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Chronic bad posture — you know, slouching and hunched shoulders — can result in everything from restricted movement, to tension and headaches, to an inability to breathe well. An important element of building better posture is spinal movement.
Here are three simple (but not necessarily easy) bodyweight exercises that will help create flexibility and more fluid motion in your spine. Better posture, in turn, will have you feel better and move better through your whole body.
- We’ll start with flexion and extension of the spine doing a movement that you may know as “cat and cow.”
- From there, we’ll work on rotation of the spine. In this case, we’re working on the thoracic spine — the portion of your spine below your neck and above your lower back. This is an area of the body that gets “stuck” due to frequent and long periods of sitting.
- Next, we’ll get into the deep squat (or as deep as you can get) and combine that position with flexion and extension of the spine. This may be challenging for you, so work within your current range of motion and be mindful of pain. Pain is your body’s signal to take it easier or not go so deep.
It may take you months (or even years) to be able to do these three exercises exactly as I demonstrate in this video. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. It took you many years to become inflexible, so it may take you a while to regain that flexibility.
The key to good movement and better posture is consistent practice. So take a few minutes each day to work on each of these exercises, and over time, you’ll see (and feel) a massive difference.