There are many ways to improve posture and the best strategies involve awareness, stretching, and exercising around good posture. Although there are many stretches and exercises that can help improve posture, there is one in particular that is especially helpful.
This post has two videos to demonstrate an example of the best stretch and exercise for improving posture. Although there are many that can be done, this one in particular addresses a lot of components needed to get into good posture. What I like about this one movement for better posture, is that it is a stretch and an exercise all at once. If done properly, you will engage your core, strengthen muscles in between your shoulder blades, and stretch and strengthen your neck all at the same time.
I call this reprogram your posture pattern because it really is like trying to reprogram your brain to change how you get upright. This movement is only useful if it’s done several times/day. Consistency is the number one thing for success in just about any endeavor, and changing your posture is no exception. I recommend doing this exercise for better posture 6-8 times/day and to hold it for 10-20 seconds each time. I do this as a warm-up and a cool down before and after exercise. Doing this before exercise is especially great because it gives you a better awareness of the correct posture that you can take with you during your workouts.
Okay, so now that you feel like you have a more upright posture, it’s important to stabilize and strengthen around it. There are many exercises that can help with strengthening good posture. In this post and video, I’m using a deadlift. The deadlift exercise requires core stability while engaging almost all spinal muscles at one time. This exercise, although very beneficial can cause injuries in some people if not done correctly. Please utilize a good coach or personal trainer if you’ve never done this before. Also, if you have any spine or hip injuries, consult with a spine health specialist before pursuing this.
One other thing to keep in mind is that there are different posture types. There isn’t one thing that can address everything for everybody. My next set of posts and videos will be Move Right for Your Posture Type. In this series, I will go over the different posture types of postures and give specific recommendations for each of them.