back Extension
Image Credit: yoganonymous
How to do it: Lie on your stomach with the palms of your hands flat on the floor near your chest. Exhale, pull your abdominal muscles in, and then raise your head and chest off the floor, pushing up so that you lengthening your spine while keeping your hip bone on the floor. Look towards the ceiling to get a really good stretch in. Then slowly lower yourself back down to the floor. Repeat this 3 to 5 times.
Why is this good? This exercise works to directly strengthen your back muscles that help extend the spine and prevent slouching and back pain.
3) Back extensions
How to do it: Lie flat on your stomach with the palms of your hands placed between the floor and your forehead. Slowly lift your chest off the floor, while at the same time making sure not to overextend your neck. Your neck must remain parallel to the floor. Keep your chest off the floor for 3 to 5 seconds and repeat 10 times.
Why is this good? This exercise works to strengthen your lower back muscles.
4) Forearm Plank
Image Credit: Indian Weight Loss Blog
How to do it: Place your forearms on the ground with your elbows directly below your shoulders. Extend your legs straight, with your toes tucked below your feet, as if in a push-up position. Hold this position for 30-60 seconds, depending on your fitness level.
Why is this good? The dreaded plank exercise is the best because of its difficulty. While in plank, you are working your obliques, shoulder, and back muscles. It is the ultimate trifecta.
Tips and Reminders:
In every exercise it’s super important you keep your abdominal muscles sucked in! Holding your abs in is essential for strengthening your core muscles and getting the benefits from these exercises. If you have mild back pain, these exercises will help you relieve your back pain and aid your posture. BUT if you have severe back pain, you must talk to a doctor before starting a back strengthening exercise program.
And remember that these exercises can be completed alongside your Upright training plan. Strengthening your core muscles will help you keep up with your training plan and ease you into maintaining proper posture for longer.