Poor posture, which includes rounded shoulders and a forward neck, is the result of incorrect length-tension relationships and muscle imbalances. To correct these problems you must do strength training exercises for your weak muscles and stretching exercises for tight areas.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Exercise mat
- Stability ball
Run or walk in place for 10 minutes to warm up.
Lie face down on an exercise mat to do a cobra exercise to correct rounded shoulders. Lift your upper body, including your arms, off the ground as high as you can comfortably go. Pinch your shoulder blades together and hold for three seconds. Inhale and lower yourself back on to the mat. Do 10 to 15 repetitions.
Flip onto your back and bring your legs straight into the air. Press your lower back into the mat. This exercise will help you build strength in your abs and pelvic floor muscles. Lower your legs as low as you can while keeping your back flat. Hold for three seconds, and then lift your legs back up. Do 10 to 15 reps.
Lying on your back, put a stability ball between your thighs and squeeze. Hold for three seconds. Do 10 to 15 reps.
Repeat Steps 2 through 4 twice, for a total of three sets.
Lie on your back and pull your knees into your chest to stretch your lower back. Hold for 30 seconds.
Sit on a stability ball with your legs locked in front of you slightly open like a "V." Lean over until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings. Hold for 30 seconds.
Stand in a doorway and place your right arm against the door frame with your elbow bent at a right angle. Put your left foot forward and twist to the left until you feel a stretch in your right pec (chest) muscle. Turn around and switch arms and legs to stretch your left side. Hold each for 30 seconds.
Tips and warnings
- Always stand and sit up straight. Throughout the day keep your abs pulled in, your hips naturally tucked under you, and your shoulders and neck pulled back. Even if you are sitting down be aware that your abs are squeezed and your shoulders are back. Be especially mindful when sitting at a computer.
- The core exercises in Steps 2 through 5 should be done three times a week. The stretches can be done daily, even twice daily.