8 Exercises To Improve Posture And Reduce Back Pain

8 Exercises To Improve Posture And Reduce Back Pain

Grandma was right. She probably told you countless times to stand up tall, walk straight, stop crouching, and keep your head up high. Literally. Walk like you mean it. 

Older now, you probably wish you’d listened to your Nan. Your posture is an undeniably important part of your well-being. Good posture is a lot more than a fancy stance and a tucked-in tummy (this isn’t even easy). 

It’s the Jet Age. Bad backs aren’t exclusive for the aged anymore (pun intended). This is despite the fact that we are not hewing stones up hills anymore. Our love affair with technology has us crouching over phones and personal computers for hours on end every single day. The result? Exhausted eyes and strained backs. We certainly cannot talk about the ergonomic issues of modern living enough. 

Good posture while walking, standing, sitting, reading, and doing chores is super beneficial! You will have fewer aches/pains, more energy for productivity, and you’d exude confidence! 

Back pain due to bad posture is quite common

Even worse, it may be paired with neck aches, joint inflammations, or tension headaches. When you walk into a room, your body speaks before your lips move. A confident posture starts you off on the right foot. 

You won’t always feel drained like a phone battery and you are definitely going to be more productive when you are pain-free. 

Easy workouts for great posture.

In this article, we’ll discuss 8 fuss-free exercise routines that can help improve your posture and reduce mild or chronic back pain. [1] What’s better? You won’t need fancy equipment or a gym. These can be practiced in the comfort of your home or office. Basic requirements?  A strong will, consistency, and a clean floor. 

Remember, your musculoskeletal system is complexly composed of many different muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones. The point is to stretch relevant muscles, strengthen your ligaments, loosen stiff joints, and maintain your spine in its most natural position. Your abdominal and lower back muscles are especially important.

Your muscles are actually trainable, and believe it or not, they are obedient too!

A bad posture creates unnecessary curvatures and tension. The goal is to correct these. We’ve tried to use catchy names and descriptions so they can stick easily. [2]

More than a Squat

Keep your feet wide apart and go really low with the squat. Do a crisscross of each hand so that it touches the contralateral foot. Raise one hand up and then down while tilting your head to the same side. Switch hands and repeat for a minute.

A comfy stretch

This is much like satisfying pandiculation and focuses on your upper back. Sit on a firm chair with your back slightly off the chair. Put your hands on the back of your head. Make a recline and press your back to the chair. This works on the muscles of your upper back and straightens the spine.

The Star Gaze

Think of laying on the grass to stare into the sky. 

Place a firm cushion on the floor. 

Lie prone with your buttocks on the edge of the cushion. Only your arms should touch the cushion while your forearms rest on the floor. 

With your arms by your side, extend your neck by touching your jaw to your chest wall. Lower your chest down so that your back rests on the cushion.

Gently exhale and inhale slowly for about 10 minutes. Your muscles should start to relax. You may then move progressively up the cushion. 

Like an open pair of scissors

With arms by your side, stand with your feet wide apart. Make sure your back isn’t arched. Do a crisscross of your arms like an open pair of scissors so your elbow joints form the nut of the scissors. Open for about a minute then criss-cross them again with the other arm on top. Repeat; you will feel your shoulder blades working.

As an eagle…

One of a bird’s flying techniques is trapping air under its wings. This is a lot like that. 

Start with your feet apart making sure your back is relaxed. Let your knees be slightly flexed.

  1. Make a side ‘V’ shape with both upper limbs by flexing your elbows. You should feel your shoulder muscles contract. 
  2. Bring your arms together unfolding the ‘V’. Repeat steps a and b for about a minute.

Over-the-top

Not in the usual sense. You’ll need a stretchy material for this one, perhaps a scarf or a pair of old tights.  Hold the material taut with both hands in front of you. Your fingers should jut out. In that position, move the material over the top of your head and then behind your back.  Do this over and over for about 1 minute. 

Do a hyped-up dance

Like someone starting to dance pumped up, go on all four limbs. Place one hand in front of you on the floor. Let your free hand touch the back of your neck. Then, bring that hand down with the tip of the elbow facing the floor. Raise that free hand above your head while tilting your head into the side of the hand. Do this for about a minute before switching sides.

Like your favorite feline 

Ever seen the graceful stretch of a cat? 

Doing this routine right positively affects the middle of your back.

Place a plumped up pillow on the floor in front of you. This should support your forearms.

Get on bended knees on the floor with your gluteal muscles in the direction of your heels.

Take a deep breath with your back crouched. With your arms still on the pillow, exhale and let your chest fall to the floor.

Remember, some are a tad trickier than others. Work within your exercise tolerance levels and gradually kick it up a notch. If you had a really bad back, please discuss these workouts with your doctor before proceeding. 

References

  1. 12 Exercises to Improve Your Posture.” Health Line. Emily Cronkleton. Retrieved September 25, 2020.
  2. 6 exercises that improve posture and reduce back pain.” NBC News. Stephanie Mansour. Retrieved September 25, 2020.
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