What if I told you that doing 3 quick stretches before bed every night could give the Superman-esque posture? You’d think I was a bit barmy wouldn’t you? Truth is, I am a bit barmy but there is a stretching circuit you can complete that will aid you in straightening yourself out over time.
The good news is that it’ll take less than 5 minutes, gives you loads of additional benefits and makes you feel great before bed. The bad news is that your bum cheeks might hurt at first because you’re an inflexible idiot.
Let’s get into it.
Wall slides are the main man when it comes to improving your posture. Stand with your heels, glutes and upper back touching the wall then move your hands up and down, keeping all points of contact stable throughout. That was probably the worst instructional sentence you’ve ever read so I’ll link a video below.
This exercise will help to reverse shoulder rounding and strengthen the shoulders and upper back – essential to keeping great posture and also fantastic for opening up your ribcage and thus improving your breathing quality.
Do 15 reps of this 5 times.
This exercise is to be done in a superset-like fashion with the exercise below. Bend over as much as you can and grab hold of the back of your legs. Take 5 deep breaths then return to the top of the movement.
This will give your hamstrings a fantastic stretch which can help to keep your posterior chain in check. Tight hamstrings are a hidden culprit when it comes to bad posture and a sore back and don’t always get the attention they deserve. By keeping your hamstrings and lower back supple, you eliminate one of the major causes of back pain and improve your strength and sporting performance without barely breaking a sweat.
Do 5 breaths, come up and perform the next stretch, then repeat 3 times – that’s one set. Do that for 5 sets.
Perform this one straight following your downward stretch. Come up, lengthen your back and stretch your arms as far up to the ceiling as you can. This one is fantastic for stretching out the back in a way that it’s not used to. In every day life we are so used to hunching over and bending down for things that we naturally start to adopt this posture on a regular basis.
By flipping this on its head and performing a stretch that pulls in the opposite direction, it acts as a sort of reset button, restoring your body’s natural posture and keeping you pain and injury free for the long haul. This, paired with the downward stretch is an effective one-two combo to help keep your posterior chain healthy and is especially important if you are performing heavy compound lifts in the gym or playing sports multiple times per week as it can boost performance and let you compete at your peak for as long as possible.
Do these back to back with the downward stretches. Repeat 5 times.
These three exercises will keep you fit for as long as you do ’em and take literally 5 minutes of effort per night. Do them.