Mom was right when she told you to stand up straight. Not only can adjusting your stance make it appear as if you’ve added inches to your height, but good posture can also help ward off painful injuries and even falls.
What mom didn’t tell you, however, is that there’s more to your posture than standing tall. Being able to maintain good posture requires having mobility and extension in the shoulders as well as a strong core (particularly the rectus abdominis, a.k.a. the “six pack,” which runs right down the center of your stomach). Consider it the essential foundation that will help your body stay upright and stabilized, allowing you to stand straighter.
Functional training like the P.volve Method can help you build the mobility and strength needed to keep your posture corrected throughout the day. . It targets the upper back muscles and shoulders—and the only equipment required is a p.band. Then read on to discover three more good posture exercises that can help you stand taller plus other ways to fix bad posture.
Benefits of Good Posture
Slumping in your desk chair or slouching when you stand can put unnecessary wear and stress on your joints and ligaments, leading to discomfort (hello, backaches and headaches) and possible injury. But when you correct your posture, your body—including your bones and joints—becomes properly aligned, helping to prevent muscular strains and pain. You’ll also find that your balance may improve too, since good posture helps keep you upright, whether you’re hiking down uneven terrain or dashing for a 5k finish line.
The benefits of good posture aren’t just physical, however. If the simple act of pulling your shoulders back and lifting your chest seems to give you a shot of confidence, it’s not all in your head. One study found that students who sat up tall while taking a math test felt more capable and perceived the test to be easier than those who slouched. And other research reveals a link between an upright posture and improved self-esteem and mood. Think of good posture as a feel-good fix for your body and mind.
How to Fix Bad Posture
When it comes to correcting bad posture, it’s helpful to be aware of how you sit and stand. Let’s start with standing. Use these tips to fix bad posture when standing or walking around:
- Keep your shoulders back and chin level with the floor.
- Stand tall while maintaining a neutral spine and keeping your abdominals engaged.
- Distribute your body weight evenly between your feet (mostly on the balls of your feet) and keep your knees pointed straight ahead.
- Allow your hands to hang naturally at your sides.
Similarly, sitting with good posture can help prevent back pain, so keep these posture pointers in mind:
- Sit with your feet flat on the floor (you may need to adjust the height of your chair).
- Ensure that your knees are at (or below) hip level and your ankles are positioned in front of your knees.
- Maintain a small gap between the front of your seat and the back of your knees.
- If needed, support your lower back with a small pillow.
Other things to know: Carrying a heavy purse or staring down at your phone can yank your body out of a perfect-posture position. Be aware of how your lifestyle affects your posture and consider making tweaks to help realign your body (for example, using a backpack instead of an over-the-shoulder bag or limiting the time spent scrolling through social media).
And if fixing bad posture is a goal, Including functional training and good posture exercises in your workout routine is a must. Luckily, perfecting posture is a foundational element of every P.volve workout! So pick your favorite routine and you’ll be on your way to better posture and a stronger, toned body.
3 Good Posture Exercises
These moves build strength and mobility to set your body up for improved posture. Run through them a few times a week on their own or combine them with your favorite P.volve routine. All you need to get started is a mat and a couple pieces of workout equipment (light hand weights and the p.band).
Upper Body Extension
Start with feet hip-distance apart. Bend at the knees while reaching arms toward the floor, then inhale as you push through heels to stand tall while sweeping arms out to the sides and up. Pause at the top of the movement and lean back slightly as you stretch through the fingertips. Then exhale as you reach your arms back out and down, bending at the knees again.
Repeat for 15 to 20 seconds.
T-Spine Rotation with Chest Fly
Holding a pair of light hand weights out in front of you at chest height, start with feet hip-distance with knees slightly bent, then step your left leg back and hinge at your hips into a small lunge. Keeping hips square, punch your left hand forward while rotating at your spine to open your right arm out behind you. Rotate back to start position.
Repeat for 15 to 20 seconds, then switch sides.
Alternating Sit & Single Arm Lat Pull
Using the p.band, start in a tall kneel with knees hip-distance and arms raised above head, hands slightly pulled apart. Exhale as you drive your right elbow down toward your right hip, then inhale as you press back into your hips while returning your arms overhead. Exhale as you rise back up into a tall kneel position while simultaneously driving your left elbow toward your left hip, then inhale as you press back into your hips again while returning your arms overhead.
Repeat, alternating sides, for 15 to 20 seconds.
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