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The Best Posture or Shoulder Exercises for a Straight Back

author image Brenda Barron
Brenda Barron is a writer, editor and researcher based in Southern California. She has worked as a writer since 2004, with work appearing in online and print publications such as BabyZone, "Cat Fancy" and "ePregnancy." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from California State University, Long Beach.
The Best Posture or Shoulder Exercises for a Straight Back
Pull your shoulders back to attain proper posture. Photo Credit 4maksym/iStock/Getty Images

If you want a straight back and good posture, it's imperative to practice sitting up straight and rolling your shoulders back. However, this is often easier said than done, as poor posture is acquired over time and results in weak and tight muscles. Obtaining good posture takes work, but it can be accomplished by practicing shoulder and posture strengthening exercises.

Pelvic Tilts

To get a straight back and good posture, you must have strong core muscles. The core includes your abdominal muscles, side abdominal muscles or obliques and your lower back muscles. In combination, these muscles are responsible for holding up your upper body and making it easier for you to stand tall. One way to strengthen these muscles is to perform pelvic tilts. To begin, lay on the floor with your legs stretched out and your arms at your sides. Push your glutes into the floor. This should make your back arch. Then, switch and push your hips up. This should make your lower back rest flush on the floor. Repeat several times while keeping your tummy tight.

Chin Tucks

Poor posture can also be characterized by a tendency to thrust the head forward. This puts a lot of pressure on your neck and can lead to slumped shoulders and a stooped appearance. To fix this, perform chin tucks that move your head back into the appropriate position over your neck. To begin, sit in a chair and look forward. Roll your shoulders back and tilt your head down. Imagine that a string is attached to the back of your head as you tuck your chin down and push your head back over your neck. Hold for several seconds, then relax. Repeat throughout the day as a posture reminder.

Chair Stretch

Sitting in the same position all day can wreck your posture, especially if you sit slumped over a computer keyboard. To remedy this, stretch often. Stand and stretch and change positions. To stretch in your chair, sit up as straight as you can and place your hands behind it. Put your hands together and point your palms upward as you roll your shoulders back and down. Stretch your arms out as far as they will go without causing pain. Repeat every 30 minutes, at least.

Wall Press

Strengthening the muscles in your back can also help you stand taller and straighter, says University of California Los Angeles Ergonomics. An exercise you can perform to facilitate strong back muscles involves standing with your back pressed against a wall. Stand as straight as you can and place both arms against the wall. The backs of your arms should be touching its surface with your elbows bent at a 90-degree angle. Slide your arms up the wall. Every part of your arm should remain touching the wall. Slide the arms back down and repeat. Don't thrust your head forward or roll your shoulders forward to accomplish this. Keep your head held high and your shoulder blades together.

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