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Chiropractic Exercises for Better Posture

author image Martin Hughes
Martin Hughes is a chiropractic physician, health writer and the co-owner of a website devoted to natural footgear. He writes about health, fitness, diet and lifestyle. Hughes earned his Bachelor of Science in kinesiology at the University of Waterloo and his doctoral degree from Western States Chiropractic College in Portland, Ore.
Chiropractic Exercises for Better Posture
Chiropractic exercises to improve your posture focus on restoring balanced muscle tone to your body. Photo Credit olcayduzgun/iStock/Getty Images


Chiropractic exercises that help improve your posture focus on restoring balanced muscle tone to your body. Without balanced muscle tone, your posture suffers, and you may experience muscle- and joint-related problems, such as tension headaches, muscle strains and uneven joint wearing. A chiropractor can show you exercises that will help align your body's load-bearing joints and reduce your likelihood of experiencing posture-related pain or discomfort.

Shoulder Retraction Exercise

The shoulder retraction exercise helps vertically align your head and neck with your spinal column and helps your thoracic spine move into extension. The shoulder retraction exercise is deigned to relax your tight neck and pectoral muscles.

Stand up straight and keep your feet about shoulder-width apart and your toes pointing straight ahead. Slowly contract your abdominal muscles to keep your hips in a stable position. With your arms dangling freely at your sides, flip your palms over to face directly ahead and then lower your shoulders down and back so that your shoulder blades move toward your spine. Push your breastbone out and up. Position your head so that it's directly above your spinal column and then tuck your chin to your throat. Hold this stretch for 20 to 30 seconds. Perform this stretch one time per working hour.

Reverse Shoulder Shrugs

According to ChiroEco.com, the British Chiropractic Association suggests you perform reverse shoulder shrugs as a simple method to avoid neck and shoulder stiffness and improve your posture. Reverse shoulder shrugs help combat the effects of anterior head carriage or neck craning, which occurs with muscle fatigue and stress.

Perform reverse shoulder shrugs by standing or sitting up straight and keeping your head in a neutral position, directly above your spinal column. In one fluid motion, lift both of your shoulders toward your ears. Then roll your shoulders backward and down as your shoulder blades move toward your spine. This exercise helps extend your upper thoracic spine and opens up your chest. While you're performing this exercise, you should feel a light stretch in your chest and shoulder muscles. Perform 20 reverse shoulder shrugs two to three times a day, five days a week or more of you're doing a lot of computer work.

Repetitive Chin Tuck Exercise

Perform the repetitive chin tuck exercise to stretch your neck muscles and promote better posture. The repetitive chin tuck exercise targets the muscles in your upper cervical spine, which are situated just below the base of your skull. Somatics.com states that chronic tension in these muscles, which act on the connective tissue that surrounds your skull, will produce headaches.

Perform the repetitive chin tuck exercise by sitting on the edge of a chair and keeping your spine straight. This is your starting position. Keeping your gaze level, pull your head and neck straight back (without tilting your neck backward) and bring your chin to your throat. You should feel a light stretch in the back of your neck, just under the base of your skull. Hold your stretch for five to seven seconds and then return to your starting position. Repeat this exercise 10 times five days a week. To enhance your stretch, you can use your index finger to place gentle pressure on your chin.

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