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6 simple stretches for good posture

Good posture goes beyond sitting up straight. Slouching over a computer keyboard all

day creates a chain reaction throughout your body that can result in shoulder, neck and

back pain. Not pretty.Here are six simple stretches you can do to improve your posture.

Good posture means good health.Sitting is part of our every day, even if we lead an

active lifestyle. Sitting isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but long periods of sitting and lack

of stretching can cause postural problems. Regular stretching can address these specific

postural imbalances. Do these stretching exercises in the prescribed order every day for a

great pain-free body.Relax the back: Lie on your back, knees bent at 90 degrees, placing

your calves on the seat of a chair. Straighten your arms out from the shoulders with your

palms up. Relax, breathing deeply, letting your low back settle into the floor. Hold the

position for 5 minutes.Stretch the chest: Stay in the ‘relax the back’ position. Lace your

fingers, palms together, with your arms extended above your chest toward the ceiling.

Extend your arms, keeping your elbows straight, over your head to the floor behind you.

Repeat 30 times with a steady, controlled movement.Back-friendly crunches: Lie on your

back with your feet on the wall and your knees bent less than 90 degrees (glutes should

only be about four to six inches from wall and knees almost touching chest). Lace your

fingers behind your head to support your neck. Keep your elbows back while looking

at the ceiling. Exhale as you use your stomach muscles to lift your shoulders, elbows

and head off the floor, then lower. Be sure you don’t pull on your head with your hands.

Repeat for two sets of 30 reps.Kneeling hip-flexor stretch: Kneel (preferably on a padded

floor). Bring your right knee into a 90 degree angle and push your left leg back so it’s at

an angle where you feel stretch in the front of your hip. Keep your legs parallel to each

other and place your hands on your right knee and let your hips sink forward to the floor,

keeping your upper body straight. Do not lean forward. Hold for 1 minute and switch

legs.Supine hip-flexor stretch: Lie on your back with your right leg bent and resting

on a chair at a 90 degree angle. Place your left leg straight on the floor, keeping your

toes pointed up so your knee and foot do not roll out. Place your arms straight out from

your shoulders with your palms up. Breathe deeply and relax your body. Remain in this

position for 10 minutes, then repeat on other side.Airbench: Sit against the wall with your

feet shoulder-width apart and knees bent at 90 degrees, heels straight under or slightly in

front (not behind) of your knees. Keep your feet pointing straight ahead, push your lower

back into wall and keep pressure on heels. Press your shoulders back, keeping your head

up, and relax your shoulders, neck, arms and hands. Hold for 90 seconds. -TOI