Can Exercise Help Improve Posture?


Poor posture is a problem we’re all aware of but something that we rarely do anything about.

Long periods of sitting, looking down at your phone, laying on the couch in all sorts of positions.

It’s no wonder our posture is so bad.

When it comes to posture it’s just accepted that we are the way we are.

But does it have to be like that?


What Does Exercise Even Mean

Everyone takes the word exercise to mean different things.

As a health practitioner, I hear people describe exercises in so many ways. From stretching and running to gym, yoga and pilates, everyone has a different definition to what they classify as exercise.

Lucky for you, exercise is a combination of all these things put together to get the best changes in terms of your posture.


How does Exercise Improve Posture

Exercise is something we all know we need to do but never get around to finding the time to do it.

Unfortunately, because of the way you hold your body over extended periods of time, your joints and muscles start learning specific movement patterns to compensate for the position you keep your body in.

If you’re sitting at your desk for 2-3 hours at a time day after day with your neck craned towards the screen and your shoulders and back slumped forward, does it really come as much of a surprise when your posture looks the way it does?

The worst part is, it’s not something that happens over a few weeks or months. It’s something you’ve taught your body to do over multiple years.

Exercise begins to change the interaction of the muscles affecting your posture so you can re-teach your body what good posture is.


  • Stretching 

While most people take stretching for granted its one of the easiest things you can do to help start changing your posture.

As your posture begins to change there are muscles which are commonly known to become overactive and take up the slack for other muscles which tend to become weaker.

It is these weak muscles which cause the change in your posture and the overactive muscles that keep it there.

Stretching can help reduce the build up of tension in these overactive muscles and reduce the likelihood of pain coming on because of this tension.


  • Strengthening and Rehabilitation

It’s very difficult to strengthen a weak muscle when there is an overactive muscle still at work.

I’m sure you’ve heard the hype about strengthening your core to help hold your body in better posture. This is all very helpful information, but when there are muscular imbalances that have developed, weak muscles should only be addressed after overactive muscles dysfunctions have been corrected.

Strengthening and rehabilitation through specific movements can help to correct poor patterns that you have taught your body over time. Strengthening increases the ability of your weaker muscles to cope with the load you add to your body when you do things such as sitting or standing for long periods.


What Can you Do To Improve Your Posture

Stretching and strengthing come from different avenues. When it comes to posture correction visiting a health professional should always be your first step.

A health therapist such a physiotherapist or chiropractor can help improve your poor posture. They can also provide you with an exercise program and advice about which areas of your body need work to change your posture.

Whether it be through running or specific weight training at the gym, or yoga and pilates to stretch tight muscles and increase strength all are beneficial exercises to improve posture.

What exercises do you do help your posture? Let us know in the comments section below.

Dr Mark El-Hayek
Chiropractor Sydney - Dr Mark El-Hayek is the owner of Spine and Posture Care, one of the leading clinics in pain management and postural rehabilitation.

As a young boy he was always interested in the human body and how it worked and was motivated to advise and teach on topics which cause pain.

If you're looking for a Chiropractor Sydney CBD he's always available for a chat to help you out!