Sitting for the majority of the day can lead to the development of the posture where the head protrudes forward, the mid back and shoulders round forward and the lower back arches excessively with an anterior tilt of the pelvis. Which can then lead to tightness and aches and pains in the neck, shoulders, lower back, and other areas. To reverse the adverse effects of sitting too much, I’ll be showing you two quick and easy 5-minute corrective routines with 8 exercises for posture that you can do anywhere, that are designed to mobilize these tightened areas (fix rounded shoulders), strengthen the weakened muscles (fix hunchback posture) , and work on correcting any asymmetries. Let’s get straight to covering the exercises for better posture.
The first routine will focus primarily on the upper body. The first exercise is over and backs. This exercise is used to open up and stretch the shortened chest and shoulder muscles, which will help fix hunchback posture. Next, we’re going to move onto the cobra pose. This is arguably one of the single best exercises for better posture because if you go joint by joint, the entire body is almost completely reversed in this stretch position compared to a typical sitting posture. The next exercise is the stand and reach, which will be used to help correct some of the asymmetries developed from slouching one way when sitting. Next, we’re going to move onto wall slides and chin nods that’ll help strengthen the weakened lower traps that contribute to that hunched over posture, and the weakened neck flexors that contribute to that forward head posture.
Next, we’ll move onto the second routine, which focuses on exercises for posture for the lower body. First, we’ll use quadruped thoracic extensions to work on “mid-back” mobility that gets stiffened from sitting and not only promotes that hunched over posture but can also cause problems and compensations in the lower back and lower body. Next, we’re going to move onto stretching out the hip flexors which have become tightened over time and are pulling the pelvis into that anterior pelvic tilt with the kneeling hip flexor stretch. Then, we’re going to move onto the pigeon stretch, that not only further lengthens the tightened hip flexors, but also helps open up the hips with external rotation and addresses any asymmetries present there to best set us up for success in the strengthening exercise we’ll do next. Lastly, we’ll move onto glute bridges to help awaken and strengthen the glutes that tend to become inactive and weakened as a result of prolonged sitting, and are now pulling the pelvis into that anterior pelvic tilt.
So, here are the two routines all summarized with rep range and timing guidance for each of the exercises that’ll help you fix that hunchback posture and reverse the effects of sitting too much.
Routine 1 (Upper Body Focus)
Exercise 1: Over-And-Backs (~10-15 slow reps)
Exercise 2: Cobra Pose (~5-10 slow reps with pause at top)
Exercise 3: Stand And Reach (~5-10 reaches each side, pause at end position)
Exercise 4: Wall Slides With Chin Nod (2 sets of 10-15 reps)
Routine 2 (Lower Body Focus)
Exercise 1: Quadruped Thoracic Rotations (~10 reps each side with pause at top)
Exercise 2: Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch (~30-45 second holds each side)
Exercise 3: Pigeon Stretch (~30-45 second holds each side)
Exercise 4: Glute Bridges (2 sets of 10-15 reps with pause at top position)
I’d suggest aiming to perform both of these routines at the very least once a day, and ideally each twice a day if you do sit quite a bit. As it’s the consistency and frequency with these routines that’s key. But, keep in mind as well though guys, that sitting is just part of the problem. I mean we see similar postural imbalances in those who stand all day as well. The real problem is not taking regular breaks, not being aware of your posture throughout the day, and just not moving enough in general. So focus on improving those aspects, while incorporating the exercises for better posture mentioned in this video, and you’ll be able to create positive long lasting changes and as a result look, feel, and perform that much better. And for a step-by-step holistic program that shows you exactly how to train and eat to build muscle and lean down without overlooking key muscles like the ones shown in this video, then simply take the analysis quiz to discover which science-based program would be best for you and where your body is currently at below:
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Filmed by: Bruno Martin Del Campo