Posture: Best Exercises to Improve and Maintain It

A good posture versus a poor posture

Spinal complications like poor posture are rising due to the hours individuals spend while sitting. Performing these exercises will reduce the risk of such complications.

Posture refers to the position in which someone holds their body when standing or sitting. A good posture enables the body to perform effectively; a poor posture may lead to back pain, rounded shoulders, and spinal dysfunction.

Fortunately, there exist exercises that are great for improving a poor posture and maintaining it. Discussed below are some of the exercises.


Plank exercises are great for your core and gluteal muscles, arms, back, and quads. They help straighten the back and help the spine assume a natural posture.

Improving posture through planks

How to Do a Plank

  • Drop down on all your fours and ensure the arms are below your shoulders. Your knees should also be below your hips.
  • Drop down on your forearms and stretch your legs. Support your legs using your toes. 
  • Engage your core and hold this position for 30 seconds. Ensure that your back is not curved.
  • Repeat this five times for the best results.

Bird Dog

Bird dog is an exercise that improves your core strength and lumbar back muscles. It also reduces lower back pain and stretches the hamstrings.

How to Perform a Bird Dog

  • Go down on all your fours and align the knees and hips with the shoulders and arms.
  • Engage your core and lift your left arm while lifting your right arm. Doing this adds pressure to the core muscles and improves balance.
  • Lift the arms and legs at 90 degrees angle and hold for 3 seconds on each side.
  • Repeat the exercise 10 more times.

Cat-Cow Pose

Cat-cow pose helps mobilize the spine. It stretches the spine by repeatedly arching it up and down.

How to Perform a Cat-Cow

  • Go down on all fours with your hands below the shoulders and knees below the hips. Ensure your back is straight in this position.
  • Engage your core and inhale while slowly rounding your back. Hold the rounded position between 5-10 seconds.
  • Then, slowly exhale while you arch your back and hold this position for another 10 seconds.
  • Repeat this exercise for ten repetitions for the best results.

Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch

Improving posture through knee hip flexor stretch

This exercise lengthens hip flexors that are tight in people with an anterior pelvic tilt – a slight curve in the lower back.

How to Perform

  • Kneel on one leg and make sure that both legs are 90 degrees. The knees should be above the ankles in one leg and the other below the hips.
  • Lean forward slightly and squeeze your gluteal muscles and hips forward.
  • Hold this position for 10 seconds and ten repetitions.

Doorway Stretch

A doorway stretch loosens the chest and upper back muscles. It’s a good exercise for people with curved shoulders.

How to Perform

  • Stand near a doorframe and position your elbows in line with it.
  • Take one step forward and slowly lean forwards until you feel a slight stretch in your chest.
  • Hold the position for 20 seconds and reset three times.

Half Cobra Pose

Half cobra pose for improving posture

This pose deals with lower back pain and aids in providing a good posture. Its other variation, the cobra pose, stretches the entire back muscles and spine.

How to Perform a Half Cobra Pose

  • Begin by lying down on your stomach. Slowly raise yourself while on your elbows with your hips level.
  • Hold this position for 15 seconds and return to the starting position. Repeat ten more times.

The Takeaway

Posture exercises like planks, cat-cow pose, and half cobra can offer the best results in improving posture. They provide spinal mobility, a natural spinal arc, and relaxed back and hip flexor muscles. Performing them ensures a healthy spinal cord.


How does poor posture affect your health?

A poor posture may impact the digestive system. A bent position adds pressure on the digestive organs leading to potential complications.

How often should I perform posture exercises?

There is no set number on how often you should perform these exercises. However, if you spend long hours sitting, you must do these exercises multiple times daily.

What is the cause of poor posture?

Sitting for prolonged hours while bending your neck is the most common way a poor posture develops.