What Does Bad Posture Look Like?

Unfortunately, bad posture is extremely common—a lot of us don’t even realize it. Someone with bad posture might be slouching with rounded shoulders. On the other hand, they may keep their shoulders too far back.

They also may have an arch of their lower back, a hunchback, bent knees, or their head or stomach may tilt forward.

If any of these positions sound like you, then your posture needs to improve. If you experience body aches or pain in your lower back, hamstrings, neck or shoulders, these are strong signals of incorrect posture as well.

What Does Good Posture Look Like?

For a general reference point of good posture, your ears, shoulders, and hips should be in a straight line and your body should feel upright and balanced. This alignment will place the least amount of strain on your joints and muscles.

What Are The Benefits Of Good Posture?

Bad posture results in spinal compression. By improving your posture, you elongate the spine. This spinal elongation can actually increase your overall height. No matter how old you are, and depending on the compression of your spine, you can potentially add up to 2 inches in height.

Also, good posture keeps your bones and joints properly aligned which results in more optimal muscle function. Correcting your posture even has an impact on improving breathing patterns and alleviating those body aches.

With these benefits in mind, try out these 5 spine elongation exercises to help improve your posture fast:

1. Y Presses

This exercise significantly helps with full upper body posture correction. Set up against a wall and place your lower back, upper back, rear delts, elbows, wrists, and head against the wall. Angle your arms upward in a Y formation.

Slowly lift your arms up while ensuring your lower back, upper back, rear dets, elbows, wrists, and head stay against the wall for the entire duration of the movement.

Go all the way up and then come all the way down, bringing your elbows as far down as possible.

Try to do this exercise for 3-4 sets of 15 slow and controlled repetitions.

2. Seated Openers

This exercise significantly helps neck, shoulder, and upper back correction. Begin by sitting straight up without a back rest. Put your hands behind your head and bring the elbows inward. Emphasize your chest and elbows upward.

Start by coming slowly forward with your head and tuck your chin is as far as possible. Then slowly untuck your chin until your head is back in a neutral position and slowly lean backwards with your upper back as far as possible without arching your lower back.

Repeat this motion and try to perform 15 reps for 3-4 sets.

3. Seated Yoga Ball Twists

This exercise significantly helps lower and upper back posture correction. Set up by sitting upright on a yoga ball with your feet planted firmly on the ground. Hold a medicine ball or some form of weight with your arms straight out in front of you.

Rotate slowly as far as you can to the side and then rotate slowly all the way to the other side. Keep your arms elevated and straight out in front of you the whole time while maintaining a neutral spine position.

Perform 3-4 sets of 10 reps, where 1 complete rep is a full rotation of both sides.

4. Hip Openers

Hip openers significantly improve leg and hip correction. Set up by placing one leg forward while planting the heel into the ground with the shin to thigh in a 90 degree angle. Be sure to keep your knee behind your toes.

Place the other leg behind you with the knee on the ground and use your hands on the ground for stability. Slowly lift the back knee up off the ground until you can look back and see your toes.

Rotate the outer hand all the way up to the ceiling, hold it for a few seconds, then slowly come back down. Now rotate the inner hand all the way up to the ceiling, hold It for a few seconds and come back down.

This full motion is considered 1 rep. Do this for 3-4 sets on both sides for 10 reps.

5. The Cobra

This exercise significantly helps neck, shoulder, upper back, lower back, and hip correction. Set up by going down to the floor with your hands under your shoulders and your fingers facing away from you.

Lift your chest as far off the ground as possible by straightening your arms. Look upwards and stretch out the core.

This cool down stretch is extremely effective in posture correction. Do this 2-3 times for 30 seconds.
Utilize these 5 exercises to help you improve your posture—they will make a tremendous difference. You can do these exercises as a full posture improving workout or maybe just throw them in your exercise rotation throughout the week!

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.mike rosaExercises & fitness tips