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3 Standing Exercises to Boost the Health of Your Workday

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The three standing exercises demonstrated in this video — standing gluteal contractions, standing shoulder stretch, and standing shoulder circles — can be done almost anywhere. These exercises will help to reset your balance and posture after an extended period of sitting.

In just a few minutes, you’ll re-awaken your glutes and open up your shoulders, relieving much of the physical strain of a long day at your desk.

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How to Do Standing Gluteal Contractions

  1. Begin in a standing position.
  2. If you’re wearing shoes with heels, remove them.
  3. Place your feet hip-width apart and point your toes straight ahead.
  4. Close your eyes and do a quick balance check — do you notice if one leg or the other is taking more of your weight?
  5. Relax your upper body, let your hands hang loosely at your sides.
  6. Squeeze and release your glutes.
  7. Perform 60 repetitions (3 sets of 20).

Note: If you have trouble getting your glutes to contract well, place your hands on them (think of where the back pockets of your jeans are located) to help connect your brain to the target muscles.

How to Do Standing Overhead Extension

  1. Begin in a standing position as in gluteal contractions.
  2. Interlace your fingers, turn your palms away from your body, and extend your arms out in front of you.
  3. Set your shoulders down and back.
  4. Slowly raise your arms up, taking care to keep your shoulder blades down and back.
  5. Keep the chest and sternum neutral, keep all the movement in the shoulder joint.
  6. Relax your belly and breathe into your lower rib cage.
  7. Continue breathing slowly and calmly while holding this position for 1 minute.
  8. Periodically wiggle your toes, checking that your feet are staying grounded to the floor.
  9. At the end of 1 minute, slowly lower your arms and relax your shoulders. Shake them out gently.

How to Do Standing Arm Circles

  1. Begin in a standing position as in gluteal contractions.
  2. Curl your fingers so your fingertips touch your palms at the base of each finger.
  3. Extend your arms straight out to your sides at shoulder height, palms facing down.
  4. Circle your arms forward 40 times.
  5. Turn your palms up, then circle your arms up and back 40 times.
  6. Relax your arms to your sides, shake them out gently.

Once you’ve completed the sequence of three standing exercises above, retest your balance by standing with your eyes closed, checking the weight distribution between your left and right foot and your heels and toes.

Maryann Berry
At the age of 27, Maryann Berry suffered from chronic hip pain that left her in a wheelchair, even after consulting with over twenty healthcare professionals and undergoing invasive hip surgery. Today, Maryann is fully recovered and has been wheelchair free for years.

Maryann, who is currently certified as a Posture Alignment Specialist, created Realign as a way to empower others to take responsibility for their own health the same way she did. Maryann works with people one-on-one both digitally and in-person at her studio in San Diego, California.

To learn more about Maryann's programs, visit Realign Therapy. Maryann is also the founder of The Posture Workout a revolutionary online form of Posture Alignment Therapy that makes this method easily accessible for everyone.