Improving posture and fixing hunched shoulders is important in today’s digital world. With many of us glued to our computers and cell phones, poor posture has become a major problem. That is why today we present you 10 exercises to correct bad posture and treat back pain by helping to relax it.

Poor posture can develop from slouching, tight muscles, stress, improper sleeping positions, being overweight, or having weak muscles. The longer you get into the habit of poor posture, the harder it is to break and the more damage you’ll do to your muscles and joints (which can later manifest as chronic back, neck, and shoulder pain).

Slouching is not good for your body or your self-esteem. If you slouch, you also likely have insufficient abdominal muscle strength and a belly that tends to “stick out” in the lower abdominal area.

Symptoms of slouching

  • Headaches
  • Rigidity
  • Fatigue
  • Foot, knee, hip and back injuries.
  • Muscle atrophy and weakness.
  • Digestion problems
  • Labored breathing
  • Sciatica
  • Nervous compression
  • Muscle tension
  • Bad circulation
  • Increased risk of joint discomfort.

Exercises to correct poor posture and treat back pain

When trying to get into a good posture routine, people often complain that their backs hurt too much. This is not unusual. Your back will ache when you start to change your posture, as you activate muscles that could be fatigued. Over time, it will be easier, as your muscles will get stronger and will be able to hold it better. Patience is key.

Aside from the exercises and stretches below, visualizing yourself standing is almost as important. When you find yourself hunched over, get up and close your eyes. Imagine that a rope comes from the top of your head and gently pulls you towards the ceiling. This will help you stand tall with your abs tight.

1. Back extension to correct posture

This exercise helps strengthen your back muscles and protects your spine from injury. When practiced regularly, this exercise can help you get rid of a round back and improve your posture . It is especially good for office workers who sit for a long time.


1. Lie down on your stomach and put your forehead on the ground.
2. Bring your arms to your sides and press your palms on your thighs.
3. Straighten your elbows and bring your legs together, slightly stretching your toes.
4. Exhale and gradually lift your head, chest, and upper abdomen off the mat, keeping your feet and hands in the starting position.
5. Inhale, and slowly lower yourself back to the starting position. Repeat 10 times.

2. Door stretch to correct bad posture

This stretch is perfect for counteracting a sagging chest from years of slouching.


1. Stand inside a door and bend your right arm at a 90 degree angle, and place your forearm against the door frame.
2. Place your bent elbow at shoulder height. Alternatively, you can grab the door frame with your hand as shown in the image above.
3. Rotate your chest to the left until you feel a good stretch in your chest and front shoulder.
4. Hold for 30 seconds, and repeat with the opposite arm.

3. Thoracic extension for better posture

Proper thoracic extension is necessary for good posture, and also to prevent neck, shoulder, upper back, lower back, and even hip pain.


1. Place a foam roller on the floor horizontally and lie on your back so that the foam roller is perpendicular to your spine, or goes over your shoulders.
2. Lift your glutes off the floor and use your heels to move them back and forth.
3. Keep rolling until you reach a point of discomfort, and once you do, press and hold that spot for 20-30 seconds.

4. Smash the ball with the pectoral

If you want to loosen the tight muscles in the front of your chest (the ones that are weak and sore from hunching over all day), you may want to integrate trigger point release with any type of ball (a tennis ball or a ball). lacrosse ball work great).


1. Place the ball between your chest and the wall.
2. Roll the ball around your chest until you find an uncomfortable spot and rest there for 10-20 seconds. Pressure at this trigger point will help loosen tight, knotty muscles and smooth out the fascia.
3. Keep rolling to find more pain trigger points. You can do this for as long as you want.

5. Shoulder dislocations

An excellent move to loosen up shoulders that have become tense after years of turning inward while hunching over. Although the name is intimidating, the stretch itself feels really good. You are not actually going to dislocate your shoulders doing this stretch. You will need a resistance band, a broomstick, or a PVC pipe that is about one and a half meters long.


1. Hold the band, broom, or tube in front of you with an overhead grip. Start with a wide grip if your shoulders are really inflexible (but keep your grip narrow if your shoulders are more flexible).
2. Slowly lift the band, broomstick, or tube in front of you, then over your head, until it is carried across your back / glutes, then return to the starting position.
3. Repeat this movement slowly for 10 repetitions.

6. Cat / cow pose to improve posture

This pose develops flexibility in the spine and is highly recommended for back pain. It will help you get movement in your upper back where most slouching problems begin.


1. Start with your hands and knees on the floor, palms directly under your shoulder knees and directly under your hips.
2. Inhale and press your abdominal muscles while arching your back like a stretched cat. Let your head and tailbone drop to the floor.
3. Return to the starting position, and then extend the upper part of your spine upwards, supporting it with your abdominal muscles and do not allow your neck to sink into your shoulders or your shoulders to contract into your neck. Make sure your neck is a long extension of your spine and don’t let your head fall back.
4. Return to the starting position and repeat 5 times.

7. Cobra stretch to correct poor posture and back pain

Cobra stretches stretch the chest and abdomen, while opening the ribs and lungs to improve breathing. It also stretches the muscles that are necessary to keep the shoulders back and the spine good and straight.


1. Place your hands, palms down, on the floor below your shoulders.
2. Inhale as you lift your chest off the floor by straightening your arms, with your abs engaged.
3. Keeping your lower ribs on the floor, roll your shoulders back and your heart forward. DO NOT crackle your neck. Keep your shoulders slumped away from your ears.
4. Hold for 30 seconds, then release, and slowly lower your chest and in front of the mat.

8. Angel wings


This stretch works the thoracic spine and can help counteract the formation of a hunchback.

1. Start with your knees slightly bent and your lower back, upper back, and head pressed against the wall.
2. Press the back of your arms against the wall, with the back of your fingers against it.
3. Move your arms up over your head, like a snow angel, while keeping your fingers, your entire back, your butt, and your head pushing against the wall. If your rear end loses contact with the wall, you are not doing it right.
4. Repeat 10 times.

9. Plank to correct bad posture

When it comes to good posture , you need a strong core. The plank strengthens various abdominal muscles while working your shoulders and back.


1. Get into a pressing position, and bend your elbows, supporting your weight on your forearms instead of your hands. Your body should form a straight line from the shoulders to the ankles.
2. Engage your core by sucking your navel towards your spine.
3. Hold this position for 60 seconds, or as long as possible.

10. Bow pose

This stretch helps correct poor posture by stretching the muscles in the front of the shoulder and lengthening them. Over time, the slouching shortens these muscles and therefore what we want to do is lengthen and strengthen them to avoid an immediate jump into slouching positions.


1. Lie on your stomach and bend your knees, placing them at the hips (or as close as possible).
2. Grab your feet with your hands (as shown above) and lift your head, chest, and knees off the mat.
3. Inhale, kick your legs so your arms go with them naturally and roll forward on your belly.
4. Exhaling, return to the original position. Repeat 5 times.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses. He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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