A typical workday for many people consists of being hunched over a desk or laptop for 8 to 12 hours. Then most people will go home and slouch onto the couch. As a result, a 2013 survey found that Americans spend an average of 13 hours a day sitting.
Sitting for long periods can result in an increasingly curved posture that results in pain and slumping. Over time, poor posture starts to have a lasting effect on your body’s physical structure.
However, it is possible to correct your posture using a variety of stretches and exercises. Here are some easy ones that you can try every morning.
Active Child’s Pose
Active Child’s Pose helps by stretching the shoulders and arms as well as lengthening and stretching the spine. Start by sitting on your knees, then leaning forward on your hands, Your knees should be shoulder-width apart.
Your feet should be kept with the underside facing the ceiling. Slowly slide your hands forward to extend your arms out in front of you. Finally, drop your hips to rest against your heels and rest your forehead on the floor. Hold for five to ten breaths.
Standing Forward Bend
The standing forward bend stretch is brilliant for releasing tension in your spine, hamstrings, and glutes. The stretch also works on your hips and legs and lengthens the spine.
To achieve this stretch, stand with your heels slightly apart and big toes touching then fold forward at the hips. Extend the hands to the floor or onto a block before softening your hip joints, bending the knees, and lengthening the spine. Finally, tuck your chin into your chest and hold the position for up to a minute.
Cat-Cow stretches help encourage the spine to stretch and also act as a self-massage for your back. It is known for releasing any tension in the torso, shoulders, and neck while also encouraging blood circulation.
To practice the pose, come onto your hands and knees then inhale and look up while dropping the abdomen down toward the ground and extend the spine. Follow this by exhaling and looking down as you arch your spine towards the ceiling. Tuck your chin into your chest. Repeat the movement for one minute.
Cow Face Pose
Cow Face Pose stretches the hips, ankles, shoulders, arms, and chest as well as the hips and legs. You may find that it is easier to do the post on one side of the body than the other.
To achieve this post, begin by sitting on the floor then bend your knees and put your feet on the floor. Slide your left foot under the right knee and towards the outside of the right hip. Next, cross your right leg over the left so that the right knee is stacked over the left with the right foot on the outside of the left hip. Lastly, link your arms behind your back in the same manner shown in the image.
Another great stretch to do is a plank. Plank stretching also involves stretching the abdominal muscles as well as stretching the buttocks, shoulder, and legs to stabilize the body. To do a plank, one must begin by firmly placing the elbows and forearms on the floor while kneeling.
Then extend the legs until only the forearms and toes are against the floor as shown in the picture. Ensure that you have elevated the body in a straight horizontal line. If this difficult, modify the stretch by lowering the knees to the floor. Hold the position for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times.
Lastly, one of the most effective ways to loosen the shoulder, arms, and chest is a basic chest stretch. As a result of opening up the chest and stretching the shoulders, the post helps to promote good posture.
This stretch can be done standing or seated and should start with a deep breath. Then as you exhale the breast, slowly lower your elbows down and behind your back. Allow your shoulder blades to slide down and towards each other while expanding your chest outward.