Mama always told you to sit up straight. But sitting up straight isn't the only time you should practice good posture. To help your spine stay straight today and tomorrow, you'll want good posture all the time. And with the right exercises, you can make good posture a way of life.
Keep reading to check out a few tried-and-true posture-boosting exercises you should slip into your daily routine. But take note: these exercises are not going to be glamorous or exciting. They simply do their job well.
Standing Side Kick: Standing up straight, hold your arms straight out to either side. While you lean forward at the waist, raise your left leg and point your foot to the left, holding it approximately 4 inches from the ground. Maintain the position for a five count, return to the starting position, relax, and repeat with your right leg.
Kneeling Side Kick: Start out on your knees with your back straight. Lean to the right until your right hand is resting on the ground and your torso is almost parallel to the ground. Next, lift your left leg straight out to your side. Once it is parallel to the ground, move the leg forward and backward for a few seconds, keeping your back straight throughout the movements. Return to the starting position and repeat on the left side.
Side Leg Lift: With your back pushed against a wall, lie on your right side. Extend your right arm straight out, in line with your spine. Put your head on your right arm and leave your left leg straight while you bend your right knee so your right foot is facing the wall. From this position, press your left heel into the wall while you lift your left leg about a foot off the floor. Return the starting position and repeat on the other side.
Slow and Steady: Some of the best exercises for your spine involve calm, slow movements. Some of the most popular of these exercise techniques include tai chi, Pilates, and yoga. Since one of the primary goals of these exercises is to be more aware of your body, you can't help but pay close attention to how your body is posturing itself during and after a tai chi, yoga, or Pilates session.
Anything but Sitting Still: Many people have a hard time maintaining good posture because they work office jobs. Sound like you? Beat bad posture by doing any of the exercises above or simply getting up and walking a couple times each hour. It may seem like a small step, but any exercise that gets you moving helps strengthen your body and maintain its proper posture.