5 Stretches for Better Posture

The Wheatless KitchenI think pretty much all of us could stand to work on our posture from time to time. With all of the sitting and hunching over we do at our desks these days, we don’t even realize how bad our posture has gotten. I certainly didn’t realize how many issues I was causing my neck and back until I started seeing my chiropractor this year.

After making an effort to do these 5 stretches at least 3 times each day, I have seen significant improvement in my posture, and SO much less pain in my neck and shoulders. They don’t take long to do, and you can do most of them right at your desk. You will be amazed at how much stopping to stretch helps throughout the day.

Cow Face Pose
Cow Face Pose ->

You can do this sitting in a chair, or while on the floor and sitting back on your heels (as seen here). Inhale and stretch your left arm out to the side, then bend the elbow and bring the arm behind you, pulling the left hand in between the shoulder blades, palm facing out. Then extend the right arm out to the front with thumb facing up toward the ceiling. Bend the elbow and bring the right hand behind your back to meet the left hand in between the shoulder blades, trying to hook the fingers together. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side.

Downward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog ->

Start in a table top position (on hands and knees), then curl your toes under and press up into a downward facing dog position. Hands are shoulder width apart, feet are hip width apart. Press through your shoulders to feel a nice stretch in the upper body as well as the back of the legs.

Upward Facing Dog
Upward Facing Dog ->

Lie face down, palms directly under your shoulders, elbows bent and pulled in close to your sides. The legs are extended, and the tops of the feet are flat on the floor. Inhale, pressing into the palms, pull your torso forward slightly. Straighten the arms, roll your shoulders back and down, and take your gaze slightly up toward the ceiling so that you open your chest up even more. Press into the tops of the feet, lifting your thighs a couple of inches off the floor. Hold for 15-30 seconds.

Seated Shoulder Squeeze
Seated Shoulder Squeeze ->

You can do this one sitting in a chair, or seated on your heels on the floor. Sit up straight with a long spine, gazing forward. Relax your shoulders back and down, then bring your hands behind you, clasp the fingers together, and pull back and down while squeezing your shoulder blades together. This will open up the front of the shoulders and chest.

Camel Pose
Camel Pose ->

Camel Pose opens up the entire front of the body (neck, chest, torso, hip flexors, and thighs). Start with your knees hip distance apart, with the feet pointing straight back. Press your hips slightly forward as you reach back with your right arm to gently grasp the right heel. Keep your spine long and your chest lifted as you reach back with the left arm to grasp the left heel. You can drop the head behind, only if if feels okay for your neck.