A 5-Minute Back Workout You Can Do Every Day for Better Posture

Five minutes and five moves are all you need to improve your posture.
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We do a lot of sitting in our day-to-day lives — working at a desk, sitting in traffic for hours or just sitting down to watch your favorite Netflix show for the evening. Being sedentary can up your risk of many chronic diseases, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer.


But it's not just inactivity that concerns experts, it's how we're sitting that also can be bad for our back health. Sitting for prolonged periods of time results in posture changes in your lumbar and thoracic spine (vertebrae in the lower and middle part of your spine, respectively), along with the de-conditioning of the muscles in that area.

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Your posture can actually affect how you feel, according to Lompoc Valley Medical Center. For example, good posture can provide you with higher energy levels, more confidence, neck tension relief, migraine relief, prevent back and shoulder issues and improve already existing chronic back pain.

An easy way to improve poor posture is to implement strength exercises that target your core, back, pelvis and shoulders and pull you into proper alignment. We've put together a quick five-move routine you can do every day to reap these benefits. All you need is 5 minutes.

1. Shoulder Blade Squeeze

Sets 3
Reps 10
  1. Stand upright with your arms by your sides.
  2. Without raising your shoulders, squeeze your shoulder blades together, bringing them as close to each other as you can.
  3. Hold there for 10 seconds, then release.
  4. Repeat this exercise 10 times.

2. Glute Bridge

Sets 3
Reps 30
  1. Lie on your back with your arms resting by your sides, knees bent and feet flat on the ground hip-width apart. Your feet should be close enough to your hips that if you reach one hand at a time toward each heel, you can just touch it with your fingertips.
  2. Relax your arms alongside your body. Think of your shoulders being "glued" to the floor to help keep your spine neutral.
  3. Squeeze your glutes and core, and press your heels into the ground to drive your hips up toward the ceiling until you form a diagonal line from knees to hips to chest. Resist the urge to arch your lower back as you raise your hips. Focus on keeping your spine in a neutral position throughout.
  4. Hold this position for a 1 to 2 seconds with your glutes engaged.
  5. Slowly lower your hips back down to the ground and reset in the starting position for a second before lifting back up.

3. Back Extension

Sets 3
Reps 30
  1. Lie over an exercise ball on your stomach. Position yourself so that the ball is resting on your abdomen and hips.
  2. Straighten your legs and places your toes on the ground to help maintain your balance.
  3. Cross your arms in front of your chest.
  4. Extend your back and lift your chest up as far as possible. Keep your hips in contact with the ball throughout this movement.
  5. Return to the starting position and repeat.


If you don't have access to an exercise ball or don't feel comfortable using one for this exercise, you can do the same exercise on the floor:

  1. Lie facedown on the floor with your arms crossed in front of your chest. (You can also place your hands behind your head if this is more comfortable.)
  2. Brace your core.
  3. Extend your back and lift your chest up as far as possible. Keep your hips in contact with the ball throughout this movement.
  4. Hold this position for up to 10 seconds, then lower back to the floor.

4. Plank

Sets 3
Time 1 Min
  1. Lie face down on the floor, with your palms next to your chest. Your elbows should sit directly underneath your shoulders
  2. Press into your palms and rise up on your toes.
  3. Your body should hover off the floor in a neutral line (feet, hips, shoulders and head in one straight line.)
  4. Draw your navel toward your spine and squeeze your glutes.
  5. Hold for 60 seconds.


You can also do the plank on your forearms if you find it feels better — it's still a great spine stabilization and core exercise. Having a strong core aids in activating the muscles surrounding the lower back, which can prevent injury and pain if done often and correctly.

5. Single-Leg Iso Hold

Sets 10
Time 10 Sec
  1. Lie on your back and bring your feet up into a tabletop position (your knees should be bent to 90 degrees).
  2. Drop your right leg down so your right foot is on the floor, keeping your knee bent.
  3. Place your palm on the middle of your left thigh, which is suspended in the air.
  4. Create resistance between your leg and palm by pressing your back against the floor and pushing against your thigh.
  5. Hold for 10 seconds and release.


When performing this exercise, you'll feel the side that is creating resistance fire up. This is great for your lower abs and lower back muscles.




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