4 simple 10 minute workouts to improve your posture
Karl from Vitruvian Health shares 4 simple workouts you can do in the gym to improve your posture – and they only take 10-15 minutes each!
This workout is designed for you to do in the gym. It aims to work on your upper back, lower back and core. These are the muscles that support our everyday activities and our fundamental movements. Strengthening these muscles will help you stand taller, prevent injury and leave you feeling stronger day to day if you do them at least 2 times per week, for 3 sets per group.
We have designed this into a series of small workouts so you can select specific workouts to suit your busy schedule. If you happen to have a spare 45-60 minutes, you can follow along with our video and complete the whole thing in one go. Enjoy!
A series: working your grip, upper back and shoulders
This series is great if you have been sitting down all day and want to open those shoulders.
1. Scapula pull ups
a. Start position – passively hang from a bar (feet can either be hanging or on a bench);
b. Keeping arms straight the whole time, lift your chest up to the sky while pulling shoulder blades towards one another;
c. Hold at the top squeezing upper back;
d. Release and slowly lower back down to a passive hang position;
e. Repeat for 12 times.
2. Shoulder dislocates
a. Grab a band, towel or dowel (broomstick);
b. Hold the band with both hands. Hands will be wider than your hips. The tighter you are, the further apart your hands need to be. The aim is to keep your arms straight the whole time;
c. On your inhale, lift your shoulder up near your ears, then lift your arms up over your head;
d. Pull your stomach and ribs in;
e. Without bending your arms, as you exhale, let your arms fall over your head while pulling your chest up (ribs in) so your arms and the band are behind you. You are aiming for the band to touch your bum. The tighter you are, the less range you have;
f. Once you reach your end point, squeeze your upper back, take a deep breath in, lift your arms and as you do so, lift your shoulders up towards your ears;
g. Exhale as your arms come back down in front of you back to your starting position;
h. Repeat 12 times.
Repeat A series (scapula pull ups and shoulder dislocates) 3-5 times through, one after the other.
B series: Back & Lower back
This series is fantastic for starting your day so that you feel stronger and more upright.
1. 45 degrees superman back extension
a. On a 45 degree back extension machine, set the height of the machine so that it’s just below the hips;
b. Lock heels in and keep legs straight;
c. Start at the top, torso in line with legs, extend arms above head next to ears, turn palms inwards
d. Slowly hinge from the hips and lower torso towards floor;
e. At the bottom, pull lower belly in, squeeze glutes and lift torso back up in line with legs;
f. Once reaching the top, repeat 12 times, ensuring minimal arching in lower back.
2. 30 degree neutral dumbell row
a. Using an incline bench, lift the bench so that it is 30 degrees;
b. With a dumbbell in each hand, lie prone on the bench, knees bent and feet driving into the floor;
c. Start with arms straight, shoulders back and down;
d. Pull dumbells towards the hips;
e. Slow lower dumbbells back down until your arms are straight;
f. Repeat 12 times.
Repeat B series (45 degrees back extension and 30 degree include neutral dumbbell row) 3-5 times through, one after the other.
C series: Stability, Abs and Shoulder
A great place to start if you want to work out your whole body.
a. Starting on hands and knees, lift left arm up in line with ear, extend right leg out behind you, flexing right foot;
b. Draw left elbow and right knee towards one another, touch elbow and knee under the stomach squeezing core as you do so;
c. Extend arm and leg and repeat 12 times;
d. Swap the opposite arm and leg and repeat 12 times.
Repeat 3-5 times through, pushing 60 secs rest between each set.
D series: Abs, Adductors and Posture
This is a fun series to do with a friend, and it also helps with lower back discomfort.
1. Romanian chair – Ab knee tuck
a. Using the Romanian chair, drive elbows and forearms into arm pads, ensuring to keep lower back pressed into the chair;
b. Lift knees up towards chest, slightly lower knees and lift back up towards chest;
c. Repeat 12 times.
2. Ball hover
a. Using an exercise ball, take a plank position using the forearms onto the ball;
b. To make more challenging, make small circles with the exercise ball.
Repeat D series (Romanian chair ab knee tucks and ball hover) 3-5 times through, one after the other.
These exercises are typically found in Vitruvian Health’s training programs as work on building a strong foundation of strength, which can then be progressed to bigger compound lifts. Check out their website here.