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6 Bodyweight Exercises To Improve Your Posture

Woman doing bird dog exercise.
Karla Tafra

If you’re reading this then you definitely know you should work on your posture. To be honest, we all should. The amount of sitting, slouching, and lazy Netflix watching has us waking up with painful sensations way too often. Luckily, there are exercises that can improve your posture.

Whether it’s your rounded shoulders when you’re working or the sleeping posture that’s causing you the most trouble, there are ways to prevent the pain and muscle strain. here are our six best bodyweight exercises you can do basically anywhere.

Seated Cat and Cow

This is a great exercise you can perform whenever you’re at your desk, on the plane, or even in your car while you’re waiting for the light to turn green. It doesn’t require much of your time or loose-fitting clothes and it’s a great way to feel instant relief.

Start by sitting down at the edge of your chair, feet firmly planted on the floor and hands on your knees. Inhale and look up, open your chest, and bring your shoulder blades as close to each other as possible. Exhale and round your shoulders, bring your chin to your chest and curve your spine. Inhale and open up again, exhale and close. Repeat three to five times and make your inhales and exhales as long as possible.

Do this exercise whenever you feel like you need some relief and opening of your shoulders. It’s a great way to improve your sitting posture as well as release the tension from your neck.

Ergonomic Desk Chair

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Prevent slouching and back pain.

Bird Dog

This awkwardly-named exercise helps strengthen and isolate both sides of your body and helps you focus on your weak spots. It’s also challenging to balance so it will help you strengthen your core muscles.

Start in an all-fours position, hands right under your shoulders and knees right under your hips. Push the ground away from you by pressing your palms into the floor and feeling the space in between your shoulder blades expand.

Engage your core muscles and lift your right leg back. Flex your foot and then lift your right arm up. Stretch through both of your limbs like you want to touch the opposite walls and don’t forget to breathe. Stay for three inhales and exhales and then lower back to the starting position. Repeat on the other side and then do both sides two more times.

Posture Corrector

Improve your posture with ease.

Glute Bridge

This is a great exercise for strengthening your lower back and improving your back posture. It’s also great for your glutes and hamstrings which often get weak by the predominantly sedentary lifestyles we all lead.

Start by lying on the floor and bending your knees. Bring your feet close to your sitting bones and leave them in a hip-width position. Place your hands by your sides, palms facing down. Inhale and lift your hips, pressing your palms into the floor and squeezing your hamstrings and glutes on the way up. Exhale, and gently come back down. Repeat 10-12 times.

Neck and Shoulder Relaxer

Loosens your muscles and prevents neck pain.

Cobra Pose

This great yoga pose helps strengthen your upper back and prevent your shoulders from rounding. It also helps relieve headaches and improves the strength of your neck muscles.

Start by lying on your stomach, hands by your sides. Place your palms next to your chest and close your elbows by bringing them close to your body. Inhale and press your palms down as you lift your upper body off the floor. Leave your hips on the floor as well as your entire legs and try to press the tops of your feet into the floor.

Feel your thighs roll inwards and relax your glutes as much as you can to prevent any pinching sensations in your lower back. Relax your neck and shoulders and breathe. On your third exhale, gently come all the way back down to your mat. Turn your head to one side and relax. Repeat the cobra pose two more times.

Thick Mat

Super thick mat to make all exercises as comfortable as possible.

Side Plank With Overhead Reach

Your side body is just as tight as your lower back because the desk posture you’re most likely working in looks more like a capital C than an I. Side planks are great at isolating those oblique and hip flexor muscles, helping you build enough strength so that they can support long working days.

Start in a kneeling position and turn to the right side of your mat. Place the right palm on the mat and extend your legs. Lift your hips and press the outer part of your right leg firmly into the mat. You can stack your left leg and foot on top of your right, or if it’s too challenging for your balance, bring the left foot as close as you possibly can in front or behind your right. 

Lift your left arm straight up and look up. Inhale and reach with your left arm over your head. Feel your body making one straight line from your fingertips all the way down to your feet. Keep pressing your right palm and foot into the mat, creating stability. Stay for three long breath cycles and then bring your hips down. Repeat on the other side.

Foam Roller

A multi-practical foam roller for all parts of your body.

Dead Bug

This great exercise helps you improve your weak spots and really work on strengthening your core and hip flexors. In turn, this helps relieve pressure from your lower back muscles and improves your posture.

Start by lying on your mat and lifting your arms and legs straight into the air. Feel your lower back firmly pressed into the floor and then inhale and lower your left arm and your right leg as close to the floor as possible without your lower back lifting.

Exhale and lift them back up. Inhale and lower your right arm and left leg, exhale and bring them up. Repeat 10-12 times on each side and don’t rush the moves.

Resistance Bands, Set of Five

Challenge your workouts with these elastic bands.

These great spinal stabilizing exercises help improve your posture so you feel less pain when performing your daily activities. Pair them with these yoga poses and get the best of both worlds.

Karla Tafra Karla Tafra
Karla is a certified yoga teacher, nutritionist, content creator and an overall wellness coach with over 10 years of international experience in teaching, writing, coaching, and helping others transform their lives. From Croatia to Spain and now, the US, she calls Seattle her new home where she lives and works with her husband. Read Full Bio »
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