I tend to harp on this topic, but that’s because it really is so important. If you sit down at work all day you need to go above and beyond to improve your posture. If you’re young and have only been working a desk job for a couple years you might not have noticed the impact yet, but I assure you it’s coming. Eventually sitting at a desk and working at a computer will destroy your posture.
Shoulders become internally rotated, glutes and spinal erectors fall asleep, and hips and hamstrings get super tight. Down the line this will lead to major imbalances, difficulty moving, and a whole lotta pain.
The good news is there’s something you can do about it. Obviously lifting weights with a focus on the back and posterior chain will play a major role in maintaining a healthy posture, but there are also some simple, low impact, body weight moves that you can perform to keep yourself upright.
Even better news? These moves can be done pretty much anywhere.
Hang – Grab a bar – pull up bar, monkey bar, tree branch, doesn’t matter – and hang for 30 seconds. Do this two or three times, and throw in a couple sets of scapular pull ups for good measure. Your upper back and shoulder will thank you.
Squat – This one’s even easier. Just sit down into a deep squat with your bodyweight. No bars, no dumbbells, nothing. Don’t get too wrapped up in form, there will likely be a lot of forward lean at first, but this will do a lot to activate the glutes and improve mobility through the hips, knees, and ankles. Hold it for 30 seconds.
Hamstring Stretch – After my squat I like to move right into a hamstring stretch. I do it as I come out of the squat and increase the range of motion a little bit every 10 seconds or so until I hit 30.
Scapular Wall Slides – Another great move for anyone stuck at a desk all day. Working at a computer, or hovering over your cell phone can quickly lead to a curved upper back. Scapular wall slides are a great way to strengthen those muscles and correct the condition known as kyphosis.
Back Bridge – If you’ve ever been a competitive wrestler then you should be familiar with the back bridge. It’s a tricky move at first, but an amazing tool when it comes to correcting postural issues. My favorite part of this movement is the way it opens up the hips and chest – two areas that take a beating from sitting down.
Downward Dog – Yoga isn’t just for chicks anymore. I like to work with a bunch of different yoga moves, but the downward dog is great for hamstring flexibility, spinal decompression, and scapular movement. If you haven’t spent any time on a yoga mat in the past checkout the video below for a few pointers.