This Month In Body
  • Posture Pointers
    Good posture is often associated with confidence and strength, while slouching makes a person look tired and insecure. But posture isn’t just about appearance. It's about your good health. Try these exercises for helping standing up straight. Read >>
  • Goal: Toned Arms
    With dedication to exercise and commitment to a healthy diet, you can reach your arm goal, whatever it is. What exercises should you focus on to get toned arms? Keep reading to find out. Read >>
  • Watch Your Back!
    Do you suffer from lower back pain? You may be tempted to rest until your pain is gone, but that may only make things worse. If your back is sore, remember this list of good and bad exercises for back pain. Read >>
  • Get Your Stretch On!

    If your body could use a little more flexibility, try this basic full-body stretch routine.

    Read >>
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Posture Pointers

Improve your posture with these simple exercises.

You can tell a lot about a person by looking at them. One thing that often stands out is their posture. Do they stand tall or are they hunched over? Good posture is often associated with confidence and strength, while slouching makes a person look tired and insecure. But posture isn’t just about appearance. Good posture is important for many other reasons. It reduces lower back pain, headaches, and neck tension; increases your energy level; lowers the risk of abnormal wear on your joints; and improves circulation, lung capacity, and digestion.

So how do you go about improving your posture? Here are six simple exercises to help you stand up straight.

Reverse Fly

A common cause of poor posture is tight or tired chest muscles, which lead to rounded shoulders. The reverse fly strengthens your upper back and shoulder muscles to prevent or reverse this.

To perform a reverse fly, hold each end of a resistance band and extend your arms in front of your chest. While keeping your arms straight, extend your arms out to either side. Let the band stretch as you pull your shoulder blades together. Slowly return your hands to the starting position and repeat.

Side Plank

A strong core is essential to good posture, and planks are a great way to strengthen your core.

For a side plank, lie on your left side with your left elbow on the floor below your shoulder. Tighten your abs and raise your hips off the floor until your body is in a straight line from your head to your toes. Hold for 30 seconds, rest, and repeat on the right side.

Quadruped Hip Extension

This exercise works your lower back and glute muscles, which play an important role in good posture.

Start out on your hands and knees, with your hands directly below your shoulders and your knees below your hips. Engage your abs and raise your left foot toward the ceiling, with the bottom of your foot facing up. Continue lifting and lowering your foot, while you squeeze your glutes. Avoid arching your lower back. Switch sides.

The Y Raise

The Y raise is an effective way to work your upper and middle back muscles to support proper posture. To do the Y, you’ll need light weight dumbbells and an exercise ball.

Lie on your belly on the ball. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, keep your palms facing inward. Straighten your legs behind you and spread your feet wide to keep your balance. Extend each arm toward the ground to make a “Y” shape. Now, lift your arms to shoulder height as you squeeze your shoulders together. Slowly lower your arms, relax, and repeat.

The Cobra Pose

For superior posture, you’ll need to strengthen and stretch the muscles that support your spine. The cobra pose does just that.

Lie face down on the floor and place your hands by your ribs, palms facing down. Using your back muscles—not your hands—raise your head and upper chest off the floor. Slowly lower back down and repeat.

Neck Flexion

Weak neck muscles pull your head forward instead of keeping your ears lined up with your shoulders. In other words, a weak neck leads to poor posture. Neck flexion can fix your weak neck.

It starts by lying on your back on the floor. Tuck your chin and raise your head just two inches off the floor. Hold for a few seconds and then lower your head to the floor, while keeping your chin tucked in. Repeat.

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