In today’s day and age, with a sedentary lifestyle taking over most of our lives, it is necessary to include strengthening exercise in one’s routine. Strengthening exercises not only help in increasing one’s stamina levels but also increase bone density, metabolism rate and improves heart health along with a host of other benefits.

What Posture Type Do You Fall Under?

Hollow Back:

This posture shows a very visible curve at the lumbar spine and a bulge around the pelvis and abdomen. This posture is common amongst those who do not exercise and can negative effects on the body like slipped discs and damage of sciatic nerves.

Military Posture:

Rightly named, the posture is characterized by an unusually straight neck. The most common reason for this condition is poor posture which can worsen when with long working hours on computers/laptops, certain occupational conditions, doing repetitive movements are practiced.

Rounded Posture:

Do you have slumped shoulders? Tasks that lead to rounded posture is using gadgets such as phones or tablets or computer, lifting heavy objects, driving and bending often. Ignoring this condition can be cause damage to the upper back and muscles.

Anterior Pelvic Tilt:

Also known as the Donald Duck posture, those with this condition have a deep lower back curve along with glutes and stomach evidently bulging out. Those who are obese, pregnant or follow sedentary lifestyles are prone to this condition.

Correct Posture:

A correct posture is characterized by standing straight with arms relaxed on either side, head well levelled, stomach pulled in, shoulders pushed backwards gently comfortably and standing on the balls of one’s feet.

Dr. S. Ayyadurai

How To Correct Your Posture?

A correct posture plays a crucial role in one’s wellbeing. It not only is an instant confidence booster but also aids in healthy body functioning. Apart from making a conscious effort to correct your posture, one must include exercises to stretch and strengthen the hamstrings, glutes, spine, lower back and chest. Exercises to relieve stress and tightness in the body help in correcting posture. 

Strengthening Exercises

For the Ankle:

  • Exercise 1:

Keep the towel on the forefoot and pull it towards you (knee should be straight)

  • Exercise 2:

Stand while placing your right leg behind keeping it straight; place your left leg forward bending it on the knee at a 90 degree angle. Repeat the same vice versa.

  • Exercise 3:

Gently press the ball of your foot against the wall. Repeat the same vice versa

  • Exercise 4:

Place the ball of the foot on a step and pull the heel of the foot downwards. Repeat on the other foot.

  • Exercise 5:

Roll your foot over a small ball. Repeat the same on the other foot.

  • Exercise 6:

Place your foot on a curled towel and grasp the same with toes.

  • Exercise 7:

Place your foot over a spread out towel. Curl the towel with your toes.

  • Exercise 8:

Place your foot over a spread out towel. Curl the towel with your toes.

  • Exercise 9:

Lift objects with the help of your toes

  • Exercise 10:

Move your foot forward against an elastic band

For The Neck:

  • Exercise 1:

Push the chin downward trying to touch it to your chest, then bring the neck to neutral and hold for 10 seconds. Look up to ceiling, hold and bring back to neutral and hold for 10 seconds.

  • Exercise 2:

Turn your chin towards the left, then to the right, trying to bring your chin over the shoulder and hold for 10 seconds.

  • Exercise 3:

Place your hands on your forehead, push your hands forward against the hands, without moving your head and hold for 10 seconds.

  • Exercise 4:

Clasp your hands on your head, push head backwards against the hand without moving your head and hold for 10 seconds.

  • Exercise 5:

Place your hands over the side of your head and turn towards the right against resistance and then towards the left against resistance.

  • Exercise 6:

Stand erect, arms held loosely at the sides, slowly move your shoulders up and down.

  • Exercise 7:

Stand erect, hold your arms behind. Now move your shoulders forward and backward.

For The Knee:

  • Exercise 1:

Sit in a chair; straighten your leg and hold. Repeat 5- 10 sets on both legs.

  • Exercise 2:

Lean with your back against the wall, bend your knees 30 degrees by sliding down the wall. Then straighten up again. Move slowly and smoothly. Keep your feet and legs parallel and centre your kneecap over your second toe.

  • Exercise 3:

Sit on the floor, stretch your legs and press the knees down towards the ground, pulling the toes towards you and hold for 10 seconds.

  • Exercise 4:

Without bending the knee, raise each leg up to 50-60 degrees for 10 seconds.

  • Exercise 5:

Lift both legs for 3 seconds and lower legs.

  • Exercise 6:

Turn sideways and lift leg without bending knee and hold for 10 seconds.

  • Exercise 7:

Raise the leg upwards from knee at a right angle to the thigh and hold for 10 seconds

Shoulder Stretches For Relief Of Shoulder Pain (10 Seconds Each Exercise)

  • Exercise 1:

Stand, raise your arms above the head and lower the joined hands slowly

  • Exercise 2:

Stand, raise your arms sideways without bending your elbow

  • Exercise 3:

Move your arms from front to back without bending elbow

  • Exercise 4:

Push your shoulder back without bending the elbow

  • Exercise 5:

Place one arm on a table while placing your upper body parallel towards the ground. Keep the other arm loose and move it front and backwards, sideways and in circular motions.

  • Exercise 6:

Rotate shoulders clockwise and anti-clockwise.

  • Exercise 7:

Look towards the wall and place your hand gradually along the wall.

Stretch Exercises To Follow At Your Desk/Computer (10 Seconds Each Exercise)

  • Exercise 1:

Sit at your desk, interlock your fingers and stretch towards the computer (palms facing outwards) for 10 seconds.

  • Exercise 2:

Stand up, interlock your fingers and stretch upwards (palms facing outwards).

  • Exercise 3:

Move shoulders upwards and downwards.

  • Exercise 4:

Shake out hands

  • Exercise 5:

While sitting on a chair, cross your right leg over the left. Pull the right leg towards the left with your left arm while looking towards your right.

Dr. Ayyadurai S, is a Head of Physiotherapy, Fortis Malar, Hospital, Chennai