Top postural exercises
With many of us currently working from home, exercises to improve posture and mobility have become important. Sitting for prolonged periods of time places excessive stress and strain on muscles, ligaments and joint structures around the spine. Common conditions related to sustained and poor postures include headaches, neck pain and back pain. Whilst home office set up and ergonomics are important, moving at regular intervals and doing exercises to offset sitting are incredibly effective. Our physiotherapist Michael Scardamaglia demonstrates some great exercises to improve your posture and maintain spine flexibility.
What exercises are best for posture?
Exercises designed to target flexibility and mobility around the upper back and neck are important to offset time spend sitting. Combined with exercises to strengthen the core then assist to maintain better postural positions.
The following exercises as demonstrated in the video below can be of assistance.
This is a great exercise to improve core strength. It is also a useful exercise for those that may be experience low back or mid back pain.
- Start on your hands and knees, with your hands under your shoulders, and knees under your hips.
- Tighten the abdominal core muscles.
- Extend the opposite leg and the opposite arm. Try to avoid allowing your trunk or hips to twist or rotate.
- Aim to make a straight line from the tips of your fingers to the tips of your toes keeping your back straight. Avoid arching your low back.
- Lower your arm and leg back down and repeat on the other sides.
This is good dynamic stretch for the upper back.
- Lie on your side with your arms outstretched on the floor. Comfortably position your legs – your lower leg can be straight whilst your top leg is bent in a comfortable positions. (If uncomfortable, feel free to rest your upper leg on a pillow)
- Lift your top arm up from the floor towards the roof.
- Rotate across as far as comfortable allowing your head and upper body to turn.
- Gradually lower the arm back down and repeat.
This exercise is useful for neck mobility and strengthening your deep neck muscles which assist with maintaining good head position when sitting.
- Lie flat on your back with a small pillow or folded towel under your head.
- Tuck your chin in gently and turn your head to one side. Concentrate on keeping your chin tucked in and your head in contact with the towel or pillow.
- Return to the starting position.
- Relax and repeat to the opposite side.
Combining these specific exercises with general exercise such as walking, running, swimming and resistance exercises are crucial to assist with maintaining flexibility.