Working from home has plenty of benefits, but one thing that’s not so great is spending all those hours hunched over your laptop. Even if you had pretty good posture before the world changed, there’s a good chance all those hours spent typing away on the couch have done you dirty.
Luckily, there’s a simple way to combat the effects of working from home: doing workouts for better posture. Particularly ones that strengthen your back and core, as they work together to keep you sitting and standing tall. “A main role of the back muscles is to keep the spine erect or extended. In contrast, the abdominal muscles are their antagonist and act to flex the spine,” says Erin Policelli, a physical therapist and founder of Stretch Kinetics in Atlanta. “If you think of the constant force of gravity that is pulling us, the spinal muscles are needed to constantly work to keep us upright. That’s why having a strong core can help prevent back pain, and you also need a strong core for good posture and support.”
When you’re ready to get your posture back on track, these are the best back and core workouts—as well as feel-good, realigning stretches!—to start with.
The combo of workouts you need for better posture
1. 8-minute core and back workout
This workout focuses on strengthening you core and back muscles. What makes it even better is how quick it is. Trainer Charlee Atkins takes you through 8 different moves in just 8 minutes, including bird dog, reverse tabletop, and heel taps.
2. Resistance band abs and back workout
All you need for Simone de la Rue’s abs and back workout is a resistance band. During the 13-minute sweat sesh, she goes through a handful of moves that strengthen and tone, like seated rows and roll ups.
3. 8-minute head, neck, and shoulder stretching routine
Anytime you notice some extra tightness or tension in your head, neck, and shoulders from sitting all day, use this quickie stretching routine from Sky Ting founders Chloe Kernaghan and Krissy Jones to loosen things up and realign your body.
4. 25-minute no-equipment arm and back workout
Billie Robyn’s 25-minute workout works your entire upper body—primarily your back and arms. You also don’t need any equipment to get the job done: just yourself and a mat.
5. Twisting yoga flow to stretch and unwind
Alicia Ferguson and Paris Alexandra, founders of BK Yoga Club, will stretch and twist every muscle in your body in this twisting yoga flow. After the 30 minutes are up, you’ll feel like a new person.
6. Back and core resistance band workout
Maxine Goynes proves you don’t need gym equipment in order to get a solid back and core workout. Instead, you can do exercises like rows with a resistance band.
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