Not only is stretching VITAL for posture, but so is strengthening (which is often forgotten). We’ve highlighted the top 5 BEST Stretches and Strengthening Exercises for your posture to do WHILE WORKING!
More home exercises and stretches to come soon…stay tuned!
Note: It’s best to perform each of these stretches/exercises every 1-2 hours while you’re working, so set an alarm on your computer or phone to remind you, otherwise you’ll surely forget!
Chest Opening Stretch To Improve Posture:
Start by standing up in a comfortable position. Clasp your hands behind your back by making a basket with your hands. Draw your shoulder blades backward and raise your hands away from your back. Be sure you’re not jutting your chin out or forcing your head forward. Inhale and exhale 5 long breaths (deep breathing is important), then release your hands. Repeat 5 times.
Arms Overhead To Relax Your Shoulders:
This stretch can be performed seated or standing, although I recommend standing up so you get out of that darn chair. Clasp your hands together overhead, palms facing the ceiling. Hold that position for 5 breaths, and, if you want to make it even more exciting, stand up and down on your tip does with each breath (inhaling arms overhead on the tip toes, exhaling arms down and feet flat on the ground-repeat). This will activate your leg muscles as well and improve circulation. Repeat this stretch 5 times.
Lateral Neck Stretch To Loosen Neck Muscles:
This stretch can also be performed seated or standing, although I still recommend standing to get your blood flowing. Using your right hand, grab the left side of your head and gently bring your right ear toward your right shoulder. Be mindful not to raise your right shoulder up to meet your ear (this makes things worse). Extend your left arm toward the ground or, alternatively, place your left hand behind your back, palm facing out, to add more resistance. Hold for 5-10 seconds, repeating 5 times on each side.
Photo Credit: http://www.healthcare-online.org/How-To-Relieve-Neck-Pain.html
Wall Angels To Strengthen Back Muscles And Improve Posture:
Channel your inner child when you do these…think snow angles! Place your body against a wall, bending your arms at the elbows. Ensure your neck and lower back are as against the wall as possible-you may have to tuck your chin and tilt your pelvis to do so. Slowly raise your arms up overhead, maintaining your arm contact with the wall, then slowly lower them back down. Repeat 10X.
Photo Credit: https://ergobaby.com/blog/2015/01/strenthening-a-babywearers-posture/
Alternatively, if you don’t have a wall or a door, or just totally feel totally embarrassed doing this in the office, you can simply stand or sit and retract your shoulder blades together, maintaining a neutral spine with your arms down by your side (or arms can be in a T-shape with bent elbows at 90 degrees so fingertips point toward the ceiling and palms face forward). Hold the retraction for 5-10 seconds and repeat 5 times. This will strengthen the muscles in your middle back as well.
Photo Credit: http://www.elitepttc.com/shoulder-rehab-part-iii/
Chin Tuck Exercise To Strengthen Neck Muscles:
While seated or standing (I used to always do this in my car at red lights), draw your shoulders back and retract your head, almost like you’re giving yourself a double chin. Hold for 3-5 seconds and release. Repeat 10times, 3+ times daily.
Photo Credit: http://www.krsnaphysioplus.com/simple-exercises-manage-cervical-neck-pain/
Medical Disclaimer: If any of these exercises cause pain or discomfort, please see a chiropractor or physical therapist, as there may be something else going on. Be smart and listen to your body!
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Want more information about something else? We’re always open to suggestions!
Thanks so much for reading! Here’s to better posture and better health!