Poor posture is common among many people, but improving posture is possible. Often tips for improving posture will focus on stretching short muscles and endurance exercises for the upper back and neck. Those are definitely great concepts, but improving posture can take more than that. This article will show 3 mobilizing exercises for the underlying spinal area to allow common posture protocols to work even better.
The middle back, between the shoulder blades, is by nature stiff. This is due mainly to the fact that the middle spine is where the ribs attach to the spine. The modern adult spends much time sitting, often in front of computers and desks, which tends to create a forward slump in the upper back.
Improving posture first requires reducing the tightness in the thoracic spine and helping it extend backward, rather the flex forward. This in turn allows normal posture programs to work faster and more efficiently.
Exercises for improving posture
The first exercise for improving posture is for pure upper back extension. Sit in a chair with feet propped up on a small box or thick book, allowing the low back to slump. This is important so the exercise targets the upper back. Place a small pillow or towel roll at middle back. Cross arms and extend spine backwards. Perform about 10 repetitions a day.
Next, turn sideways in chair, again with feet propped up on a thick book with a slumped low back. Place the towel roll at your side as shown in the photo. Side bend into the chair, twist away, and extend backwards. First try each movement separate, and then do them in one smooth movement. Perform about 10 repetitions a day and repeat to other side. This promotes not just extension of the upper back but encourages spine rotation too.
The final exercise for improving posture begins in four point kneeling. Sit back on the heels and allow the low back to round out. Place hands on floor as shown. Visualize a string attached between your shoulder blades and extending to the ceiling and try to extend up to the ceiling. Next arch the opposite direction. This helps further loosen the tight thoracic spine. Perform about 10 repetitions a day.
Improving posture does not happen overnight, but by mobilizing the spinal area of the middle back, you will be on the right track. These and many more exercises can be found in either our desktop or online exercise software systems.