Postural exercises can be done daily to improve your body alignment, strengthen weak muscles in the spine, hips and core, and reduce pain symptoms that are caused by poor posture, such as low-back pain. These kinds of exercises do not require special equipment, and you can do them several times a day everyday and anywhere.
Wall Sit With Shoulder Press
This exercise strengthens the deep core muscles in your trunk and your spinal muscles and improves awareness of how your spine is aligned.
Sit with your back and head against a wall with the soles of your feet pressed together in a butterfly shape. Keep your knees relaxed, and you should feel a stretch in your inner thighs. Place your arms against the wall bent 90 degrees at your elbows and push your body, arms and hands backwards. Without losing contact with the wall, slide your arms and hands up until your biceps are almost touching your ears. Exhale as you slide up, then slowly slide your arms down to start position. If you cannot extend your arms all the way up, go only as far as your body allows. Repeat the movement pattern until you feel fatigue in your shoulders and arms. Rest for 20 seconds and repeat for two more sets.
Doorway Chest Stretch
Most people who work in front of a computer for a long time tend to have tight chest muscles in the front while their scapulae are pulled forward, causing a hunching posture. Stretching the chest and other anterior muscles will help minimize the poor posture.
Stand with one leg in front of the other and place both forearms (bent at 90 degrees at the elbows) against the doorjamb. Lean your body forward and push your hips forward while keeping your spine tall. Hold the position for three deep breaths, lean back to starting position and repeat three to five more times until you feel looser and more relaxed in the front. Repeat the movement on the other side.
Standing Wall Press
This exercise helps you strengthen the deep muscles in your spine and abs while improving your posture and making you appear taller. Stand with your back against the wall with your head, shoulders, buttocks, calves and the back of your hands touching the wall. Push your body and hands as hard as you can into the wall as if you are going to sink into it. Take about five to six deep breaths as you are pushing. You may take more breaths if you wish. When you have finished, walk around the area for 15 to 20 seconds and feel the effects of the exercise. Maintain the tall posture you have gained and return to the wall to repeat the exercise three more times.
Lateral Fascia Stretch With Twist
This exercise stretches your entire lateral fascia and muscles that run from your shoulders down to your outer knee. This exercise is beneficial to you if you have one hip or one shoulder higher than the other. It also helps to increase flexibility in your thoracic spine while keeping your hips stable.
Find a doorjamb, pole or other sturdy object and stand about arm-distance away from it. Bend laterally toward the object and reach your top arm over your head to grab the support. Then grab the support with your lower arm and exhale. Push your hip away from the support and rotate your chest and torso slowly up. Turn your head to look up as you do so. Keep your hip and feet pointing forward.
About this Author
Nick Ng has been writing fitness-related stories since 2003, focusing on nutrition, injury prevention and exercise strategies. He received his Bachelor of Arts in communications from San Diego State University in 2001 and is a certified fitness coach from the National Academy of Sports Medicine since 2002.