There are lots of reasons for the slouch we see on most people these days. As you may have guessed, one of the main reasons is sitting for hours on end in front of the computer in very poor seating positions in a couch or office chair. You can’t avoid working on the computer, but you can improve your posture with various exercises which will prevent any harm to the spinal cord and neck. Check out these extremely effective exercises which will help you get rid of slouching posture:
8 Exercises to get rid of slouching posture
Slouching is not only bad for your body, but it can lead to poor self-esteem, and you may have a belly which might tend to extend in the abdominal area. Slouching can lead to stiffness, fatigue, headaches, muscle atrophy, weakness, digestion, sciatica, muscle strain, poor circulation, joint discomfort, back pain and so on.
When you begin the exercises, you might experience some back pain, as the muscles which have not been used for a long time and experienced ‘muscle fatigue’, will be activated and cause some pain. But keep doing the exercises and over time the pain will disappear.
1. Back Extension
This exercise to fix bad posture strengthens the back muscles and protects your spine from further injury. This will get rid of slouching and thus improves posture. It’s excellent for people who sit for long hours.
- Lie on the stomach and put the forehead on the ground
- Place arms by your side and press palms on thighs
- Straighten the elbow, put legs together while drawing the toes
- While exhaling, lift your head, chest as well as the upper abdomen from your mat, but keep your hands and feet in the first position
- Inhale and gradually come back to the first position
- Repeat this for 10 times
2. Doorway stretch
Along with the back, years of sitting in slouching posture, leads to sunken chest too. To eliminate slouchy pose of sitting and correcting sunken chest, this is the perfect exercise.
- Stand within any doorway and bend the right arm at 90 degrees, and place the forearm against the frame of the door
- Keep the bent elbow at shoulder height
- Rotate the chest towards the left till you feel a good stretch in your chest as well as the front of the shoulder
- Hold this pose for about 30 seconds and repeat the exercise with the left arm
This exercise will help to get rid of slouching if you continue doing it every day.
3. Thoracic Extension
- Put foam roller horizontally and lie down on the back. The roller should be perpendicular to the spine, or go across the shoulder
- Lifting the glutes from the floor, use the heels to move back’n’forth
- Keep on rolling till you find a point where you feel very uncomfortable. Stop rolling and hold for about 20-30 seconds
4. Crucifix stretch
Slouching makes your muscles of the back short, which leads to bad posture. You should do this every day to help undo the shortened muscles.
- Stand with arms extended to the sides at shoulder height. Turn the wrists so that the thumbs are backwards and pull the arms as though you are stretching your chest. Hold and return to do another round.
5. Lying Y Handcuff
- Lie down with your back hyperextended and head raised from the floor
- Extend your arms out in front of you in a ‘Y’ position, with the thumbs pointing upwards
- Pull the hands back till they meet at the back
- Reverse the exercise till you’re in the front position
6. Shoulder stretch
Loosen the shoulders with this great shoulder stretch exercise. Be careful while you do this, however. You’ll need a broomstick or PVC pipe which is approximately 5 ft long, and a resistance band.
- Hold your broomstick/pipe or band with overhand grip. If you have inflexible shoulders, then keep your grip wide, but if shoulders are flexible, then keep your grip narrow
- Lift the pipe/broomstick in front slowly, then put it over the head, till it reaches the back/butt, and come back to the first position
- Repeat this 10 times
7. Back pain exercise
This exercise will help in reducing back pain. The upper back is the part of the back which is most problematic. You have to attend to the upper back in order to get relief from pain in your back and fix bad posture.
- Put your hands as well as knees on the mat, palms should be under your shoulders and knees below the hips
- Breathe in and pull the abdominal muscles as you arch the back up, as though you are cat which is stretching. Let the tailbone and head drop down to the floor
- Return to the first position, then keeping the neck and head up, push your upper back up, supporting it with the abdominal muscles. The neck should not sink into the shoulders and shoulders crunch to the neck, and the head should not fall back. Hold as long as you can, and repeat the entire exercise 5 times.
This exercise may be a little hard, but it will get rid of slouching and get rid of the hurt you feel in your back.
8. Pectoral Ball Smash
To make the muscles in front of your chest tight, do this exercise with a ball, so that the tightness can be released. The ball exercise will make you get rid of slouching posture by helping to firm up the chest muscles.
- Place a tennis ball on the chest as well as the wall
- Roll the tennis ball around the chest till you discover the spot of discomfort and let it rest on that spot for about 10-20 seconds. The pressure at this point will help to release the tight and knotty muscles
- Continue rolling the ball to find out more trigger spots. Do this for as long as required.
All these exercises are not very tough and doing them everyday will help to get rid of slouching and will be able to sit without pain in the back or neck. Besides, a better posture will give you more confidence and boost your self-esteem.