Six exercises to help improve posture

Poor posture can lead to pain in many areas as we get older. Here are some exercises to help you maintain a good posture. 

  1. Arm ups
  • Sit or stand with arms at sides. 
  • Breathe in as you raise your elbows to shoulder height. 
  • Bring your shoulder blades together. 
  • Return to the starting position and repeat 10 times. 
  • Keep your hands in front of your chest. 
  • Try to keep your shoulders relaxed and down during the exercise. 
  • Keep your chin tucked in during the movement. 
  1. Spinal Extension
  • Sit in a chair with arms at sides or on lap. 
  • Maintain a relaxed spine. 
  • Inhale as you slowly sit up as tall as possible. 
  • Then exhale slowly as you relax the back and chest. 
  • Repeat 10 times. 
  • This exercise can also be performed standing. 
  • Concentrate on abdominal breathing, bring the air all the way down to your belly button. 
  • Keep your shoulders relaxed as you inhale and sit tall. 
  1. Chin, Tuck and Jut
  • Begin by sitting comfortably in a chair. 
  • Relax your spine and lift your ribs. 
  • Slowly tuck your chin in, then down to your chest. 
  • Then continue the exercise by jutting your chin forward. 
  • Relax and return to a neutral position. 
  • Make sure you sit with your ribs lifted and shoulders back and down. 
  • Try looking down when bringing chin to chest, then straight ahead for chin forward position unless this makes you dizzy. 
  • Don’t hold your breath, breathe normally. 
  • Remember to bring your chin back first, then down to your chest. 
  1. Shoulder Circles
  • Sit comfortably in a chair. 
  • Lift your ribs and relax your spine into a neutral position. 
  • Slowly raise your shoulders up, back and then down. 
  • Relax your shoulders and repeat 10 times. 
  • Try breathing in as you raise your shoulders, lifting the ribs. 
  • Never hold your breath when exercising. 
  • Look straight ahead and focus on ‘setting’ your shoulders in the back and down position. This is a good posture habit. 
  1. Shoulder Blade Squeeze
  • Stand with your arms comfortably at your sides. 
  • Try to find a neutral spine position for your pelvis and mid back. 
  • Begin by bringing your shoulders back, then squeezing your shoulder blades together. 
  • Relax and return to the resting position. Repeat 10 times. 
  • Try not to arch your back when bringing your shoulders back. 
  • If it is hard to maintain good spinal posture when standing, try this exercise in the sitting position. 
  • If you experience pain when squeezing your shoulder blades together, stop and relax your back. 
  1. Wall Tilts
  • Stand with your back against a wall. 
  • Your feet shoulder width apart, knees are unlocked. 
  • Place one hand behind your back. 
  • Try to flatten your low back so your hand feels increased pressure. 
  • Relax and repeat 10 times. 
  • If this is too difficult to do standing up, try this exercise sitting down. 
  • Maintain your upper body in correct posture throughout this exercise by keeping your ribs lifted and shoulders back and down. 
  • If you have pain in one shoulder, try the other arm. If both shoulders are painful and you are not able to place your hands behind your back, flatten your back against the wall or chair.

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