Out of all the things you can do to take care of yourself, maintaining good posture is one of the best. Unfortunately, this is something many of us don’t work on nearly enough. This can sometimes be from a lack of effort, but many aspects of our lives can often make it harder to have good posture. Between lounging on the couch, staring at your computer, or always looking down at your phone, your posture takes a toll.

It can be easy to forget about your posture during the day, but doing certain exercises can help you learn how to stand up straighter and prevent back, should, and neck pain. Here are the best posture exercises that you need to try.

Child’s Pose

Child’s pose is a simple exercise that you can do that won’t even feel like much work. In fact, you’ll likely feel relaxed while you’re in child’s pose, as it’s often used to help release tension. To get into a child’s pose, start with your hands and knees on the ground. Next, lower your stomach so that it’s resting in between your thighs and reach your arms forward as far as they’ll go with your forehead on the ground. While in child’s pose, remember to breathe deeply.

Plank

In a plank, your feet should be hip-width apart with your elbows on the ground directly under your shoulders. When you’re in a plank, it’s important that you look straight down at the ground, not at what’s in front of you, while keeping your neck in line with the rest of your body. Your whole body should be in a straight line during this. While you’re in a plank, you’ll also be getting a great workout for your core. It does take a lot of strength to correctly hold a plank, so if you’re not quite there yet, doing a plank on your knees can also help your posture. 

Cat Cow

Cat cow is the perfect way to gently stretch out your body while fixing your posture. Start with your knees hip-width apart on the ground and your hands placed directly under the shoulders. Cat cow pose begins with cow pose, where you’ll lower your stomach to the ground and arch your back while you raise your chin to look upward. To move into cat pose, pull your spine and stomach up towards the ceiling and point the top of your head to the ground. Continue to transition from one to the other to help your posture. 

Wall Angels

If you’ve ever made a snow angel, a wall angel will feel very familiar. This is a quick exercise you can do anytime to help realign your posture. To do a wall angel, start by standing with your back pressed flat against a wall. Then, raise your arms, hold them against the wall, and bend your elbows at a 90-degree angle. After holding your arms bent against the wall, begin to move them straight up while keeping them pressed to the wall. Lower them back to a 90-degree angle and continue this movement. 

Forward Fold

To do a forward fold, start by standing with your feet together. Next, bend your upper body forward while keeping your legs as straight as you can. While you’re folding forward, you should be reaching your hands to the ground and allowing your head and shoulders to hang down. When you’re doing a forward fold, it’s okay if your hands aren’t able to reach the ground, just as far as you can stretch. Slightly bending the knees is also fine if that’s what your flexibility allows you to do. 

Downward-Facing Dog

Getting into a downward-facing dog is simple if you start by standing with your feet hip-width apart and reach forward as if you were doing a forward fold. Rather than letting your hands hang down, walk them forward until your arms are reached out in front of you and your tailbone is pointing toward the ceiling. While you’re in a downward-facing dog, your back should be straight and your ears should be in line with your arms. A slight bend in the knees is also fine for those who aren’t able to completely straighten them.

Schedule a Physical Therapy Appointment

Seeing a physical therapist is a great way to ensure you have good posture and to get professional help to do exercises for your posture. At Cawley Physical Therapy, we can help you work to improve your posture and relieve the pain that can be associated with bad posture. When COVID-19 concerns are over, schedule an appointment with us to get the help you need to get better posture.