7 Best Exercise To Improve Your Posture & Appearance

best exercises improve posture shoulder position back strengthening stretching workout

It can often be difficult deciding on what workout or exercise to pick in the gym or whilst at home working out. Gymequipment have gathered together 7 functional exercises which are aimed to improve both posture and appearance whilst targeting specific common weaknesses such as tight hips and poor range of motion all of which can be performed with little to no equipment. Here are 7 exercises. 

● Reverse Plank Bridge 
 Arch Up 
● Wall Angel 
● X-Move 
● Pyramid 
● Hip Flexor Stretch 
● Shoulder Rolls 

Reverse Plank Bridge

The reverse plank bridge is basically a backwards plank. You may be familiar with the original plank and this isn’t much more difficult. Working your whole body mainly targeting core and lower back also targets arms, shoulders, hamstrings, glutes and a wide variety of stabilising muscles in the process. Another side benefit to the reverse plank bridge is the ability to open up the hips whilst providing a whole backstretch, perfect for those who sit at a desk for long hours during the day. 

To Perform: 

1) Lying down on your back position your feet at a 90-degree angle 
2) Position your hands directly beneath your shoulders and push upwards 
3) Your body should now be forming a straight line from your knees to your neck 

4) Hold this position for 60 seconds repeat 3x through with 30 seconds rest in between each rep 

Arch Up 

This particular compound bodyweight movement works a wide variety of different muscle groups due to the increased strain to support your body weight as the movement is performed. 

To Perform: 

1) Lie down face flat on a mat 
2) Push your hands out in front of you trying to raise as high as possible without bending 
3) Lift your arms as high as possible and then to your side followed by attempting to bring your shoulder blades together 
4) Finally, push your arms upwards as if you’re reaching for the sky as high as you can go 

Wall Angel 

Although this exercise may sound a little odd, wall angels are essential for fixing bad posture and improving strength throughout the upper back to prevent injury down the line. 

To Perform: 

1) Stand straight, face forward, back against a wall 
2) Lift your arms up and down as if you were creating a snow angel 
3) Perform a total of 10 times for a total of 3 sets with 30s recovery between sets 

X-Move 

Although it sounds complicated, the X-Move is perfect for strengthing the upper back muscles, especially those located between your shoulder blades, furthermore, the exercise really isn’t that difficult to get a hang of. All you will require is a resistance band (depending on your level of difficulty will result in different strengths of the band). 

To Perform: 

1) Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you 
2) Place a resistance band over the middle of your feet crossing over each other to form an X 
3) Holding the bands by your side, pull towards your hips whilst bending your elbows so they point backwards 
4) Perform a total of 10 reps and 3 sets with a 30-60 second break in between 

Pyramid 

The pyramid stretch is great for targeting tight hamstrings (often lead to injuries or weaknesses in other areas and the lower back all whilst testing and improving your balance and flexibility. The pyramid will also activate essential stabilising muscles used during balance, working on current weak areas and often working muscles you didn’t even know existed! 

To Perform: 

1) Starting standing, position your left foot directly behind your right foot (about 6-8 inches apart) think as if you are walking on a tight-rope 
2) Inhale extending the arms overhead (this will elongate your spine) 
3) Slowly exhale reaching your hands downwards towards the floor (if you can only reach your shins this is okay) 
4) Let your chest lie above your left leg and breathe slowly in order to stretch the opposing hamstring 
5) Hold this position for 30 seconds then alternate side, repeat 3x through on each side 

Hip Flexor Stretch 

Tight hips often lead to reoccurring injuries further down the line of a sporting career or for the enthusiastic gym goer. Opening out your hips and stretching them will allow for increased range of motion, reduced risk of injury and less pain within the hip region whilst performing specific exercises. 

To Perform: 

1) Start standing 
2) Take a large step placing one foot in front of the other 
3) Kneel down until your back leg is parallel and touching the floor 
4) Hold this position for 30 - 45 seconds 
5) Switch legs and repeat 3x on each leg 

Shoulder Rolls 

Shoulder rolls are a frequently used exercise to improve posture and increase range of motion within the shoulder region whilst also providing a strengthening exercise for your upper back. In order to make these more difficult consider adding weights, this will further emphasize the building of muscle once your posture and range of motion has improved. 

To Perform: 

1) Starting standing, place your feet shoulder width apart and arms by your side 
2) Rotate your shoulders in a forward circle motion 
3) Repeat this motion both backwards and forwards 
4) Perform for a total of 30 seconds and repeat 4x with a 15-second rest in between sets.

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