Fitness Articles

Exercises to Improve Your Posture

Stand Taller, Look 10 Pounds Thinner

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Keep in mind that poor posture doesn't happen overnight, and there is no magic bullet to fix it other than consistently following these strength and flexibility exercises. To speed up the process, consider making adjustments in your daily routine. Rearrange your workspace and adjust your car seat so that you sit upright; upgrade to a firmer mattress to support your back; and do your best to stand and sit tall with your head high and your shoulders pulled down and back each day. In addition, women should wear high-heeled shoes sparingly to reduce tightness in the calves and switch sides of the body when carrying heavy purses.

As your posture improves, you will look younger and thinner and appear more confident. You'll also feel better, prevent back pain and improve athletic performance. So why wait for postural problems to get worse? Start incorporating these simple exercises and stretches into your workouts and workdays to start seeing results!


Selected Sources
American Council on Exercise (ACE). 2003. Personal Trainer Manual: The Ultimate Resource for Fitness Professionals. 3rd ed. ACE: San Diego, CA.

McGill, S. 2004. Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance. Wabuno Publishers: Waterloo, Ont.

National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). 2004. Optimum Performance Training for the Health and Fitness Professional. NASM: Calabasas, CA.
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About The Author

Glenn Kent Glenn Kent
Glenn is an ACE-certified personal trainer who motivates clients to perform their best, both physically and mentally. He earned his doctorate in health psychology and is the owner of Fitness Motive, a wellness consulting company located in Cincinnati. Glenn also works as an adjunct university instructor at the University of Cincinnati. He enjoys the outdoors, reading, and has developed an affinity for the taste of dark chocolate.

Member Comments

  • I have always been proud of my posture, as a large woman all my life, I am blessed with remarkable self confidence. Three years in a wheel chair, then walker, then cane has changed my world. I am learning to walk tall again, and find that my eyes tend to look down, from fear of falling. This is one of the things I have carried to a trainer for help. Article is a good one, somethings are out of my range, but others are well received and I will incorporate to my routine. - 1/26/2014 7:06:13 PM
  • Was just talking with my health coach about this issue earlier today. I've had terrible posture since childhood and have been disappointed that it has not improved as I have lost weight and become more fit. I guess I'll just have to focus more on the exercises described here. - 12/18/2013 9:34:49 PM
  • Thanks for sharing. - 12/10/2013 5:01:37 AM
  • My back always hurt me. I think that's why my left hip hurt me so bad because of my back. But when I walk I always walk straight up. - 9/13/2013 9:45:09 PM
  • I have had terrible posture since I was a child and in recent years have suffered from a pinched nerve in my neck, sciatica, bone spurs on my spine, and arthritis in my spine. I am still pretty young to be having all of this. So I am working on my posture. It is something that I try to think about all day long because otherwise I will slip back into my old habits. - 4/30/2013 8:36:43 PM
  • I have had terrible posture since I was a child and in recent years have suffered from a pinched nerve in my neck, sciatica, bone spurs on my spine, and arthritis in my spine. I am still pretty young to be having all of this. So I am working on my posture. It is something that I try to think about all day long because otherwise I will slip back into my old habits. - 4/30/2013 8:36:38 PM
  • If you've had a swayback since childhood, can these exercises fix that in adulthood? - 7/28/2012 6:48:32 PM
  • Great list that covers all my issues with posture....now if only I could store it somewhere so I can get to the list any time I want to work! - 6/7/2012 6:49:08 AM
  • This is a good list and I need to fix my posture thanks - 5/3/2012 8:35:24 AM
  • KAYTEETOO
    Thanks, I am sitting up straighter at my desk already! - 4/2/2012 5:41:12 AM
  • BETHHONEY
    I'm wondering why we're avoiding a full sit-up. I know that they're hard. But why doesn't the author want us to do them? - 9/15/2011 3:31:47 PM
  • REDSHOES2011
    A wise chiropactor told me alot of these tips years back. I also like Frederic Delaviers training books he knows his anatomy better than any other strength training pro's as has degrees in human dissection as well as being a pro power lifter.. He has gotten me through safely improved my posture and with hard work off constant painkillers.. His colour coding muscle groups activated with each exercise is state of the art.. He opened my eye to use less energy on exercises that over lap each other.. - 6/15/2011 9:33:26 AM
  • Great article! It is just the information I have been searching for. I have a spine/hip/neck issue and feel it progressing. I'm glad to know that there are things I can do!! I will favorite this article and refer back to it and the exercises it contains. Thank you! - 5/5/2011 4:50:28 PM
  • thanks for the article,my back always aches.. - 8/30/2010 6:09:11 PM
  • It was great to see exactly what I need to add to my routine. Thanks for a timely article with so much info! - 8/11/2010 10:04:48 PM
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