Maintaining proper posture is, quite unfortunately, something that is far easier said than done. And it really doesn’t matter how many times you make a mental note to yourself to be mindful of how you’re holding your shoulders while walking, or whether or not you’re hunching over at your desk. The fact of the matter is that mental reminders aren’t always enough to shake a bad posture habit. Luckily, something that can do the trick is strengthening those muscles in your back, shoulders, chest, and core that will make proper posture feel totally second nature to you. Here, we highlight five of our go-to moves to help you nail it.
Hip Flexor Stretch
When you sit for prolonged periods of time (who doesn’t?), your pelvis starts to tilt, which in turn hurts the natural curve of your lower back. Since tight hip flexor muscles are one of the biggest causes of the problem, it follows that stretching out your hip flexor will return your pelvis and lower back to their normal position.
Exercises that strengthen your turn ultimately help improve your posture because a weak core often leads to slouching. Deadbugs (aptly named, if we do say so ourselves) engage and strengthen your core to help minimize that tendency to slouch that often accompanies long days spent sitting at your desk.
When you work on improving and maintaining the strength in your upper back, that can help prevent posture issues like your shoulders rounding forward or your back hunching over. This move also calls for a stable, engaged core, which again provides additional support when you’re trying to keep your posture in check.
Aside from the fact that they help strengthen your core which – in case we haven’t quite driven the point home yet – in turn, helps you stand nice and straight on the regular, properly executed push-ups also manage to engage just about all of the muscles that play a role in supporting strong posture (think shoulders and spinal muscles).
This yoga pose is extremely effective in improving your posture as it strengthens your back and helps open up your chest. This then helps you naturally stand up straighter when upright and encourages you, over time, to stop allowing your shoulders to hunch forward.