In this exercise, we are going to create better posture as we mobilize the thoracic spine, the portion of your spine from the base of the neck to your mid back. At the same time, we will activate muscles of the hips and legs for a total-body realigning effect.
How to Twist Your Way to Better Posture
First, we need to get into a solid starting position:
- Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you with your feet hip-width apart.
- Bend your right leg and cross it over the left leg.
- Place your left elbow on the outside of the right knee while it is crossed over.
- Your right hand goes on the floor behind you, fingers pointing away and palm-down.
Now, we begin the exercise:
- Roll your hips forward to create an arch in your low back.
- Tighten the thigh of your straight leg by pressing the knee down into the floor and flex your toes back toward you.
- Now, look over your right shoulder and pull your right shoulder away from you. You can use your left elbow to help you do the work, but the majority of the movement should come from rotating your right shoulder.
- Don’t lose the arch in your lower back.
- Turn your head to the right as you gently twist your back. You want to feel a stretch, but do not go to the point of discomfort or pain.
- Hold this position for one minute and breathe, taking care to relax into the twist with each breath. Due to the twist, you may feel like it is harder to breathe. If you do have any trouble breathing, stop the exercise immediately.
- Repeat on the other side.
Be sure to avoid the biggest mistake which is allowing the foot that is down on the floor to flop out to the side. Letting your foot flop out to the side allows the hip muscles to “cheat,” negating the benefits of the exercise. Prevent this by keeping your foot pointed straight up and down.