Improving your posture isn’t a one-and-done kind of endeavor. Standing tall requires muscles that are strong enough to hold you upright, and but also long and loose enough to stay open.
It’s actually a circular conundrum: Poor posture can negatively affect your mobility, and decreased mobility will affect your posture, which will cause your muscles to shorten and weaken—and make it harder to hold yourself upright.
“One of the biggest factors to compromise mobility is poor posture,” Emily Kiberd, DC, a chiropractor at Urban Wellness Clinic, previously told Well+Good. “Weak muscles from sitting too much can lead to compensations in the body which can prohibit mobility, and cause joint degeneration, tight muscles, and headaches.”
How can we stop the cycle? By practicing exercises that strengthen our upper back and shoulders, as well as integrating lengthening stretches, and mobilizing rotations. This new workout from Go Chlo Pilates founder and teacher Chloe de Winter does just that.
“So many people always tell me that they want to improve their posture because they spend so many hours at their computer typing away,” de Winter says. “So this class is for you.”
De Winter starts with some upper back and spine mobility exercises. She encourages students to make these movements as big as possible to get that maximum joint rotation.
Next, you’ll do a series of exercises based on the Superman position. These are meant to activate your whole back body, and strengthen “those important postural muscles that support our upper backs and strengthen through the shoulders,” de Winter says.
Finally, a finisher set of push-ups and push-up variations will both strengthen and open your chest. You’ll add in arm reaches to help mobilize those shoulders. Cap it off with some chest openers, and in under 10 minutes, you’ve set yourself up to walk tall and strong.