Have you been sitting at a desk for work or class for hours on end? Well, you aren’t alone. Many of us struggle with good upright sitting posture, especially for prolonged periods of time. There are many ways to help combat the slouched over sitting we have all succumbed to at some point in our lives! And luckily Sworkit can help you improve your posture through a combination of stretches and exercises.
Where Do I Start?
In order to combat poor posture, we want to stretch the muscles along the front of your torso that have been shortened from being in a hunched position, and strengthen the muscles along the back that can help keep a nice upright posture.
Muscles that we want to stretch: upper trap, levator scapulae, pectoralis major/minor. To put it simply, you want to stretch muscles in your chest.
To effectively target your chest area you can do a quick doorway stretch or chest expander exercise. You can also lay on foam roller and extend your arms up over your head or to the sides in order to really increase your chest stretches! Also, Some rotational neck stretches will help target that levator scapulae and upper trap region.
Muscles that we want to strengthen: rhomboids, middle/lower traps, erector spinae, neck extensors and core muscles.
A few exercises to target these areas are T raises, laying back extension, chin tucks, rows, supermans, planks and reverse planks. You may be thinking, “wait, aren’t some of my core muscles in the front too?” And you are correct! The whole concept of stretching the front and strengthening the back does have some exceptions — with core being one of them. A strong core is essential to having correct posture (both for sitting and standing). Having a strong core will also translate into engaging those muscles while exercising which can prevent injury and ensure proper technique throughout each movement!
How Can I Hold Myself Accountable to Improving My Posture?
Correcting your posture can be tricky because it’s affected by daily activities like working, watching TV, and sitting at the dinner table, so it’s extremely important to be aware of your posture in order to correct it.
Pro Tip: Set an alarm on your phone or desktop every couple of hours that alerts you to correct your posture or perform some of the stretches/exercises I mentioned above.
By being more aware of our posture we can more effectively correct it. Often times we don’t even realize our posture is bad until we’ve been sitting like that for an extended period of time. So, try find something that reminds you to fix it throughout your day and practice your exercises and stretches regularly and you’ll see improvements in no time! All of the stretches and exercises we mentioned can be found in our Sworkit exercise library, check them out!