Whether you’re an athlete or a career desk jockey, you’ve probably experienced some form of back pain before.
Repetitive activities at work or home, like sitting at a computer or lifting and carrying, can produce that tension and muscle tightness associated with back pain.
Thankfully, you can limit back pain with better posture. While general physical fitness and a healthy weight are important, paying attention to your posture is the easiest way to reduce back pain.
Here are four posture-positives exercises to try at home or work:
Picture a line passing through your body from ceiling to floor. Now, imagine that a strong cord attached to your head is lifting you up, making you stand tall.
Try to keep your pelvis level – don’t let your lower back sway – and resist standing on your toes. Next, think of stretching your head toward the ceiling, making space between your rib cage and pelvis. Rather than a soldier at attention, you should be more like a ballerina or ice skater.
Shoulder Blade Squeeze
Sit up straight in a chair, with hands resting on thighs. Keep shoulders down, chin level. Slowly draw your shoulders back, squeezing the blades towards one another. Hold for 5 seconds, and release; repeat 3-4 times.
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Face a corner with arms raised and hands flat against the walls, with elbows shoulder height. Put one foot in front of the other.
Now, bend your forward knee, and exhale as you lean your body toward the corner. Ensure back is straight, and chest/head is up. If you’re doing it right, you should feel a good stretch across your chest. Hold for 20-30 seconds, then release.
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