As you age, you gain in areas like wisdom and wealth. At the same token, you may also begin to experience some declines in areas like physical strength, posture, and mobility.
Age-related physical decline is a natural part of aging and is somewhat inevitable, but you can still age well and prevent some of these changes.
As you get older, you gradually lose some muscle loss, which can lead to a bad posture and slouching shoulders. It’s a common recipe for back pain, spinal misalignment, and less mobility.
It can also lead to headaches, weaker joints, poor digestion, and muscle strains.
If you are bound to a computer all day, you are more prone to developing slouched back and poor posture. They can be a real major issue that can manifest as chronic pain and other health issues.
Thankfully, building a good posture can be done with a few corrective exercises you can easily do at home.
These exercises will help un-slouch your back and safeguard your shoulders and back from future back issues.
Adding these exercises to your regular routines will help build strength in your core, back, and shoulders. They will also help you gain the muscle mass and flexibility you need to gain a full range of motion and mobility.
4 Exercises to Un-Slouch Your Back
The popular cat/camel pose in yoga is an excellent exercise for your spinal flexibility and posture correction.
If you regularly experience back pain, this pose is gentle to perform and may help ease the pain and aches. As you extend and arch your back, pay particular attention to your core and upper back/shoulders.
If you have a habit of slouching your shoulders, this move is a must.
- Begin on your hands and knees, with your hands directly beneath your shoulders and your knees directly beneath your hips.
- Slowly, allow your stomach to sag towards the floor as you simultaneously extend your head backward.
- Hold this “camel” position for 10 seconds. Then reverse these motions by rounding your back and tucking your chin to your chest (this is the “cat” position).
- Hold this position for 10 seconds, then return to the camel.
- Continue to alternate between these positions until you have completed 10 reps of each pose.
Foam Roll Upper Back Extension
Foam rolling your back is very effective in loosening tight and compressed muscles. It can also help protect your back from injury and restore movements to the thoracic spine.
If you feel stress in your back and shoulders, spend 30-60 seconds at a time on a foam roller. You’ll feel the stress and tension melt away as you hold and roll the roller on those problem areas.
- Lay down face up on a floor with the foam roller horizontally under your body. Bring your hands behind your head and support your neck and hold the weight of your head.
- Lift your hips off the floor and keep them in line with the upper back.
- Gently and slowly roll the roller across the spine from your mid back to your upper back, the base of your neck.
- Repeat 8-10 times
Preventing any back issues and poor posture requires strength in your core and back.
This is because your core supports your spine and serves as the base for your spinal stabilizing muscles. The stronger the core, the better posture you’ll have, and one simple exercise you can start with is the plank.
It’s a gentle move that won’t put pressure on the back and if you perform it correctly, it won’t strain your back. Be sure to activate and engage your abdominal muscles and glutes in addition to the back and shoulders as you hold.
- Get into a press-up position, and bend your elbows, resting your weight on your forearms instead of your hands. Your body should form a straight line from shoulders to ankles.
- Engage your core by sucking your belly button toward your spine.
- Hold this position for 60 seconds, or as long as possible.
The back extension exercise not only strengthens the back muscles but also improves your spinal mobility. This also helps reverse the slouching shoulders and rounded back. It’s a great posture corrective move you can do at home.
- Lie on your stomach and place your arms directly below your shoulders with your elbows bent.
- Engage the core muscles and glutes to safeguard your spine during the stretch.
- With control, slowly raise your upper body off the floor, pressing up through the palms. Keep your pelvis and hip bones flat on the floor. Go up only as far as you can comfortably do.
- If you experience any tension in the lower back, go back to the original position and relax.
- Hold the position for 10 seconds.
- Repeat 8-10 times.