9 exercises to improve your posture

9 exercises to improve your posture

Practicing these every day just for 15 min combined with wearing Etalon can significantly increase results. If you have severe back pain or injury, are out of shape, or have any medical problems, talk to your doctor before you start any exercise program. Some exercises may not be recommended.

Why do you need to train for a good posture?

Good posture has a lot of benefits besides just looking good. It ensures balance on all levels of inner body function: digestion, strength, flexibility, muscle, and mind relaxation. According to research from 2008, proper posture reduces the stress on your ligaments, muscles, and joints. The ability to walk or sit straight is similar to all other skills, it requires constant training and support. This is great news for those who think that if you don’t have a good posture now, it’s impossible to achieve. The key to success is defined by mind-body awareness, that practices such as yoga or pilates help to improve. Etalon’s founder Kristina Rudzinskaya is a STOTT certified Pilates instructor. Below she shares her top 9 exercises for supporting good posture. 

  1. Child’s pose
  2. Forward fold
  3. Cat cow
  4. Goalpost Squeeze
  5. High plank
  6. Side plank
  7. Pigeon pose
  8. Cobra Pose: Back Extension
  9. Chest opener

1. Child’s pose

Child’s pose - exercise to fix your posture

This classic pose stretches and lengthens your spine, glutes, and hamstrings. It helps to release tension in your lower back and neck. You can do a child’s pose any time you need to rest from other activities.

To do Child’s pose:

  1. Sit on your shinbones with your knees together, your big toes touching, and your heels splayed out to the side.
  2. Lean forward from your hips and slowly stretch arms out in front of you.
  3. Sink your hips back down toward your feet. If your thighs won’t go all the way down, place a pillow or folded blanket under them for support.
  4. Gently place your forehead on the floor or turn your head to one side.
  5. Keep your arms extended or rest them along your body.
  6. Breathe deeply into the back of your rib cage and waist.
  7. Relax in this pose for up to 5 minutes while continuing to breathe deeply.

2. Forward fold

Forward fold - exercise for great posture

This standing stretch releases tension in your spine, hamstrings, and glutes. It also stretches your hips and legs. While doing this stretch, you should feel the entire back side of your body opening up and lengthening.

To do Forward fold:

  1. Stand with your big toes touching and your heels slightly apart.
  2. Bring your hands to your hips and fold forward at your hips.
  3. Release your hands toward the floor or place them on a block. Don’t worry if your hands don’t touch the ground — just go as far as you can.
  4. Bend your knees slightly, soften your hips joints, and allow your spine to lengthen.
  5. Tuck your chin into your chest and allow your head to fall heavy to the floor.
  6. Remain in this pose for up to 1 minute.

3. Cat cow

Practicing cat cow stretches and massages your spine. It also helps to relieve tension in your torso, shoulders, and neck while promoting blood circulation.

To do Cat cow:

  1. Start on hands and knees, balancing your weight evenly on all four limbs.
  2. Inhale as you look up, dropping abs toward the floor and extending your spine.
  3. Exhale as you arch your back toward the ceiling and tuck chin into chest.
  4. Continue these motions for at least 1 minute.

4. Goalpost squeeze

Goalpost squeeze - exercise to get better posture

This pose helps to relax shoulders and release tension between the shoulder blades and upper back. If you have mild back pain, core-strengthening exercises may improve posture, ease symptoms, and prevent future pain. 

To do Goalpost squeeze:

  1. While sitting upright, lift your arms up into a goalpost position with your elbows bent at a 90 degree angle even with your shoulders.
  2. Pull your abdominal muscles in and up toward your spine as you exercise.
  3.  Relax your shoulders down, and then pull the elbows towards the back of the room. Imagine that you’re squeezing a marble in between your shoulder blades as you work the upper back. 
  4. Release. Repeat 10 times.
  5. Work with slow, controlled movements, breathing evenly, without holding your breath.

5. High plank

High plank - exercise that help improve posture

The high plank pose helps to relieve pain and stiffness throughout your body while strengthening your shoulders, glutes, and hamstrings. It also helps you develop balance and strength in your core and back, both important for good posture.

To High plank:

  1. Come onto all fours and straighten your legs, lift your heels, and raise your hips.
  2. Straighten your back and engage your abdominal, arm, and leg muscles.
  3. Lengthen the back of your neck, soften your throat, and look down at the floor.
  4. Make sure to keep your chest open and your shoulders back.
  5. Hold this position for up to 1 minute at a time.

6. Side plank

Side plank - exercises to correct slouching

A side plank is good for checking the neutral alignment of your spine and legs. This energizing pose works the muscles in your sides and glutes. Strengthening and aligning these muscles helps to support your back and improve posture.

To do Side plank:

  1. From a high plank position, bring your left hand slightly in to center.
  2. Shift your weight onto your left hand, stack your ankles, and lift your hips.
  3. Place your right hand on your hip or extend it up toward the ceiling.
  4. You can drop your left knee down to the floor for extra support.
  5. Engage your abdominals, side body, and glutes as you maintain this pose.
  6. Align your body in a straight line from the crown of your head to your heels.
  7. Look straight ahead of you or up toward your hand.
  8. Hold this pose for up to 30 seconds.
  9. Repeat on the opposite side.

7. Pigeon pose

Pigeon Pose - exercise to have better posture

This exercise is a great hip opener that also loosens up your spine, hamstrings, and glutes. The pigeon pose can also help to stretch your sciatic nerve and quadriceps. Opening and stretching these places in your body makes it easier to correct imbalances in your posture.

To do Pigeon Pose:

  1. Come down on all fours with your knees below your hips and your hands a little bit in front of your shoulders.
  2. Bend your right knee and place it behind your right wrist with your right foot angled out to the left. If it’s difficult you can use a cushion to help hips be aligned.
  3. Rest the outside of your right shin on the floor.
  4. Slide your left leg back, straighten your knee, and rest your thigh on the floor.
  5. Make sure your left leg extends straight back (and not to the side).
  6. Slowly lower your torso down to rest on your inner right thigh with your arms extended in front of you.
  7. Hold this position for up to 1 minute.
  8. Slowly release the position by walking your hands back toward your hips and lifting your torso.
  9. Repeat on the left side.

8. Cobra Pose: Back Extension

Cobra Pose - good posture workout

This move strengthens the erector spinae (the back muscles that extend your spine and prevent slouching) and other low back muscles.

To do Cobra Pose:

  1. Lie on your stomach with palms flat on the floor near your ribs. Extend your legs straight behind you, and press the tops of your feet into the floor.
  2. Exhale strongly and pull your abdominal muscles in and up toward your spine. 
  3. Lengthen out through your spine and slowly raise your head and chest off the floor, using only your back muscles. Do not push down into your arms to press up. Keep your hip bones on the floor, and gaze down at the floor to relax your neck muscles. 
  4. Slowly lower back down. 
  5. Repeat three to five times, adding more as your lower back gets stronger.
  6. If you want to increase the intensity, transform cobra into Sphinx: Reach your arms long beside your head. Keep your elbows straight.

9. Chest opener

Chest opener - exercise to promote good posture

This exercise allows you to open and stretch your chest. This is especially useful if you spend most of your day sitting, which tends to make your chest move inward. Strengthening your chest also helps you stand up straighter.

To do Chest opener:

  1. Stand with your feet about hip-width apart.
  2. Bring your arms behind you and interlace your fingers with your palms pressing together. Grasp a towel if your hands don’t reach each other.
  3. Keep your head, neck, and spine in one line as you gaze straight ahead.
  4. Inhale as you lift your chest toward the ceiling and bring your hands toward the floor.
  5. Breathe deeply as you hold this pose for 5 breaths.
  6. Release and relax for a few breaths.
  7. Repeat at least 10 times.



  1. Should I workout if I have bad posture?

Absolutely! In fact, working out regularly can help improve your posture. Building strength and improving mobility and flexibility — especially in the muscles of the neck, shoulders, and back — will make it easier for you to sit and stand up straight. Most bad posture is worsened by tight chest muscles and weak back and core muscles (which often become even weaker with prolonged slouching). The key is to target these muscles with strengthening exercises like high and side planks and stretches like child’s pose and chest openers. 

When working out, consider wearing a posture corrector like Etalon to help you maintain good form and technique. We also recommend training with posture bands to help you improve overall spinal health through gentle (yet tough!) movements. 

  1. Can you correct years of bad posture?

Yes! It’s never too late to improve your posture. With time, patience, and dedication you can slowly correct bad posture, no matter your age, fitness level, or the number of hours and years you’ve been slouching. Here are a few surefire ways to get you back on track and standing up straight:

  • Practice posture awareness on a daily basis.
  • Develop a regular exercise routine that involves strength movements and gentle stretches targeting the muscles in your neck, shoulders, and back.
  • Invest in ergonomic furniture, especially if you work from home.
  • Try a posture corrector to help train your body to find better alignment naturally.

The sooner you commit to correcting bad posture, the easier it will be to break the habit!

  1. What exercise is best for correcting posture?

There is not just one exercise ideal for correcting posture, but many! Try the nine exercises to improve your posture in the blog post above and these seven key shoulder exercises. Start slow and gradually incorporate light weights and resistance bands to continue to challenge your body. Work and stretch various muscles throughout your body. Remember that good posture is not just about your spine. It involves every part of your body, from the crown of your head to the bottoms of your feet. And be consistent! You will only see results if you commit to a regular movement routine. 

One extra bonus that will come with your efforts: relief from any neck and back pain caused from poor posture. 

  1. How many days can you fix bad posture?

How long it takes to fix bad posture depends on a range of factors, including your current postural habits and muscular strength and stability, as well as how committed you are to improving your posture. Poor posture is a habit — but so is good posture. Like any bad habit, fixing bad posture can take months, sometimes longer. 

Here at Etalon, we’ve found that developing new postural habits can take about three weeks to form and three months to stabilize. This involves a regular movement routine that incorporates posture-promoting stretches and exercises. We also recommend wearing a posture corrector daily to help you build postural awareness and muscle memory. Learn more about how to use a posture corrector.

Back to blog

Leave a comment