Stretching the muscles in and around your chest is one of the best things you can do for your posture. These poses will challenge you to push yourself and will help you feel better as you relieve tension in your upper back, chest, and shoulders. It is recommended that you stretch your muscles every day to prevent injury and tension in your daily routine. These are great stretches for days when you feel tension in your upper back, chest, and shoulders from sitting or working with poor posture. Try it out!
Hands Behind Back
- Sit cross-legged on the floor and place your palms together behind your back.
- Hold for a few seconds and then release. This will open up your chest and will likely be challenging at first. If you can’t get your palms to touch, just try touching your fingers together. You can do this in any position that you’d like to: standing, during a yoga pose or during meditation.
- Kneel on the floor.
- Bend forward at your hips until your head touches the ground, trying to tuck your chin under and create a deep stretch in your upper back.
- Reach backward with your hands until you touch your feet.
- Hold until you feel tension released and relax. This pose stretches your upper back muscles, relieving tension.
Side Angle Pose
- Lunge forward with your right foot, placing both hands on the ground to the left of your foot for support.
- Leave your right hand on the ground and take your gaze and your left hand up to the sky.
- Putting your weight into your feet, bend both arms behind your back (your right arm will go under your right thigh), and try to lock your hands together.
- Hold for a few seconds and release. This will open up your chest, giving your relief from poor posture.
- Lie on the ground with your hands at your sides and your knees bent.
- Lift your butt off the ground to make a straight line from your knees to your shoulders.
- Clasp your hands together underneath your body. Hold for as long as is comfortable for you.
- Start on your hands and knees with your shoulders directly above your hands and your hips directly above your knees.
- For the cat pose, curl your head down to look at your navel as you simultaneously arch your back and tuck your hips in.
- In one fluid motion, transition to the cow pose as you release back to your starting position. Then pull your belly down to the earth and look up to the sky, putting a deep arch in your back in the opposite direction.
- Release and repeat multiple times.
Half Lord of the Fishes
- Sit up on the ground with your legs straight forward and begin to stretch into a forward bend to loosen up your muscles.
- Slowly bend your left knee, and then bend your right leg, bringing it under your left leg. Then bring your left foot to the opposite side of your right knee.
- Twist your body to the left, bringing your right arm to the left of your left knee. Place your left arm on the ground behind you for support. Move slowly during this pose, breathing in and out as you twist further.
Downward-Facing Dog Pose
- Start in a plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders and your feet shoulder width apart.
- Lift upward from your hips as you bring your head toward your navel and straighten your arms. Try and work towards keeping your legs straight and your heels on the ground, but it is okay if you cannot do that the first several times you try.
- Lie on your stomach with your forehead touching the ground.
- Before lifting anything, bring your arms back to the top of your rib cage and place your palms on the ground.
- Lift your upper body off the ground with your arms. Look forward and feel your chest opening.
- Hold for a few seconds then rest back down.
- Start on your stomach. Place your elbows under your shoulders (about an inch forward from your shoulders) and your palms flat on the floor.
- Simply hold this position for three to five minutes. If this pose is too hard on your lower back at first, lower your upper body a bit by bringing your shoulders down and your elbows out. If this pose is too easy for you, place a pillow or yoga block under your elbows to raise your upper body up and create even more of an arch in your lower back. If you get bored while holding this pose, read a book or watch TV.
Cow Face Arms
- Sit on the ground. Bend your left knee so your heel touches your right hip. Place your right leg on top of your left leg. Then bend your right leg so your heel touches your left hip. If that is too difficult, sit cross-legged.
- Reach your right arm up and then bend it down behind your head as you reach your left arm down and then bend it up to touch your right hand. Do this on both sides.
- Place your forearms on the floor and extend your legs out behind you with your toes curled under.
- Your elbows should be directly under your shoulders.
- Tighten your core, glutes, and legs, keeping your back straight and your knees off the ground.
- Hold this position for as long as you can.
- Start on your knees.
- Lean back to grab your ankles and then arch your back and stretch your neck to look up and back.
- Hold this position for a few seconds and release.
Wide Leg Forward Fold
- Stand with your legs shoulder width apart. Step out to spread your legs out a few feet apart.
- Clasp your hands behind your back.
- Fold forward at your hips and try to push your arms forward and down to stretch and open your chest.
You can also try using the Chirp Wheel+ to relax tension in your back and reverse damage from poor posture.
Kassel, G. (2018, September 18). 7 morning stretches for perfect posture. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercises/stretches-for-posture
Mason, T. (2020). Practice these 10 yoga poses to correct bad posture. Retrieved from https://www.yogiapproved.com/yoga/yoga-poses-bad-posture/
Scriven, A. (2020). 6 yoga poses to correct rounded shoulders & relieve pain. Retrieved from https://www.doyou.com/6-yoga-poses-to-correct-rounded-shoulders-and-relieve-pain-53703/