As we age, our shoulders and upper back starts to round forward into a kyphotic, hunchback posture. This has been compounded with the age of work from home and virtual school as we slouch over our devices. This can cause neck and back pain, postural deviations, as well as make you look more aged and cause you to move inefficiently. Fortunately, there are simple exercises and stretches you can do from home to reverse this process and improve your posture.
I worked with Move it Monday on Koin News Am Extra and we highlighted some of these movement. You can read the detailed descriptions below.
Stability Ball Stretch
Start by sitting on an Exercise ball.
Slowly walk your feet forward as you slowly recline back onto the ball until your head, neck and shoulders are resting on the ball. Allow your hips to relax into the ball.
Take your arms to the side, palms up and stretch over the ball.
Be sure to keep your head rested on the ball. This will help stretch very tight internal rotators.
A great alternative to the Stability Ball stretch above, this stretch can be done anywhere and all you need are pillows. This would be great way to start and/or finish your day.
Place 2-3 pillows on the floor.
Lay on your back over the pillows so that the pillows are at about the level of your shoulder blades.
Stretch your arms to the side and up over your head and relax.
Supine Back Presses
Lie on your back with your arms overhead.
Press your elbows and the back of your wrists towards the floor.
Hold for a few seconds and repeat 10-15 times.
Try different angles with arms in a “Y” position and arms directly to the side of the shoulders.
This will help to stretch your tight internal rotators and strengthen the muscles that will pull your shoulders back into alignment.
Prone Retraction and Arm Lifts
- Lie on your stomach, keep your abdominals contracted and stretch your arms straight out to the side.
Turn your thumbs up to the ceiling and then slowly lift your arms upwards.
Concentrate on pulling your shoulder blades together.
Be sure to avoid pressing your arms towards your feet – they should be lifting up towards the ceiling- not down towards feet.
You may want to put a towel under your head to keep your neck in a neutral position.
Do 10-15 reps.
- Do the same as above, but this time your arms are extended in front of you in a “Y” position instead of out to the side.
Lift both arms 10-15 times.
This exercise also strengthens the muscles that will pull your shoulders back into alignment.
Yours in health & fitness,