Today, we’re going through some the best posture exercises. Because it turns our default resting position is pretty important if we’re looking to move and perform as well as we can…
If you’re looking to improve your posture, it’s worth examining your daily habits.Take sitting for ages as an example. It’s not ideal, usually leaving the hip flexors tight and switching off the glutes, which anteriorly tilts the pelvis and can result in lower back pain.
If, we instead spend most of our day active and rarely sit in one static position, a ‘healthier’ resting posture is probably going to come more naturally.
But that advice doesn’t help us right now if we’re stuck feeling hunched over and uncomfortable!
We’ll explore a few important habit changes we can make another time, but first I want to dig into some of the best exercises to improve posture. Things you can use right away to feel and move better.
I’ve selected them as I feel like they give the most bang for their buck – opening up the key areas that most of us are tight though, and strengthening the bits that tend to be weak.
Perform this routine 3-5x a week or add some of the posture exercises into your workouts, and you’ll be saying sayonara to the slouch in no time.
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❓How I Selected the Best Posture Exercises
If you’re wondering how to improve your posture, it’s important to first realise this:
We don’t all have the same mobility restrictions and posture challenges. There’s never going to be a one-size-fits-all posture workout.
That being said, as a result of modern habits (yeah sitting, I’m talking about you again…) there does seem to be a few common themes that the vast majority of us could benefit from addressing, including:
If you’re a human being, chances are, one or more of the above apply to you.
🏋️♂️The 3R Mobility Method For Lasting Changes
As I touched on in a previous guide on improving mobility and flexibility, one of the more effective protocols I’ve found for making lasting changes is the 3R Mobility Method:
You can follow along with the whole routine with the video below, or scroll down to view each posture exercise in more detail.
A detailed breakdown of five of the best exercises to improve posture (plus two bonus mobility drills).
Chin tucks are excellent at strengthening weak neck flexors, reversing a forward head posture, and giving me a beautiful double chin.
Progression: Loop a resistance band behind your head, holding it taut with both hands. Glide back into the resistance.
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Wall slides are another great way to reinforce a neutral head position. They’re also excellent for restoring motion through the scapula (shoulder blades) and thoracic (mid-back).
Regression: If you can’t maintain that contact between the lower back and the wall, try walking your feet further away and bending your knees.
10-20 reps per position
Great for strengthening the rotator cuff and reinforcing a more stable shoulder position.
I’ve found that this variation also helps to engage the posterior chain and is great way to practice core stability and diaphragmatic breathing (a la Foundation Training).
Progression: Add weight with some light dumbbells or bands.
Regression: If the hinge is too much on the lower back, you can also use a bench or steady surface to support your weight.
10-20 reps per side
Rotational lunges are one of my all time favourite drills. They do a great job of opening up tight hip flexors whilst simultaneously activating the core and glutes.
We also get to wring out a boat load of tension through the mid back with a few forms of thoracic rotation.
Regression: Leave your rear knee on the floor for the starter version.
Decline calf raises are a great way to improve dorsiflexion at the ankle (often limited from wearing shoes with a heel) whilst helping to create ankle stability and strength.
Regression: If you struggle with the balance, hold onto something sturdy or use a stick to help keep you steady.
20-30 reps per side
As you might expect, the single leg glute bridge is excellent for reactivating the glutes after hours of sitting.
It’s also a useful drill to practice engaging the core in order to effectively stabilise the pelvis.
Regression: If you’re really struggling with the balance, feel free to regress to the standard two leg glute bridge.
The Serratus Anterior is often underdeveloped which can lead to an inability to properly stabilise, protract and upwardly rotate the scapula.
This can have knock-on effects on shoulder health and the mid back, often leading to scapula winging.
So there we have it – 5 of the best bang for your buck posture exercises. Give the routine a go or try out each drill separately, and let me know how you get on!
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