Back pain is one of the most common reasons individuals call in sick to work. And poor posture is a major contributing factor when it comes to back and neck pain.
Maybe you’re doing it right now. You’re hunching forward, craning your neck toward your computer screen. Or perhaps you’re bending your neck down to view your phone screen.
For every inch your head moves forward, you place an additional 10 pounds of stress is placed on your neck. Sitting for long durations also contributes to tight muscles and imbalances – causing low back pain.
And perhaps you know you have bad posture. But you are unsure how to fix it.
Fortunately, we have the top 4 exercises to fix your bad posture. Perform the following exercises on a daily basis, and you’ll notice vast changes in your pain levels and posture.
1. Shoulder Blade Pinch
This exercise targets your rhomboids and mid-trapezius muscles. These muscles work to hold your shoulder blades back and down. In turn, they keep your shoulders and chest open – and they prevent hunching or caving inward of the shoulders.
● Stand or sit up tall.
● Pinch your shoulder blades down and in. Do not shrug your shoulders.
● Hold for 5-10 seconds.
● Perform 10-12 repetitions for 2-3 sets.
● Once this becomes easy, you can transition into a rowing exercise using a resistance band. To do this, sit in a chair and hold the end of a band in each hand. Bend your elbows to 90-degrees. Pull back on the band, pinching your shoulder blades down and in.
2. Chin Tuck
This exercise works the deep neck flexors. The deep neck flexors help realign the neck.
● Lie face up on a comfortable surface, such as a bed or yoga mat.
● You may choose to roll a towel and place it under your neck for comfort.
● Without lifting your head off the bed, bring your chin toward your chest. It will resemble a goofy double-chin face that you likely made when you were a child.
● Hold this position for 5-10 seconds.
● Repeat for 10-12 repetitions and 2-3 sets.
3. Child’s Pose
Child’s Pose is a stretch for not just your low back, but also for your lower body – including your hips and thighs. This stretch can help counteract long hours of sitting.
● Begin on all-fours.
● Slowly bring your buttocks back toward your heels. Keep your arms extends and your hands planted in front of you.
● You should feel a gentle stretch down your back. If it causes pain, don’t go as far.
● Hold for about 20-30 seconds. You can repeat this stretch 2-3 times a day.
4. Forward Fold
The forward fold is a way to self-traction your spine. This means it helps to create space between each vertebra (the bones of your spine). Consequently, it can relieve pressure on the spine.
● Stand tall.
● Take a deep breathe and allow your upper body to drop down.
● You can let your arms hang, or you can hold your opposite elbow with your opposite hand.
● If it feels good, you can also gently swing your body from side-to-side.
● Hold this position for 20-30 seconds. Similar to the child’s pose exercise, you can perform this 2-3 times every day.
Avoid back pain before it happens by improving your posture and strengthening your core muscles. Those are two of the best things you can do to alleviate back pain.
To strengthen your core, read up on the 5 Unique Exercises to Develop Amazing Ab Muscles and Alleviate Lower Back Pain.
Take care of your body – you only get the one!