As we spend an increasing amount of time sitting down and staring at screens, it’s no wonder that many of us suffer from back pain caused by poor posture. Poor posture can lead to numerous health problems, from back and neck pain to headaches and fatigue. Fortunately, there are simple exercises that you can do to strengthen your core muscles and improve your posture. Here are seven exercises that can help you reduce back pain and improve your overall posture:
1. Standing hamstring stretch.
Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Raise one leg onto a bench or chair. Keep your knee straight and slowly lean forward until you feel the stretch in your hamstring. Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds before switching sides.
2. Wall angel.
Stand with your back against a wall and your feet about six inches from the wall. Keep your arms bent at a 90-degree angle with your elbows at your sides. Slowly slide your arms up the wall until your arms are as straight as possible. Hold this position for five seconds before sliding your arms back down.
3. Glute bridge.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Slowly raise your hips off the ground while squeezing your glutes. Hold the position for three seconds before lowering your hips back to the ground.
Begin by getting into a push-up position with your forearms on the ground. Keep your body straight and hold this position for as long as possible. Start with 10 seconds and work your way up to one minute.
5. Standing hip flexor stretch.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Take a large step back with your left foot and lunge forward with your right foot. Keep your back straight and your hips facing forward. Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds before switching legs.
6. Thoracic spine rotation.
Sit on a chair with your feet flat on the ground. Place your hands behind your head and twist your upper body to the left. Hold the position for five seconds before twisting your upper body to the right.
7. Cat-cow stretch.
Start on all fours with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Inhale and arch your back, lifting your head and tailbone towards the ceiling. Exhale and round your spine, dropping your head and tailbone towards the floor.
By incorporating these exercises into your daily routine, you can improve your posture and reduce back pain. Remember to listen to your body – if any exercise causes pain, stop immediately. With time and consistency, you’ll see improvement in your posture and reduce your chances of developing back pain.