Roll out your yoga mat! These poses will help you strengthen the muscles that cause you to slouch, making good posture effortless.
Think about it: From the time we are in kindergarten to the time we get desk jobs, many of us are sitting for most of the day.
When this happens, it’s almost impossible to keep proper posture and avoid slouching. Over time, poor posture causes some muscles to become overly tight while opposing muscles become weak.
Muscles that become tight:
- Hip flexors
- Lower back
- Muscles of the front of the neck: sternocleidomastoid and scalene
Muscles that weaken:
- Latissimus dorsi
- Muscles in the back of the neck: trapezius
You can reverse the damaging effects of poor posture with these nine simple yoga poses. They work to release different muscle groups while simultaneously strengthening other muscles.
To do this stretching routine, you’ll need a yoga mat, a yoga strap (or towel), and two yoga blocks. You can do this sequence up to three times per week, allowing for at least one day of rest between each set.
Cobra | 5 breaths
One of the most common signs of poor posture is rounded shoulders, stemming from a tight and shortened chest and a forward head. This pose brings the shoulders and the neck back into alignment while also strengthening the entire back.
- Lie face down on your mat with your toes untucked. Place your forehead on the mat and keep your neck long.
- Bend your elbows and place your palms on the mat next to your ribs.
- Press the tops of your feet into your mat. Inhale to lift your forehead, chest, palms and kneecaps off the mat.
- Squeeze your shoulder blades together. Hold for 5 slow breaths, then release on an exhale.
Bound Locust Pose | 8 breaths
This pose draws the shoulders back into alignment and strengthens the entire back, the glutes, and the hamstrings.
- Start by lying on your belly with your forehead on your mat and your toes untucked.
- Interlace your fingers behind your lower back and pull your legs together.
- Keep your neck long as you inhale to lift your chest, feet, and legs off of the ground.
- If you can, lift your hands up off your lower back. Hold for 8 breaths, then exhale to release slowly.