Exercises to Improve Posture:
Get rid of the Burn in your Back

Do you have pain that keeps coming back? Is it worse after sitting at the desk all day long? Perhaps you need some exercises to improve posture. Sometimes what you need is a little rest.

How are you going to get this in the middle of the day? There is an exercise that comes from the Alexander technique that I find extremely helpful. In fact, whenever I feel a spasm starting in my back, or it just feels vulnerable and tired, I seek out a little floor space to do this as soon as I can... even at work or at someone's house.

Try exercises to improve posture right now!

Here is the "exercise"... actually it is just a very specific way to lie down on the floor. This can really help energize you and decrease your back and neck pain, and improve your posture in the process!

You will need a clear space on the floor or hard surface (preferable on a rug or mat) to lie down on and a few books. You are going to end up lying face up with your knees bent, so place the books about where you think your head will land. Most people will need about 2-3 standard paperback books. Here is the procedure. Read how to get up before trying it : )

  • Kneel down on the floor and place your books on the floor where you think your head will land.
  • Sit on the floor with the books behind you.
  • Pull your heels to your buttock with your feet about shoulder width apart.
  • Tuck your chin to your chest to curl your spine into a light stretch.
  • Let go of your legs and roll back onto the books. Try not to go too fast.
  • When you land, see if your head landed on the books correctly: If not, reposition, then get up and do it again.
  • You are probably going to feel crooked if you are having any back trouble: DO NOT try to straighten yourself out. The reason is that you will just create more muscle tension and create an S curve instead of a C curve. Instead, just try to relax those muscles, but don't actively move them.
  • Let go as thoroughly as you can onto the floor and the books. Allow your back to lengthen and widen. Don't try to do anything, but imagine your head releasing out and up along your spine, and your back lengthening and widening.
  • Think of breathing fully but easily into your back and sides; release your chest and abdomen down into your back as you exhale.
  • Allow your neck to be long and soft. If you find it difficult to really release the weight of your head, allow your head to go for a tiny, slow, sleepy roll, imagining it becoming heavier as it rolls.
  • Stay there for at least a minute or two (Traditionally, people do this for 15-30 minutes, but you can start with less).

How to get up from the stretch:

  • You are going to get up on your side. First look in the direction you are going.
  • Then let your arm follow, and then your body.
  • Let your knees come to the side.
  • Pivot up to the crawl position.
  • Either repeat the above procedure, or get onto your knees, then put one up and get up trying to keep the relaxation and lightness that you just experienced.

Did you find that helpful? I always do. I love the lightness it gives me in my back.

Now try more exercises to improve posture in my pelvic tilt series.

There is a great posture program available that is based on the Alexander Technique. It is a great because he includes videos of how to perform the exercises. You can check out a sample video from the program for improving neck posture here.

This program is by the same doctor that developed the fantastic trigger point finder tool.

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