Bad posture is everywhere. Look around and you’ll see it… perhaps in your very own mirror! When we slouch the shoulders round forward and the head extends forward instead of upward. This kind of posture can lead to excessive kyphosis (rounding in the upper back) and it can be mild or severe.
According to the Mayo Clinic, postural kyphosis is caused by slouching and not deformities of the spine. Postural kyphosis is the type of kyphosis we are focusing on today.
Improve your posture by stretching and opening tight chest muscles. You can do many of these exercises during a quick break at the office! You’ll breathe easier and feel more energized.
Hands Behind Head
Place hands behind head and open elbows wide. Breathe deeply expanding the chest with each inhalation. Hold 30 seconds.
Clasp Hands Behind
(with Optional Hamstring Stretch)
Stand with feet hip width apart (or feet wide to add a hamstring stretch by folding forward). Soften knees. Roll shoulders back and down. Clasp hands behind the back keeping arms straight. If shoulders are too tight to clasp, hold a towel or strap. Gently lift hands to increase the stretch.
Place palm of hand to wall about shoulder height (adjust hand higher or lower to achieve the stretch you desire.) Gently turn body away from hand.
Hold 30 seconds.
Reverse and repeat.
1 Arm Doorway Stretch
Bend elbow to 90-degrees. Place elbow and palm on doorframe or the edge of a wall (elbow at shoulder height). Lunge opposite leg forward.
Gently lean forward into stretch.
Reverse sides and repeat.
Lay on a foam roller with knees bent and feet to floor for support.
Open arms wide.
Relax chest muscles more with each exhalation.
Towel or Strap Rotations
Hold a towel or strap.
Place hands wide enough to gently lift arms overhead and behind you.
Move slowly and with control.
Repeat 10-15 times.
Next week we’ll look at upper back strengthening exercises to help improve your posture.