Posture, strength, and mobility are connected in what can be a potentially vicious cycle. If you slouch all day, you run the risk of weakening the muscles and immobilizing the joints you need to keep yourself upright. If your joints and muscles are stiff and out of shape, you’ll have a hard time supporting good posture. SIGH.
“One of the biggest factors to compromise mobility is poor posture from sitting all day, leading to muscle imbalance,” Emily Kiberd, DC, a doctor chiropractic at Urban Wellness Clinic, previously told Well+Good. “Weak muscles from sitting too much can lead to compensations in the body which can prohibit mobility, and cause joint degeneration, tight muscles, and headaches.”
To break out of this circular conundrum, you need to take a proactive approach. Enter: a workout that supports good posture by working your muscles and extending the range of motion of your joints. Kat Atienza, a coach and co-owner of Session in Brooklyn, has put together a 15-minute workout video for Well+Good’s “Good Moves” series that does just that.
This routine focuses on some of the majorly important zones for good posture. You need to have back strength and mobility to keep your shoulders pulled back. To train that, Atienza introduces a long loop resistance band which you’ll employ in seated rows, overhead presses, and lat pulldowns. (You can also use a mini-band, or stick with just your bodyweight.) These moves engage your lats and your mid-back while also mobilizing your shoulders.
Strong posture also calls on your glutes, hips, and core, since these muscle groups form a column of support for your whole spine. So Atienza programs moves like single leg hip thrusts to activate your backside and open up your hips.
“[There’s] lots to work on here with our posterior chain, but our anterior muscles—the muscles on the front side of the body—are really going to help support that healthy body just as much as the muscles on the back side,” Atienza says.
From top to bottom, and front to back, training strength and mobility for good posture is really a whole body endeavor.