6 Core Exercises for Better Posture

6 Core Exercises for Better Posture by Dr. Christine Ferley #TheWellnessUniverse #WUVIP #BetterPosture

6 Core Exercises for Better Posture — Late joining this series on better posture? Check out last week’s article by WU World Changer Dr. Christine Ferley! 

Strengthening your CORE is the best way to improve your posture! The core consists of both the abdominal and low back muscles that connect to your spine and pelvis.

Here are 6 Core Exercises for Better Posture:

  1. Single Leg Extension (Core Stabilizer):

This move will train your core muscles to work together to stabilize your pelvis.

  • Starting Position-

Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and hands behind your head. Press your lower back into the floor as you curl your head up off the floor.

  • The Exercise-

As you exhale, pull your navel in and up toward your spine. Slowly pull one knee into your chest, keeping your low back pressed to the floor, while extending your other leg straight at about a 45-degree angle off the floor. If your lower back arches off the floor extend your leg higher toward the ceiling, then switch legs. Start with 5-10 extensions on each side.

  • Challenge Yourself-

Pull both knees into your chest, then extend both legs straight at 45-degree angle and use your core to keep your lower back on the floor. You can also extend your arms overhead while performing this, reaching in opposite direction from your legs.

  1. The New School Crunch (Curl-Up):

This move works the entire rectus abdominis (6-pack muscle) and obliques.

  • Starting Position-

Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor. With your hands behind your head, press your lower back into the floor.

  • The Exercise-

Curl your head and shoulders slowly off the floor while exhaling and pulling your navel in and up toward your spine. Hold, then slowly lower back down. Repeat this 3 times.

  • Challenge Yourself-

Perform the exercise with one leg extended at a 45-degree angle toward the ceiling, or hold both legs off the floor, knees bent, with your shins parallel to the floor.

  1. Yoga Sit-Up/Pilates Roll-Up:

This move works the rectus abdominis, obliques, and transverse abdominis (the deepest core muscles that wrap around your waist).

  • Starting Position-

Lie on your back with your legs straight, feet flexed, and your arms reaching overhead on the floor.

  • The Exercise-

With your lower back pressed into the floor, exhale as you roll up in slow motion, reaching your arms off the floor, then your shoulders and head, rolling up one vertebra at a time until you are sitting up with abdominals still pulled in. Slowly roll back down. Repeat 3-5 times adding more as your core gets stronger.

  • Challenge Yourself-

Cross your arms over your chest as you roll up.

  1. The Crossover:

This exercise works all the core muscles but focuses on the obliques.

  • Starting Position-

Lie on your back, with your hands behind your head and knees pulled into your chest.

  • The Exercise-

Pulling one knee into your chest while extending your other leg straight, rotate your torso toward the bent knee. Slowly switch legs, pulling the other knee into your chest and rotating your torso toward it while extending the opposite leg off the floor. Repeat 5-10 times, adding more as your core gets stronger.

  • Challenge Yourself-

This exercise will get harder the closer your straight leg is to the floor but make sure your lower back stays on the floor at all times.

  1. Cobra Pose (Back Extension):

This exercise strengthens the erector spinae (the back muscles that extend your spine and prevent slouching) along with other low back muscles.

  • Starting Position-

Lie on your stomach with palms flat on the floor near your ribs. Extend your legs straight behind you, and press the tops of your feet into the floor.

  • The Exercise-

Slowly raise your head and chest off the floor, using only your back muscles. Do not push into your arms to press up. Keep your hip bones on the floor while gazing down at the floor to relax your neck muscles. Slowly lower back down. Repeat 3-5 times, adding more as your lower back gets stronger.

  • Challenge Yourself-

Reach your arms long beside your head while keeping your elbows straight.

  1. Plank Pose:

This exercise strengthens your obliques, transverse abdominis and your shoulder and back muscles.

  • Starting Position-

Begin on your hands and knees with your palms under your shoulders. Extend both legs straight behind you with toes tucked under.

  • The Exercise-

Hold this position (aka Plank) until you start feeling fatigued. Rest then repeat.

  • Challenge Yourself-

Balance on your forearms instead of your hands.

TIPS:
  • Always keep your abdominal muscles pulled in and up toward the spine.
  • Stop doing any activity that causes pain or makes pain worse.

Do you have any exercise tips for better posture that were not mentioned above? Please share them with us in the comments section below!

– Christine

Author Disclaimer: Please consult with your physician or other healthcare professional before starting this or any other fitness program to determine if it is right for your needs.



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