11 Trainer-Approved Exercises For Better Posture

Rounded shoulders be gone.

Work through these exercises for better posture, straight from fitness experts.
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Bad posture is often linked to weaknesses in the muscle groups in charge of holding you upright — and that can often lead to stiffness, says physiotherapist Vicky Adie. The remedy? Experts suggest doing these exercises for better posture so you can stand (and sit) taller.

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Bird Dog

Vie says this move strengthens your core and glutes, two key areas that hold you upright.

- Start in a quadruped, knees under hips, hands under shoulders.

- Extend both right arm and left leg, feeling a stretch in your back.

- Return to start.

- Do 10x per side.

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Spinal Twist

Adie says this gentle twist improves spine flexibility, which supports good posture.

- Sit with legs crossed or extended forward.

- Breathe out as you rotate your body and head to one side.

- Return to center.

- Twist the other way.

- Repeat 8x per side.

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Head Tilt

According to physical therapist Mark Gugliotti, DPT, stretching the upper trapezius muscles helps prevent slouching.

- Tilt head to one side, bring ear to shoulder.

- Hold for 5 seconds. Return to middle. Tilt the other way.

- Repeat 5 times per side, 5 times a day.

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Chin Tuck

Physical therapist Danielle Sebek, PT points to the simple chin tuck as an easy way to strengthen neck muscles so you can hold your head in alignment.

- Look forward.

- Pull chin back and down into your chest.

- Hold for two seconds.

- Repeat 20 times, 3x a week.

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Shoulder Retractions

Catch yourself slouching? Sebek says this exercise prevents shoulders from rounding forward.

- Sit up straight in a chair.

- Squeeze shoulder blades together, pulling them back and down.

- Hold for 4 seconds and release.

- Repeat this move 20 times, 3x a week.

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Locust Pose

Yoga therapist Dr. Ingrid Yang says this pose engages back muscles and opens the chest to help relieve back pain.

- Lie on your stomach.

- Lift arms, chest, and legs up, keeping your gaze on the floor. Hold.

- For a deeper stretch, lock your hands behind you.

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Warrior 1

Yang also likes this yoga pose for activating the back muscles and training an upright posture.

- Step one leg forward, bend knee 90 degrees.

- Turn back foot out slightly. Keep back leg straight.

- Lift arms up, keeping them parallel.

- Look up and hold.

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High Rows

Chiropractor Dr. Jordan Duncan says these train your back muscles and help prevent rounded shoulders.

- Secure exercise band at shoulder height.

- Grab band with elbows extended.

- Pull band toward your chest, bending elbows.

- Return to start.

- Do 10 reps, 3x a day.

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Seated Fold

Pilates instructor Greta Wyeth says simple folds can lengthen the spine.

- Sit with legs extended in front of you, feet slightly apart.

- Exhale, pull belly button in.

- Nod head down as you reach towards your toes.

- Inhale, use core to rise back up.

- Do 5x a day.



These stretch and strengthen all parts of your torso to help improve posture, says Pilates pro Ashley Patten.

- Sit with legs crossed or folded to one side.

- Reach one arm up.

- Exhale. Stretch to side. “Think of lengthening your ribcage,” she says.

- Repeat 3x per side.

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Shoulder Rotation

Patten also likes this move for opening your chest and shoulders.

- From tabletop or forward lunge, reach one arm forward.

- Twist as you raise that arm to the ceiling.

- Let your gaze follow, but keep your body steady.

- Do 3x per side.

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