For many of us, good posture doesn’t come naturally–especially as we get older. Our lifestyles revolve around “pushing” movements and positions–whether it’s hunching over our computers or reaching for steering wheels, these actions can wreak havoc on our posture. By incorporating simple exercises into your routine, you can improve upper body mobility, helping you improve your posture and reduce back pain.
This move is an effective exercise that works the entire back of your body. Having a strong back is important for all-around core strength, helping you stay in an upright neutral position throughout the day.
Lie on the floor face down with your arms stretched out in front of you. Lift your abs away from the ground to engage them, and keep your neck in alignment with your spine. Using your back muscles and core, lift the arms, chest and legs off the ground to come to a “superman” position. Keeping your chest and legs off the ground, draw your elbows down towards your ribs to perform a row. Extend your arms out in front of you, and lower arms and legs to the ground.
2. T-Spine Rotations
Your thoracic spine consists of the vertebrae in your mid and upper back. Maintaining thoracic spine mobility is crucial for preventing the rounding of your shoulders, and lower back pain. T-Spine Rotations are a simple, effective exercise for improving upper back mobility.
Begin on the ground in a kneeling position. Sit your hips back towards your heels and place one hand flat on the ground with your arm straight. Place your other hand on the back of your head. Twist your shoulders to touch your bent elbow to your opposite forearm. Then, keeping your hand on the back of your head, open your body the other direction to twist the elbow upward.
3. Band Pulls
Band pulls are an amazing exercise for opening up the chest, increasing upper body mobility, and strengthening the back.
Hold a resistance band in front of you at chest level with your arms straight and hands shoulder-distance apart. Keeping your arms straight, squeeze your shoulder blades and pull your hands away from one another until they are out to your sides. With control, return to the starting position and repeat.
4. Reverse Tabletop with Twist
Begin seated with bent knees and your feet flat on the ground. Place your hands on the ground behind your hips with your fingers pointing forward, and lift your hips into a reverse tabletop position. Keep your neck relaxed and in alignment with your spine. Take one hand off the ground and open your chest and upper body towards the opposite side. Place your hand back on the ground to return to a reverse tabletop position and repeat on the other side.
5. Reverse Plank with Kick
Sit on the ground with your legs straight out in front of you and your hands directly behind your hips, fingers pointing forward. Lift your hips so your body is in a nice straight line. Make sure your wrists are aligned directly beneath your shoulders and keep your neck relaxed. Keeping your abs and your glutes engaged, slowly lift up one leg at a time to perform a forward kick.