5 exercises to improve posture and alleviate back pain

BBrandon August 25, 2023 7:07 AM

Maintaining good posture is essential for a healthy back, but many of us fall into the trap of bad habits such as slumping in our chairs or hunching over our keyboards. These habits can lead to chronic back pain, but the good news is, you can improve your posture and alleviate back pain with some simple exercises. Here are five key exercises to try out.

1. Child's Pose (Yoga)

The child's pose is a great exercise for stretching and relaxing your back muscles. This yoga pose helps to elongate the back, which can provide relief from discomfort and can promote better posture.

To perform the child's pose:

  • Start by sitting on your heels.
  • Bend forward and stretch your arms out in front of you.
  • Rest your forehead on the floor.
  • Hold for 5-10 breaths and then return to the starting position.

2. Cat-Cow Stretch

The cat-cow stretch is another excellent exercise that can help to improve spinal flexibility and promote a healthier posture.

Here's how to do the cat-cow stretch:

  • Start on your hands and knees.
  • Slowly arch your back, looking up towards the ceiling (Cow Pose).
  • Then, round your back and tuck your chin into your chest (Cat Pose).
  • Repeat this 10 times.

3. Shoulder Blade Squeeze

The shoulder blade squeeze is a good exercise to try if you spend a lot of time at a desk or computer. It can help to combat the forward slump that often comes from sitting at a desk for extended periods.

To do the shoulder blade squeeze:

  • Sit or stand with your back straight.
  • Pull your shoulders back and try to squeeze your shoulder blades together.
  • Hold for 5 seconds and then release.
  • Repeat this 10-15 times.

4. Wall Angels

Wall angels are a fantastic exercise to help correct 'text neck' and other forms of bad posture caused by leaning over screens and devices.

Here's how to do wall angels:

  • Stand with your back against a wall.
  • Lift your arms up to the sides, keeping your palms facing forward.
  • Slowly raise and lower your arms, keeping them in contact with the wall.
  • Perform this exercise for about 10 repetitions.

5. Plank

The plank is a classic core strengthening exercise that can be incredibly beneficial for improving posture. A strong core supports your spine and can help to prevent back pain.

This is how to do a plank:

  • Start on your hands and knees.
  • Lower down onto your forearms, making sure your elbows are aligned with your shoulders.
  • Step your feet back into a plank position.
  • Keep your body in a straight line from your head to your heels.
  • Hold for as long as you can, aiming for 30 seconds to start.

Remember, everyone's body is different so what works for one person may not work for everyone. Always consult with a healthcare professional before beginning any new exercise routine, especially if you have any pre-existing conditions or injuries. Consistency is key, so try to incorporate these exercises into your daily routine for the best results. Also, consider pairing these exercises with a healthy diet, adequate hydration, and good sleep to further complement your posture improvement efforts.

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