Today I would like to share a strengthening exercise that I often recommend to my patients to correct bad posture. I call this exercise a “Wall Stand“.
This is a follow up to our previous post on stretching Pectoral muscles muscles to reduce slouching. Once again, major causes of bad posture are tight front musculature and weak back musculature. Unless there’s a permanent change with the spine structure (having spine deformity that leads to a permanent bad posture due to changes in the spine), bad posture can be fixed with simply exercises. All we need to do is to stretch tight muscles, strengthen weak muscles, and change our sitting habits.
Here’s what you do:
- Stand by the wall with your back against the wall
- Your heels should be about 6 inches off the wall
- Your feet are shoulder width apart
- Lean into the wall with your back. Most likely, you will notice space between your shoulders and the wall, space between your head and the wall, and space between your lower back and the wall.
- First, push your shoulders against the wall
- Then push the back of your head into the wall. Very important, do not look up when you do it. You should continue looking straight. So, ideally, you would tuck your chin a little bit and push with the back of your neck
- Finally, push your lower back into the wall to engage your core. To make this easier, you can bend your knees a little bit. If pushing with your lower back is too uncomfortable at this stage, don’t do it. You can focus only on shoulders and head/neck at first. Once you get good at it, you can add the lower back.
- Pay a close attention to your breath. A lot of people will start to compensate at this stage by breathing diaphragmatically (with their chest rising up and down). Instead, you should breath diagrammatically (with you belly button going in and out).
- Hold this position for up to 3 minutes. However, if your back muscles are very weak, you can hold it less in the beginning for up to a minute or 30 seconds. A good way to tell that you held it enough, is that you should have a slight burn like feeling in your back indicating that you were engaging your back muscles.
If this exercise is feels easy and you would like to make it more challenging, you can also add your arms as well. To do that, bring your arms to a horizontal plane, bend your elbows to 90 degrees. Now, push with your arms into the wall. This well engage your shoulder musculature (external rotators) helping you to improve your posture as well.
That’s it. I hope you enjoy this exercise and it helps you to reduce slouching and fix your posture. In case you experience back pain because of a bad posture, please see one of our specialists at MedSpa for a personalized advice. And if you have any questions or tried the exercise and would like to share your feedback, please leave a comment below.
Disclaimer: The views expressed on this blog are my own and do not reflect the views of my employer. The information on our site is for educational and informational purposes only. For a specific advise, please seek help from a medical doctor or from one of our qualified specialists.