I spend so much time in front of computer and hunched over my phone, that I’m worried I'm reshaping myself. So I went on a hunt for the best exercises and techniques for improving posture and addressing imbalance. Here are three of my favorites:
#1 Static Back
I found this position tucked deep inside Tim Ferriss’ classic The 4-Hour Body. It’s uses gravity get the torso aligned correctly and it's deceptively simple.
1. Lie on your back with your feet on a block or chair.
2. Place your arms out to the side, approximately 45 degrees from your body, with both palms up. Touch your thumbs to the floor.
3. Relax your upper back and ensure your lower back flattens to the floor evenly from left to right.
4. Hold this position for five minutes.
#2 Static Extension Position on Elbows
This one comes from Tim Ferriss as well.
1. Start on the floor on your hands and knees, ensuring your shoulders, elbows, wrists are in a straight line, hips directly above the knees.
2. Walk your hands forward about six inches and then then rest your elbows where your hands were.
3. Make a light fist with each hand and pull them away from each other, pivoting on your elbows and turning your thumbs out.
4. Push your hips back towards your heels to create an arch in your lower back. Let your head drop down.
5. Hold for 60 seconds.
Source: 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferriss
Tim Ferriss recommends doing this posture (and a few others he covers in his book) after every two or three hours of computer time. Yes, it might be challenging to find a place to lie down at work, but it's worth it.
#3 Wall Angels
I found this exercise poking around fitness websites and YouTube. It’s called a Wall Angel and it’s very effective at opening up the shoulders. Check out this video from Anne French at Coast Chiropractic, in East Sussex, England.
1. Stand against a wall with your arms bent at a 90-degree angle.
2. Be sure your lower back is touching the wall. Use your abdominals. This is important to receive maximum benefits.
3. Raise your arms up against the wall in a V formation. Bring them back down to the 90- degree angle position. Do this 10 times.
Do Wall Angels a couple of times a day. They are a great way to break up computer time and stretch your back.
What posture fixes work for you? We’d love to know what your experience is.