4 Crucial Exercises to Maintaining Good Posture

by Norma Spencer

The importance of posture is not one that can be downplayed in any way. This is mainly because your posture would very much determine how much comfort you get right now and in the later years as well.

If you’ve got bad posture, there’s no escaping the pain and deformation that comes with it. In short, maintaining a good posture goes beyond just plain looking good. 

While it does help you look good, core elements like strength, balance, and flexibility can all be easily developed depending on your posture. This way, you can spend a productive day completely free of pain and filled with bubbling energy. 

In addition, the right posture can alleviate the amount of stress that your muscles and ligaments feel thereby significantly toning down injury risks. The unfortunate part about having a bad posture is that more often than not, you would not be conscious of it. 

However, working on improving your posture helps you become conscious of your muscles, aiding your quest to correct your posture. If on the other hand, you have good posture, then all you have to do is take it a step further to maintain it. 

If you were working out at a gym prior to the lockdown, it may be quite difficult knowing exactly what to do at home but there are ways to get past this

In line with this, here are four essential exercises for maintaining good posture, as well as developing a good posture, and what’s more, they can be easily done at home. 

Here goes: 

  1. Planks

When it comes to maintaining good posture, having a strong core is very essential. The plank exercise is a great core exercise that engages a mass of muscles in the body at the same time. A host of abdominal muscles, as well as muscles in the shoulders and back, are usually the recipients of a strength boost if the plank is done right. 

There are several variants of the plank and they all focus on strengthening various muscles. The most common version involves raising yourself on to your forearms with your spine straight in order for it to be effective. When starting out, 30 seconds is a great idea, but further, down the line, you could go for stretches of a minute, 2 or even 3. 

Another variant which is the high plank helps to ease pain and stiffness in the muscles while strengthening the shoulders, hamstrings, and glutes. It also helps with developing balance and strengthening the core and back as well.

Here are the steps to successfully executing this exercise:

  1. Go down on all fours with your legs straight and stretched out, lift your heels and elevate your hips. 
  2. Ensure that your back is completely straight and then focus on your arm, leg and abdominal muscles. 
  3. Stretch out your neck so that the back is lengthened, soften your throat and then look down at the floor.
  4. Make sure that your shoulders are back and your chest open. 
  5. Maintain thy position for about 45 seconds to 1 minute. 

2. Chest Opener 

Your chest plays a vital role in your posture and this exercise is aimed at strengthening it. If you spend most of your day sitting, your chest would tend to move inward.

Increasing chest strength invariably helps you stand up straighter and more upright. 

Here are the steps to successfully executing this exercise:

  1. Stand straight and then extend your feet until they are about hip-width apart.
  2. Let your arms go behind you and then interlace your fingers so that your palms press against each other. (If your hands cannot reach each other, make use of a towel)
  3. Ensure your head is straight with your neck and spine in line while you stare straight ahead. 
  4. Breath in as you raise your chest toward the ceiling and bring your hands toward the floor
  5. Hold this pose for about 5 breaths with each breath being deep ones 
  6. Relax and release continuously for some breaths
  7. Repeat this exercise 10-15 times 

3. Pull-Ups

While you may only be familiar with pull-ups for building upper body strength, it actually works wonders for the posture. 

It helps to maintain an upright and neutral body, keeping the lungs open and aiding easier respiration. In addition, regular pull-ups help to keep your shoulders from hunching or rounding and eliminates soreness in the neck and upper back.

 The great thing about pull-ups is that it can be done at any time and simply requires a simple high-quality pull-up bar. The pull-up bar also somewhat guides your posture during your pull-ups. 

Here are the steps to successfully executing this exercise:

  1. Grab the pull up bar firmly with your palms down while maintaining a shoulder-width grip
  2. Hang on to the pull-up bar with your arms straight and your legs off the floor 
  3. Pull yourself up by pulling your elbows downwards to the floor 
  4. Go all the way to the top bar until your chin passes the bar 
  5. Lower yourself slowly so that you feel the knots easing in your muscles 
  6. Repeat at least 10 times if you’re a beginner 

4. Cat-Cow Stretch 

The cat-cow pose is a unique yoga pose that serves to improve posture and strengthen the back and neck as well. 

Constantly practicing this stretch also helps to massage the spine and ease tension in the shoulders, neck, and torso while promoting continued blood circulation in the body. 

Here are steps to successfully executing this exercise

  1. Go down on your hands and knees so that your weight balances out evenly on all four points 
  2. Breathe in and look up, lowering your abdomen down are in the process and extending your spine
  3. Breathe out and arch your spine upwards while tucking your chin into your chest in the same motion 
  4. Repeat this simple process for at least 1-2 minutes. 

Good posture cannot be bought, it can only be worked for and consistent work is the best way to achieve this feat. Don’t stop!

Norma fully enjoys her editor career living an RV life with her family. Traveling with her parents and a 4-legged buddy Albert, she’s a devoted fitness, wellness, and tech writer freelancer. Norma is currently in Hungary, planning to spend at least a few more years in Europe.