Now that we’ve settled into a brand new year, it may be time to address an issue that many of us have, but tend to ignore: our back posture.
The issue of posture is an important one for those of us who sit at a computer all day. What’s worse is that bad posture can lead to trouble falling asleep, or long-term issues with your spine. With that in mind, here are three exercise routines that will help fix bad posture.
Disclaimer: The following exercises and this article are not medical or health advice. If you experience pain trying any of these activities, immediately discontinue them.
1. Try These Exercises to Fix Forward Head Posture
The first posture quick fix is a trio of easy exercises that you can complete at home. Brought to you by backintelligence.com, these exercises—and the YouTube channel they’re featured on—are run by a group of chiropractors, physical therapists, and personal trainers.
Back Intelligence’s mission is to find a posture fix, before and after.
In the video above, a licensed chiropractor explains what “forward head posture” is. Basically, forward head posture is an “abnormal posture” that arises from sitting in front of computers, heavy texting, or driving.
The human head weighs a lot. If you move your head forward to focus on something, it can cause stress along your shoulders and neck. This in turn, can lead to back complications.
Back Intelligence recommends a set of three exercises that you can do in ten minutes or less. The first exercise is a two-finger “chin tuck.”
- In this exercise, either stand or sit up straight. Gently place two fingers against your chin.
- Next, press your head back with your fingers, and hold.
- Back Intelligence strongly cautions against this exercise if it causes you pain. Feeling a little uncomfortable, however, is normal.
The second exercise that you can do is designed to stretch out your shoulder blades.
- Rounded or sloping-forward shoulders are a side-effect of bad posture.
- In this exercise, Back Intelligence tells you to lift your arms up into a “W” position.
- After that, bring your shoulders together and down, so your shoulder blades move together.
- Once again, Back Intelligence stresses that you should not do this exercise if it causes abnormal pain.
Lastly, Back Intelligence recommends that you do the “YWLT exercise,” to fix posture.
- This exercise is a series of back-and-arm movements.
- You complete it by moving your arms into various positions in a cyclical repetition.
- The “YWLT exercise” is more complicated than the previously mentioned stretches, but it doesn’t take long to do.
While our own opinion on these posture quick fixes is anecdotal, after trying them we immediately felt better. I personally stood straighter and had less pain in my back while I was sitting at my desk.
Please Note: Although these exercises have immediate results, those results are temporary. In order to undo years of bad posture, you’ll have to make stretching a regular, daily occurrence.
2. Try These Exercises to Fix Rounded Shoulders
The next posture quick fix review that we think you should watch is this video by Doctor Jo. She’s a licensed physical therapist over at askdoctorjo.com. The video reviews a posture corrector that you can use to fix your back. It also goes through a series of exercises to help you with rounded shoulders.
While this set of exercises has some overlap with the first group that we mentioned, the difference here is that the video specifically focuses on your shoulders.
The first exercise that Doctor Jo advises is a chin tuck.
- We’ve covered chin tucks in detail at the beginning of this article, so there’s not much more to add.
- However, you’ll be happy to hear that Doctor Jo’s advice is identical to Back Intelligence’s. So you’re getting standard exercise instructions across the board, whichever video you choose to watch.
This video also recommends a set of shoulder squeezes.
- The goal of this exercise is to squeeze your shoulder blades together to reposition the muscles.
- By doing this, your shoulders should unclench from their rolled position.
If you have a lot of shoulder pain from working at a desk, this video also covers the benefits of using a back brace to get your shoulders into a better position. However, the presenter stresses that braces should only be used in the short term.
Finally, the video covers the benefits of using a resistance band to do shoulder squeezes, along with an explanation on an incredibly simple arm stretch that most people can do from the comfort of their chair.
Make sure to try these exercises out if you’re short on time or if you have a very busy schedule.
3. Try These Exercises to Strengthen Your Back
Lastly, we wanted to mention this informative video from pelvicexercises.com.au, which works on strengthening your back muscles.
The presenter of this video, Michelle, has a long history of working as a physiotherapist, with a focus on women’s health. Her video on back strengthening is not well-suited for everyone looking for a posture quick fix, but she does offer some great solutions for anyone who wants to ease themselves into a daily exercise routine.
In her video, Michelle walks you through a series of standard exercises that you can complete at home. She then moves into the benefits of using a foam roller to work out the stiffness in your back.
Lastly, she talks about strengthening exercises that you can complete at the gym—if you have access to one.
While it may be difficult to find time away from your busy schedule to complete this set, we still recommend watching the video if you’re interested in long-term health.
You can also look into yoga as an alternative. These free courses and apps for yoga beginners will show you the way.
Exercise Daily to Fix Your Posture
One final thing that we want to stress before you try any of these exercises:
As stated at the beginning of the article, these stretches are not a remedy for spinal problems. If you have doubts about these exercises in relation to your own health, do not do them. All we’re trying to do with this listicle is help you find the most useful information for fixing bad posture online.
Image Credit: jehsomwang/Shutterstock
Read the full article: This 3-Minute Exercise Will Actually Fix Your Posture