Best 3 Exercises for Posture
Go on the internet and you can find lots of recommendations on exercises to improve posture. I wondered how anyone would know if they work or not. Many of the exercises you see focus on “core” strength and addressing overall strengthening. This is part of a whole approach and isn’t totally complete. Core and overall strength are important but especially relevant to making a change to your posture quickly is to isolate the weaker muscles and lengthen the shorter muscles.
This article is intended to impart three basic exercises that I have used and seen predictable, consistent results. Ever wonder what the best exercises are for improving posture? Here are the top three exercises I have found that have worked with amazing results to address posture correction.
The Wall Angel
I give credit to the American Posture Institute for teaching me the Wall Angel. It was a major game changer in my practice and improved my posture correction results substantially. Here is how to do it.
Stand against a wall with your heels touching the wall. In position 1 place your arms at a 120 degree angle to your body. Press your shoulder and arms into the wall. You will notice that most of your back is not touching. This gap we want to close, so press as much of your back into the wall as you can. The final pose will be your head, hands, forearms, shoulders and back against the wall.
The second piece to this will be to add the breath. Breathe in through your nose then exhale through your mouth like your trying to inflate a ballon (doing this correctly will cause the sides of your torso to tighten). Do this four times all while holding your body against the wall. Once you have done this then you can move onto position 2 and 3. In these positions you will do everything the same including the breath only in position 2 you have your arms at 90 degrees and position 3 you have your arms at 45 degrees.
Position 1 Position 2 Position 3
This stretch is considered a “hip opener”. Over the course of almost two decades of healthcare I have found one major muscle group that is involved with poor posture and 70% related to low back pain.
The psoas and iliopsoas muscles are core muscles and major hip flexors. Often times it has shortened due to lack of use and or too much sitting. The key to making the most of this exercise is to hold the position for 1-2 minutes alternating sides and repeating each side three times.
Ball back bend
The back bend is a great way to work towards more permanent change to your posture. Use an exercise ball or pillow that you can lay on, putting your palms up, thumbs toward your head.
It works on the principle of load and tension on elongating ligamentous tissue. The ligamentous tissue is one of the main components of the body that can contribute to poor posture. Be careful. If you experience any dizziness, light-headedness or nausea when performing this exercise – stop. That being said it is a great exercise and an integral part of posture correction in my clinic.
I recommend starting with only a few seconds to test your tolerance. If you are able to perform for 30 seconds to 1 minute then it will most likely be a safe exercise to continue. Ask a healthcare practitioner such as a chiropractor, physical therapist or other posture expert who is familiar with this for help.
Once you are able to perform 2-3 minutes comfortably then every 2 weeks increase the duration by 1-2 minutes. The goal is to hold this position for 15 continuous minutes. Tips on the exercise ball size: on average a 65 cm works well. However you may need a smaller or bigger ball in order to keep your legs at a 90 degree angle.
Wondering what the best exercises are for improving posture? I know you will find these to be as effective as I have. These top three exercises work great for improving posture.
Dr. Paul Paez, DC, NRT, NET, CMT
National Board Certified Doctor of Chiropractic (DC), trained in clinical nutrition (NRT), neuro-emotional release (NET), and Massage Therapy (CMT). Dr. Paul holds the rare triple distinction of Certified Posture Expert, Certified Posture Neurologist and Certified Posture Ergonomist by the American Posture Institute. Posture Possible is the very best resource for posture information.