Every Monday through Friday, millions of Americans find themselves in front of a computer screen, behind the wheel of a car, and slouching in chairs at company meetings. All of these everyday activities of a busy life yield to an unfortunate epidemic - bad posture. In your weekly fitness routine, you should include certain exercises that promote healthier posture and help decrease any upper body stiffness that can greatly impact your physical activity. Here is a great workout that will promote strength and flexibility to the affected muscles of bad posture.
Prone Cobra (3x15 reps) - Laying on your stomach on the ground, drop your arms to your side and lift the head, shoulders, and chest off of the ground, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Hold this position for 1 second and return to the ground.
Bridge (3x15 reps) - Laying on your back, keep your knees bent and feet on the floor. Lift your glutes and hips off of the floor until your body is in a straight line from shoulders to knees. Squeeze your glutes for 2 seconds and return to the ground.
Lat Pulldown (3x10-12 reps) - Draw down your shoulders as you pull the weight down toward the top of your chest.
Cable or Machine Row (3x10-12 reps) - Make sure during this exercise, you keep your back straight, chest high, and squeeze your shoulder blades together.
Shoulder Shrugs (3x10-12 reps) - With two moderately weighted dumbbells, shrug your shoulders straight up and roll them back slowly. Try not to roll your shoulders forward as this is what they do when you have bad posture.
With these exercises, you should be on your way to recognizing the difference between good and bad posture and will leave you feeling confident with less back and shoulder pain.