There’s a ridiculously simple way to totally transform your appearance with very little effort: Stand up straight! Of course, you know that’s easier said than done. A refresher: Your posture is perfect when your shoulders are stacked directly over your hips, your chest is lifted and open with your shoulders rolled back and away from your ears, and your spine is aligned from your tailbone to your neck.
To make this whole posture thing feel less forced, add the exercises below to your regular routine up to four times per week. These moves will strengthen your upper back and core, define your shoulders, and make proper posture your go-to positioning.
Unless otherwise noted, complete 10 to 15 reps of each move before you move on to the next one. Then repeat the entire circuit up to three times. The only thing you’ll need is a resistance band.
1. Bow and Arrow Stretches
Fold a resistance band and hold both of the loose ends together in your left hand. Hold the folded side in your right palm and make a fist. Stand up straight with your feet slightly wider than shoulders-width apart, your knees locked, and your toes pointing outward. Lift the band up to chest level and extend your left arm straight out to the side with your palm facing down. From this position, drive your right elbow straight out to your right side, stretching the band across your chest as you do so. With control, bring your right hand back in front of your left shoulder to release some of the tension in the band. That’s one rep. Complete 10 to 15 reps, then repeat on the opposite side.
2. Tricep Band Extensions
Stand up straight with your feet about hips-width apart. Wrap one end of a resistance band around your right hand, and reach your right arm up over your head to let the band trail down your back with your right elbow out to the side and your right palm facing forward. With your left hand, reach behind your back and loop the bottom end of the band around your left hand, turning your left palm to face behind you. Keeping your left hand level with your lower back and your chest open, extend your right elbow, and engage your upper back and right tricep to stretch the band straight up toward the ceiling. Release with control as you bend your right elbow and return to starting position. Complete 10 to 15 reps, then reverse hands and repeat the same number with the opposite arm raised.
3. Eagle Arm Twists
Hold one end of the resistance band in each hand along your sides. Stand on the center of the band with both feet together. Your toes and gaze should be facing forward. From this position, exhale as you twist from the waist to open your entire upper body to the right as you simultaneously lift both arms out to the sides and up to shoulder-level, keeping your elbows locked and palms facing down the the entire time. Next, inhale as you slowly bring your arms back down to your sides with control and turn your upper body back to starting position. That’s one rep. Complete 10 to 15 reps, then repeat the same number twisting to the opposite side.
4. Upper Body Swimming
Grab one end of a resistance band in each hand and position the band behind your back right below your bra strap. Take a large step forward with your left foot so your feet are staggered but facing forward. Keeping your spine completely straight and your ears away from your shoulders, engage your core as you hinge at the waist to bend your upper body about 45 degrees forward. Without bending your elbows, extend both arms straight out in front of you and raise your left arm about one foot as you simultaneously lower your right arm about one foot. Then raise your right arm about one foot and lower your left arm about one foot. Continue to quickly alternate arms for up to 30 seconds.
Don’t forget that comfy sports clothes and determination – all you need to achieve great results! Only the right sports clothes let you enjoy the freedom of motion.
The more we change up our positions throughout the day, the less likely it is for us to become stagnant—physically, mentally, and energetically. Give the body a little wake and shake. Your posture and your soul will thank you later!
Get more like this–sign up for our newsletter below for inspirational content and exclusive offers!