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If you spend many hours working in your home office, stuck in front of a computer at work, or even just texting at your desk, your posture is probably suffering for it. After spending much of your day bent over working and texting, you can get into the habit of slouching. Even worse, you might start to feel some pain in your neck or back.
If you don’t work from a standing desk, regularly standing up to do simple exercises as you plow through work can help improve your posture. If you want to improve the way you sit and stand, below, you can find six home exercises to improve your posture.
1. Cactus arms
Who knew that posing like a cactus could improve your posture by strengthening your shoulders, arms, and chest? While standing up, on an inhale, reach your hands up to the sky. On an exhale, bend your elbows to a 90-degree angle while gently lifting your chest. The pose will make your upper back do a mini-bend that also stretches your chest. You can repeat this exercise five times in one go.
2. Wall angels
Wall angels train you to keep your shoulders back while having a neutral spine and a stronger core. They can also reduce neck pain. To do a wall angel, stand with your back against the wall. It’s best to keep your feet out a bit from the wall so you can keep your entire back and head against it.
Keep your hands, wrists, elbows, and shoulders in contact with the wall while bringing the backs of your hands up to touch the wall overhead. Then, bring your arms back down until they’re at a 90-degree angle. Repeat three to five times.
A plank is a simple exercise that can improve your posture if done correctly. However, doing a plank is often harder than it looks. Keep your elbows and forearms parallel to each other and hold your body weight up, keeping everything in a straight line while you flex your toes. It’s proper form to look down at the floor and keep your legs straight while not allowing your lower back to sink. Try to hold a plank for 30 seconds to a minute.
4. Reverse Plank Bridge
Reverse plank bridges are effective for lengthening and straightening your lower back while correcting rounded shoulders. Start off sitting down and place your feet flat on the floor. Your hands should lift your body with your shoulders back as your hips are facing upwards toward the ceiling. Your body should be flat like a tabletop. Hold the pose for about 30 seconds.
5. Child’s pose
Child’s pose is a stationary resting pose that stretches your neck, back, hamstrings, and glutes. If you want to try child’s pose, sit on your shins with your knees together and both heels splayed out to the side. Fold your torso forward at your hips and walk your hands out in front of you. Keep your arms straight in front of you with your head down for a minute to five minutes.
6. Mountain Pose
With the mountain pose, you can simply stand up and stretch to improve your posture and strengthen your abs, arms, and glutes. Stand with your feet hip-width apart while your arms are straight at your sides. Then, pull your shoulders back to lengthen your back. Turn your arms and hands outwards to deepen the stretch. Repeat to your desire.
Which posture exercises are your favorites? Sound off in the comments!