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Posture Exercises

The following posture exercises can be done in a seated or standing position.  If standing you can use a chair or countertop for balance and support.  When performing these exercises, remember to not let your pain increase by more than two points from your starting pain level. Start slowly with limited repetitions and increase as it becomes easier to perform. 

Posture

Before you begin these exercises, think about your current posture and body positioning. Try to start each stretch or exercise with the proper body positioning and posture.

Stretches

  1. Lumbar extension stretch – Start with your hands placed on the small of your back. Keeping your shoulders down, carefully and slowly arch back until you feel a stretch. Hold for 3 seconds. Return to starting position. Repeat 10 times. Please note that you should NOT have any increased pain with this stretch.
  2. Lumbar flexion stretch – Gently and carefully, reach your hands down towards the floor until you feel a gentle stretch in the low back. Hold for 10 seconds. Return to starting position. Repeat 5 times.
  3. Side stretch – Slide your right hand down your leg or towards the floor if seated. Hold for 10 seconds. Return to starting position. Repeat on the other side. Repeat 5 times on each side.
  4. Pec Stretch with back at the wall – Standing with your back to the wall with feet shoulder width apart with your shoulders and hands touching the wall. Turn your palms up and gently press your shoulders into the wall. Hold for 10 seconds.  Relax.  Repeat 5 times. If seated, sit with your back against chair.  Arms are straight at your sides and behind chair with palms facing out. Gently press your arms back away from chair to feel a stretch in your chest area. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat 5 times. 

Shoulder & Neck Exercises

  1. Neck retraction – Looking straight ahead pull your chin in (as if making a double chin). Hold position for 10 seconds. Relax. Repeat 5 times. 
  2. Shoulder rolls – Lift shoulders up and rotate them back, down and around. Repeat 10 times.       
  3. Trap stretch – Looking straight ahead, tilt your head so your ear moves toward your left shoulder. Hold for 10 seconds.  Return to starting position. Repeat on the right side. Repeat 10 times. 
  4. Scapular squeezes – Elbows bent at your sides with thumbs facing up. Push your elbows back until you feel a gentle squeeze between the shoulder blades. Hold 10 seconds. Return to starting position. Repeat 10 times. 

Shoulder & Thoracic Exercises

  1. Shoulder press up at wall – Standing with your back against the wall, looking forward and shoulders pressed back. Start with your hands at your shoulders, palms facing forward. Slowly bring your hands up over your head as high as you can and back to starting position while keeping your shoulders in contact with the wall. If seated, sit with your back against chair. Bring your hands to your shoulders, palms facing forward. Slowly bring your hands up over your head as high as you can while keeping your back against the chair and your chest open. Return to starting position. Repeat 10 times. 
  2. Horizontal Abduction “T’s” – Start with your arms straight out in front of your body, thumbs up. Keeping your arms straight, slowly bring your arms out to the side, until you feel a good “squeeze” of your shoulder blades. Then slowly return to starting position. Repeat 10 times.
  3. Wall Angels – Standing with your back against the wall, looking forward with your shoulders pressed back. Start with your arms down at your hips, palms facing out. Keeping the back of your hands against the wall and your arms straight, lift them up as high as possible without increasing pain by 2 levels. Hold for 5 seconds. Slowly return to starting position. If seated, sit with your back against the chair. Arms straight and down at your sides with palms facing out. Keeping your back against the chair, lift your arms out to the side and up as high as possible without increasing pain by 2 levels. Hold for 5 seconds. Slowly lower arms to starting position. Repeat 10 times. 

For questions, please call 610-776-3167.