Remember all those times that your Mom told you not to slouch? Sit up straight, she’d say with a smile. Well, it turns out Mom really did know best because good posture can have a considerable impact on our overall health and poor posture can lead to pain, especially in your neck and back.
Those who have recently transitioned to a work-from-home arrangement have likely noticed how easy it can be to fall into a poor posture trap. Whether that means you’ve abandoned proper workplace ergonomics in favor of the dining room table, sofa or the comforts of your bed, your neck and back could be paying the price.
Fortunately, our own Alex Bolin, PT has a couple of simple exercises you can do at home to relieve pain related to poor posture.
For most of these exercises, you’ll need to lie on the edge of your bed with your arm dangling off the side. For an added challenge, you can use a small weight (two or five pounds), but simply making a fist and using your body weight will be sufficient.
The first move is called the Prone T. Lie on your stomach (also known as the prone position) with the weight arranged horizontally in the hand of the arm that is dangling, slowly raising it until it’s even with your body as if you’re forming one half of the letter “T.”
Our second move, which we call Divers, involves holding the weight in a vertical position. Slowly lift your arm until you reach the T position. But before progressing back down, flip the placement of the weight like you are dumping out a pitcher of water and continue down to the original starting place. Repeat the sequence and the flipping of the weight with each rep.
Prone Row and Rotation is our third move of this set. For this exercise, you will again hold the weight horizontally like you did with the Prone T—but instead of lifting your arm out, you should lift it straight up. Once there’s a nice even plane across your back and through your shoulder, flex your arm up to be perpendicular to the rest of the body in that prone position. Revert back to the position where you had that plane across your back and arm and propel your arm down to complete the rep.
For our Sidelying Punch, you’ll want to move from your stomach to your side. Holding the weight horizontally, bring your arm back until you feel a good stretch, then slowly push forward until full extension.
You mastered the Prone T earlier in the workout, but now it’s time for the Prone Y to wrap up the set. Make your way back to your stomach and again hold the weight vertically. Unlike the Prone T where you lifted your arm out, this move has you lifting your arm up next to your ear like you’re making one half of the letter “Y.”
Each of these five exercises should be completed once a day, with a maximum of 10 reps per exercise for each arm.
Be sure to check the blog often for more tips from Alex Bolin, PT and the other knowledgeable providers at Agile Virtual PT.
If these exercises aren’t bringing you the type of relief from pain or discomfort you’re experiencing from poor posture, we want to hear from you. Schedule your appointment with an Agile Virtual PT provider today.