Strengthen your upper body and improve your posture with these 7 easy exercises

Reverse bad posture using your bodyweight and a few household items

Woman doing resistance band exercise
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you’re sat slumped at a desk all day, or constantly on your phone, the chances are you probably don’t have the best posture in the world. But by strengthening the muscles in your upper back, chest and core you build a better one, which is exactly what this workout intends to do. It’ll only take you 20 minutes and, technically, you don’t need any equipment as you can use household items, but if you do own a pair of dumbbells, or even two kettlebells, grab those. 

The most common issues caused by bad posture include back pain, neck pain, rounded shoulders and forward head posture. But according to Harvard Health it can even trigger heartburn as the like heartburn and even slow down digestion due to the pressure placed on your abdomen. They say the key to fixing it is "strengthening and stretching the muscles in the upper back, chest, and core".

For this workout you've got seven exercises to complete and you'll work through each one for 40 seconds, followed by a 20 seconds rest. You want to complete three rounds in total. 

As we mentioned earlier, you don't need any home gym equipment for this workout, as we've listed items around your house that you can use. Try and do this workout two to three times a week and if you're unsure on how to do any of the exercises, watch the video above. Here's your workout:

  • Farmer’s Carry – add some books to two rucksacks and carry by the handles
  • Banded shoulder rotation – use a long broom, dressing gown tie or resistance band
  • W press – grab two water bottles or two small tins
  • Reverse flies – grab two water bottles or two small tins
  • Bicep openers – grab two water bottles or two small tins
  • W press exercise 
  • Dorsal raise

If you don't think you'll be able to fit this in three times a week, don't worry, here's eight stretches you can do right from desk to keep you sitting tall. Another option is incorporating these three expert-approved exercises into your weekly workout, which will take no longer than five minutes. Yoga is also excellent for enhancing your posture, so if you fancy giving that a go, here's three beginner yoga moves that will definitely help.

Bryony Firth-Bernard
Staff Writer, Active

Bryony’s T3’s official ‘gym-bunny’ and Active Staff Writer, covering all things fitness. In her spare time, you will find her in her natural habitat - the gym - where her style of training is a hybrid of bodybuilding and powerlifting. Bryony loves writing about accessible workouts, nutrition and testing innovative fitness products that help you reach your fitness goals and take your training to the next level.