Exercises to Help You Stand Straight, Tall and Confident
Feb 23, 2022
Posture is not exactly something that is supported in our day-to-day lives. Between slouching at a desk, sitting in the car, or lounging on the couch, a straight back and tight core are not easy to maintain.
Not only can you see bad posture, you can feel it. It often manifests as a sore back, tight neck, tense shoulders or just not feeling your best. When you’re in the studio, you’ll hear us cueing all kinds of adjustments like “keep your stomach in” “shoulders back” “head high”, but how can you make sure you’re working on your posture when we’re not there to bug you? Here are a few exercises and stretches you can do to keep yourself standing (and sitting) tall:
Plank - Begin on all fours on the ground. Either come down to your forearms or plant your palms firmly into the floor. Lift your knees off of the ground making sure that your hands are in line with your shoulders and your legs are pushing straight back behind you. Hug your stomach into your belly button. Hold for as long as you can.
Side Lying Leg Raise - Lie on your side with your bottom hand supporting your head and your other hand pressing into the mat in front of you. Pressing your bottom leg into the mat, lift your upper leg as high as you can without twisting your hips (keep them square). Repeat 20 times.
Bridges - Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet pressing into the mat. Lift your hips up to the ceiling, squeeze your butt and hold for a few seconds, then lower to the ground. Repeat 20 times.
Roll Up - Start by lying on the floor with your feet outstretched in front of you and hands above your head. Press your lower back into the mat and suck your stomach in. Press your heels into the mat, inhale, then exhale and lift yourself up off the ground keeping your back as straight as possible. Slowly lower back down vertebrae by vertebrae. To modify, you can put a towel under your back and/or keep your knees bent. Repeat 8-15 times.
Shoulder Shrugs - Stand tall with your shoulders rolled back and core tight. Squeeze your shoulders up towards your ears and hold for a few seconds, then lower your shoulders back to starting position. Repeat 10-15 times.
Reverse High Five - Stand tall with core tight, knees slightly bent, and torso slightly hinged. Straighten your arms with palms facing behind you. Keeping your arms as close to your torso as possible, bring your palms back and up, squeezing the back of your arms. Repeat 20+ times.
Chest Opener - Grasp your hands behind your back. Roll your shoulders back and pull your hands back and down as much as you can. Open your chest and breath. Hold for at least 20 seconds.
Superman - Lie on your stomach on the ground. Extend your arms in front of you and your legs behind. Engage your glutes, inner thighs, and arms as you lift your arms and legs as much as you can off the ground. Hold for a few seconds and then lower back down. Repeat 12-15 times.
Wall Angels - Stand with your back flat against the wall. Bring your arms up to make a W shape; try to press your whole upper body into the wall (it’s okay if you can’t – work towards it!). Try to keep your upper body on the wall as you slide your arms straight above your head. If you’re not able to maintain contact with the wall, just try your best and it will get better over time. Repeat 10-15 times.
Walnut Crushers - Stand straight with your arm out in front of you at shoulder height, palms facing down. Squeeze your arms back so that your shoulder blades come together in the back (like you’re trying to crack a walnut in your upper back). Hold for a few seconds before releasing back to the front. Repeat 12-20 times.