If you sit at a desk all day, the chances are your posture probably isn’t perfect and you may even suffer from some niggling aches and pains. But the good news is you can do something about it with these three simple and straightforward strength exercises.
When you have bad posture, it’s a bit of a slippery slope to all other sorts of problems: back pain, shoulder pain, forward head posture, neck pain, hip pain – the list goes on! Plus, if you're someone who likes working out a lot, you're only increasing your chances of injuring yourself and performing your exercises with poor form.
These three exercises recommended by Dr. Aaron Horschig are simple, yet effective. They’re ideal for doing in a gym environment as part of your warm up (whether it's upper day or not) Otherwise, if you want to do them from home, buy yourself a resistance band and a pair of dumbbells.
Here’s what they are:
- Thoracic spine extension – It may sound complicated, but it’s really not. You’ll need a chair or a weight bench. Sitting up on your knees, place your elbows onto the bench and round your back. Then, drop your chest towards the floor (you should feel a stretch in your mid back). Breathe in and out five times.
- Banded face pulls – Either attach a pull-up resistance band to a squat rack, or use a cable machine. You want the band higher than your head so that you can pull it down towards your face. With both hands, do a small pull of the band, pause, then continue pulling it towards your forehead, spreading the band apart as you near your head. Aim for 12 to 15 reps.
- Farmers walks — You’ll need a pair of kettlebells or dumbbells that equate to half of your body weight. Taking one in each hand, stand up straight, engage your core and walk in a straight line. Start with a minute (30 seconds forwards and then back).
You should be doing these every single day that you're about to start doing a workout, despite whether it's squat day. If your posture has been giving you a bit of grief, especially with your hips, then we’ve got a great 30-second hip mobility exercise that you need to try. If it’s your back, then here’s two bodyweight movements that will help relieve your back pain in two minutes.