Stand Up Straight… Shoulders Back and Chest Up!
Ever feel hunched over like your chest is pulling you down and no matter how much you try to stay in a good upright posture you still end up with rounded shoulders and a sinking chest? A great way to help your posture is to actively stretch the muscles that tend to become tight and pull us down (i.e. your pectoral muscles), while strengthening the opposing muscles (middle trapezius and rhomboids) that help us stay upright.
1. Stand with your back against the wall. Keep your chin down and your head against the wall. Your heels should touch the wall and feet should be shoulder width apart.
- If the back of your head does not touch the wall, then use a small towel behind your head.
2. Tighten your abdominals by drawing your belly button to your spine. This should gently press your lower back against the wall.
- If your back remains arched, then walk your feet out away from the wall until your back is gently pressed against the wall.
3. Put the back of your elbows, forearms and wrists against the wall (as if you were a referee signaling a field goal.)
- If you cannot get your arms against the wall, then first try to pinch your shoulder blades together.
- If you still cannot get your arms against the wall, then this will be your goal!
4. Bring your arms up and down slowly in a small arc of motion while keeping your elbows in contact with the wall.
5. Try doing a set of 10 repetitions to start!
The wall angel seems like it should be an easy exercise. Give it a try and you might be surprised at how tight you might actually be!
Take care of your body and stay healthy!
Stephanie S. Saito, DPT, OCS, is a physical therapist at HealthCare Partners Physical Therapy in Torrance with a specialty in Orthopedics. A part-time instructor at Mount Saint Mary’s College in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program, she holds a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from UCLA and a Doctorate of Physical Therapy from USC.
The material presented on this site is for informational purposes only and does not necessarily represent the opinions of Keiro Senior HealthCare, The Institute for Healthy Aging at Keiro, or its contributors. Readers should consult appropriate health, legal, or financial professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being. Full disclaimer