Need To Improve Your Posture? What Exercises Can Help?

Posted on: 21 September 2017

If you've grown tired of averting your eyes from photos that depict you with a hunched, rounded back, or if you've begun dealing with chronic upper back pain that you suspect may be related to your poor posture, you may be wondering what you can do to improve your posture on your own (and without taping a ruler to your spine). Fortunately, strengthening these supportive muscles can often improve your posture even without any conscious effort on your part, and building muscle strength can carry with it many other benefits as well. Read on to learn more about some exercises you can perform to improve your posture for good. 

Chest and Shoulder Rolls

You may assume that the exercises most likely to naturally improve your posture require you to push your shoulders back and out of their more rounded position. However, strengthening the muscles that radiate out from your breastbone to your shoulders and upper arms can actually do far more good in this area; by strength training your chest muscles, you'll be able to restore balance to your upper body and ensure that you're able to hold your shoulders high even when you're not thinking about it. 

If your workouts generally consist of walks to and from your office, you'll want to start slowly to avoid muscle strain or burnout. Rolling a tennis or lacrosse ball against the tightened muscles in your chest and shoulders can relieve tension and allow you to loosen up a bit, while stretching exercises like extra-slow push-ups, planks, and even certain yoga poses can build strength without adding bulkiness. If you're feeling just a bit sore the next day, this is a good sign your training is working; however, soreness that leaves you unable to comfortably walk or lift slightly heavy items may be a sign you should take it easy for a few days to let your body heal. 

Cross Training Upper Body Muscles

The best way to quickly build muscle strength is to engage in exercises and stretches that challenge different muscle groups. Your body is designed to become adapted to repeated exercises; this can make things easier for you when performing some type of manual labor, but also makes it tougher to push your muscles past the "adapt" point to engage in actual strengthening. 

You may want to consider downloading a daily strength training exercise application that focuses on upper body strength; by performing a different set of exercises each morning and evening, you'll be able to keep your muscle groups guessing while slowly (and permanently) improving your sitting and standing posture.