11 Exercises To Improve Body Posture For Men

“Stand straight!” We all have come across that at school. Believe it or not, many of us slouch more than it is normal and hence slowly develop an improper body posture. A proper body posture not only makes you look better but also enhances your personality. So, it’s very important for men to have a proper body posture.

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It takes time to fix one’s posture, but it is definitely not incorrigible. Through regular physical therapy, much of the pain and discomfort can be eradicated. There are many such exercises to improve body posture for men and doing them regularly will correct your posture over time.

Let us first get into what could possibly happen to you as a result of a poor posture.

Q. What Happens When You Have A Poor Body Posture?

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  • A properly aligned spine would be of an ‘S’ shape. But sometimes, bad posture can cause undue pressure in the wrong areas and cause back pain. If you keep your spine slouched too much quite often or if your job includes sitting on a chair at the computer, you are more likely to develop a flattened back and pain on your upper back due to the slouching and also some pain in your tail bone due to your improper sitting posture. 
  • You might also develop pain on the back of your neck as a poor posture can and often puts unbalanced pressure on the posterior part of your neck and the upper lumbar region. This, in turn, can result in you having bad headaches too.
  • We often underestimate the power of a “good night’s sleep”. If you’re unable to relax your body properly while you sleep, your body doesn’t get its due rest and can’t recover from the hustle it has gone through the entire day. Also, if you sleep in a poor posture, you’re likely to wake up with excruciating pain in places like your neck or back
  • A poor posture portrays a lack of motivation. When you do not sit up straight or stand with your shoulders curled inside, it can also have a negative impact on your work ethics. Your focus will be on how uncomfortable you’re feeling, rather than the task at hand. 

11 Exercises To Improve Body Posture For Men :

1. Child’s Pose :

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Of all exercises to improve body posture for men, this is perhaps the most common one. This resting pose stretches and lengthens your spine, glutes, and hamstrings. The child’s pose helps to release tension in your lower back and neck and it does help you with lower back and neck pain if done regularly with proper form.

How To Do It:

  • With your knees together, sit on your shinbones, your big toes touching, and your heels splayed out to the side. 
  • Fold forward at your hips and stretch your hands out in front of you.  Sink your hips back down toward your feet. If your thighs won’t go all the way down, feel free to place a pillow or folded blanket under them for support. 
  • Gently place your forehead on the floor or turn your head to one side. You could keep your arms extended or rest them along your body.
  • Breathe deeply into the back of your rib cage and waist.
  • Relax in this pose for up to 5 minutes while continuing to breathe deeply.

2. Forward Fold :

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This standing stretch releases tension in your spine, hamstrings, and glutes while stretching your hips and legs at the same time. While doing this stretch, you should feel the entire backside of your body opening up and lengthening. However, you shouldn’t be doing this for more than a minute for each set.

How To Do It:

  • Stand with your big toes touching and your heels slightly apart and bring your hands to your hips and fold forward at your hips.
  • Release your hands toward the floor or place them on a block. Don’t worry if your hands don’t touch the ground —  do not force your body to push, you might lose balance and that may lead to injuries; just go as far as you can.
  • Bend your knees slightly, soften your hips joints, and allow your spine to lengthen.
  • Tuck your chin into your chest and allow your head to fall heavy to the floor.
  • Remain in this pose for up to 1 minute.

3. Cat Cow :

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Practicing the cat cow stretch obviously stretches and massages your spine. It also helps to relieve you of any tension or rigidity in your torso, shoulders, and neck while promoting blood circulation.

How To Do It:

  • Come onto your hands and knees with your weight balanced evenly between all four points.
  • Inhale to look up, dropping your abdomen down toward the ground as you extend your spine slowly.
  • Exhale and arch your spine toward the ceiling and tuck your chin into your chest.
  • Continue this movement for at least 1 minute.

4. Standing Cat Cow :

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As the name suggests, you can do the cat cow pose while standing. Doing the cat cow pose while standing helps to reduce tension and tightness from your back and glutes.

How To Do It:

  • Stand with your feet about hip-width apart with a slight bend in your knees.
  • Extend your hands in front of you or place them on your thighs.
  • Lengthen your neck, bring your chin toward your chest, and round your spine.
  • Then look up, lift your chest, and move your spine in the opposite direction.
  • Hold each position for 5 breaths at a time.
  • Continue this movement for a few minutes.

5. Chest Opener :

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This exercise helps you to open up and stretch your chest. If your day job includes sitting all day long with a curled up back and a chest circled inside, this exercise is going to be beneficial for you. Developing a strong chest will definitely improve your posture and make you look taller and wider (in a good sense).

How To Do It:

  • Stand with your feet about hip-width apart.
  • Bring your arms behind you and interlace your fingers with your palms pressing together. Grasp a towel if your hands don’t reach each other.
  • Keep your head, neck, and spine in one line as you gaze straight ahead.
  • Inhale as you lift your chest toward the ceiling and bring your hands toward the floor.
  • Breathe deeply as you hold this pose for 5 breaths.
  • Release and relax for a few breaths.
  • Repeat at least 10 times.

6. High Plank :

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The high plank is a static hold that will ensure a strong core while strengthening the back, shoulders, glutes, and legs. It also helps you to develop balance and mobility and hence, it is one of the many common exercises to improve body posture for men.

How To Do It:

  • Go into a plank position but not on your elbows, use your palms instead.
  • Come onto all fours and straighten your legs, lift your heels, and raise your hips.
  • Straighten your back and engage your abdominal, arm, and leg muscles.
  • Lengthen the back of your neck, soften your throat, and look down at the floor.
  • Make sure to keep your chest open and your shoulders back.
  • Hold this position for up to 1 minute at a time. If a minute is to start with, work your way up to it slowly.

7. Pigeon Pose :

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This is another exercise to improve body posture in men. The pigeon pose opens up your hips, thus loosening up your glutes, hamstrings, and spine. It helps you to stretch your sciatic nerve and also your quadriceps. Stretching these parts of your body helps you to correct imbalances in your posture and fixing it altogether.

How To Do It:

  • Come down on all fours with your knees below your hips and your hands a little bit in front of your shoulders.
  • Bend your right knee and place it behind your right wrist with your right foot angled out to the left.
  • Rest the outside of your right shin on the floor.
  • Slide your left leg back, straighten your knee, and rest your thigh on the floor.
  • Make sure your left leg extends straight back (and not to the side).
  • Slowly lower your torso down to rest on your inner right thigh with your arms extended in front of you.
  • Hold this position for up to 1 minute.
  • Slowly release the position by walking your hands back toward your hips and lifting your torso.
  • Repeat on either sides.

8. Downward Facing Dog :

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This is a very common resting exercise that helps you to rest your back. It helps to relieve your back of any pain or tightness. Practicing it regularly will help fix your posture. It is one of those exercises to improve body posture for men, that can be done by anyone as it is not complicated and neither difficult.

How To Do It:

  • Lying with your stomach on the floor, press into your hands as you tuck your toes under your feet and lift your heels.
  • Lift your knees and hips to bring your sitting bones up toward the ceiling.
  • Bend your knees slightly and lengthen your spine.
  • Keep your ears in line with your upper arms or tuck your chin all the way into your chest.
  • Press firmly into your hands and keep your heels slightly lifted.
  • Remain in this pose for up to 1 minute.

9. Glutes Squeezes :

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Men often do not realise the importance of a well developed butt. It makes you look more grounded and aesthetic. This exercise helps to strengthen and activate your glutes while relieving lower back pain. It also improves the functioning and alignment of your hips and pelvis, leading to better posture.

How To Do It:

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet about hip-distance apart.
  • Keep your feet about a foot away from your hips.
  • Rest your arms alongside your body with your palms facing down.
  • Exhale as you bring your feet closer to your hips.
  • Hold this position for 10 seconds and then move them further away from your hips.
  • Continue this movement for 1 minute.
  • Do this exercise a few times per day

10. Thoracic Spine Rotation :

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This is another exercise to improve body posture in men. This rotational movement relieves tightness and pain in your back while increasing stability and mobility.

How To Do It:

  • Come onto all fours and sink your hips back down to your heels and rest on your shins.
  • Place your left hand behind your head with your elbow extended to the side.
  • Keep your right hand under your shoulder or bring it to the center and rest on your forearm.
  • Exhale as you rotate your left elbow up toward the ceiling and stretch the front of your torso.
  • Take one long inhale and exhale in this position.
  • Release back down to the original position.
  • Repeat this movement 5 to 10 times.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.

11. Isometric Rows :

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This exercise helps to relieve pain and stiffness from sitting in one place for too long. Isometric pulls work your shoulder, arm, and back muscles, giving you the strength to maintain good posture. It is one of the many effective exercises to improve body posture for men.

How To Do It:

  • Stand or sit in a chair with a softback.
  • Bend your arms so your fingers are facing forward and your palms are facing each other.
  • Exhale as you draw your elbows back into the chair behind you and squeeze your shoulder blades together.
  • Breathe deeply as you hold this position for 10 seconds.
  • On an inhale, slowly release to the starting position.
  • Repeat this movement for 1 minute.
  • Do this exercise several times throughout the day.

Bottom Line:

A proper body posture is crucial in maintaining a good impression in front of your colleagues, friends, and also, makes you look good in the mirror. Researches suggest that sitting most of the day leads to such unwanted pains in the lower back that ultimately lead to a bad posture. As technology keeps us strapped to computers and electronic devices, more of us are sitting for long periods of time than ever before.

And our health is suffering the consequences. While you may not be able to swap your desk job for one that requires you to walk or stay active all day, there is one thing you can do to improve your health right now: Sit correctly.  In order to avoid the effects of a lifetime of sitting, read on to learn how to find and maintain good posture.

References:

  1. https://integrehab.com/blog/back-pain/6-effects-poor-posture/
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/posture-exercises
  3. https://www.lifehack.org/681026/exercises-to-improve-posture
  4. https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/guide/better-posture-exercises#1
  5. https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-15552/6-exercises-to-reverse-bad-posture.html

Disclaimer: This article does not represent the views and opinions of medical professionals. It is solely based on research and reference by the author. It does not offer any medical suggestions or advice.

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