6 Workouts For Better Posture That'll Actually Help You Sit Up Straighter
If you take a look at, well, probably every single person around you, perfect posture might seem like an absurdly far-fetched myth. I mean, good posture still does exist, but in a society that runs on smartphones and desk jobs that seem to place permanent curves in our spines, you definitely have to work extra hard for it. Adding a couple of workouts for better posture into your daily routine is one way to go about slowly but surely straightening out your slouchy spine.
Keep in mind, poor posture isn't just something your mom nagged you about throughout your childhood for no reason whatsoever. Hunching over on the reg can lead to gnarly long-term side effects like chronic back pain, joint issues, and even progressively weakened muscles. Practicing proper posture is the key to avoiding these issues, and these workouts will do wonders to strengthen all the right muscles and make sitting up straight feel like the easiest thing in the world.
Whether you decide to try these bad boys out on your lunch break, or you make it a regular routine to wake up with in the morning, these workouts will slowly bring you up and out of that constant hunch — but you've got to work for it!
1. Locust Pose/Back Extension For Some Serious Strength
This intense back-strengthening move — which is commonly included in yoga flows, BTW — is really good for strengthening your torso, making it a no-brainer to include in your posture-perfecting workout routine.
Try doing a few reps of this back extension when you wake up in the morning. It's an excuse to give yourself a few extra minutes in bed before you start your day, and of course, it'll get you well on your way to slump-free posture.
2. Plank Pose To Practice Stability
You might be wondering what in the world plank pose has to do with straightening out your hunched over back, but the truth is that abdominal strength is so key when it comes to balance and posture.
Though it might seem like your spine is the only thing that's involved in an upright stance, your chest, shoulders, abs, and neck all play major parts in regulating your posture as well, and good ol' planks work all of these areas simultaneously.
3. Chair Pose To Activate Those Glutes
Chair pose engages the muscles in your legs and glutes so you can stabilize your spine and stand up straight and tall wherever you go.
Squeezing in a couple repetitions of this exercise at the end of your day, when you feel like you've just spent eight or more hours in a fixed, slumped position, will open up your chest and stretch out your shoulders. Trust me, even though this pose definitely challenges your muscles and makes you feel a bit of a burn, it really helps to make you more aware of your posture.
4. Bird-Dog Exercise To Strengthen Your Core
Bird-dog is a challenging ab workout that's really great for building core strength and practicing stability in your spine, both of which are crucial for improving your posture.
As you get more and more used to this workout, you can increase your repetitions and literally feel yourself getting stronger. When you finally get up off your mat, you'll feel like your posture is better than it's been in years.
5. Side Plank To Sink Into Alignment
Side plank is a typical plank variation that may look easy from afar, but trust me, it requires some serious total-body engagement and fierce focus. This bad boy strengthens your core and tones up the muscles responsible for keeping you in an upright position when you're perched at your desk during a typical day at the office or in class.
Try holding a side plank for 30 to 90 seconds on each side of your body to start, and increase your time as you become more comfortable with this tricky move.
6. Donkey Kicks To Reverse Your Hunching Habit
Donkey kicks are a highly practical and functional exercise, and in addition to helping you sit up straighter, this move will really strengthen your butt and your glutes.
For real, your ass will probably be on fire after just a few reps of this exercise, but if you keep at it, you'll absolutely love the results.