Remember your mother telling you to sit up straight? It was good advice.
Poor posture can affect your body’s muscles and internal organs. The good news: There are some simple exercises you can do to improve your posture at any age. Even better news: Alan Bernard, personal trainer and founder of Active Aging Fitness says it doesn’t take a lot of effort.
“If you can, stand up and actually hold your body erect and throw your arms back… and that’s going to stretch out your back muscles and your chest.”
Some simple stretches will also loosen tight muscles. We begin with shoulder rolls, followed by neck and head rotations and arm circles.
“Individuals can strengthen their backs, particularly their rhomboids and trapezius with some simple movements with light weights,” says Bernard.
The goal is to correct a postural imbalance, rather than build a lot of strength. So, light weights, even a couple of soup cans, are just fine – especially when you’re working the small shoulder muscles, like the deltoid and rotator cuff.
Rows, shoulder presses and flies will all help strengthen the upper back, but don’t stop there.
“The entire body is ultimately responsible for our posture,” says Bernard.
He recommends isometric exercises, like planks and supermans for the core. And remember, it’s never too late to start improving your posture.
“The earlier you begin an exercise regimen, the better off you’re going to be in the long run.”