Improving your posture will enable you to stand taller, look slimmer and feel more confident. Try these effective moves by personal trainer Anne-Marie Lategan.
Four-point abdominal brace
Works the core and pelvic floor.
- Kneel on all fours.
- Keep your spine in a neutral position, so that it is neither arched nor rounded.
- Breathe in and allow your stomach to push out without changing your position.
- Slowly exhale and draw your stomach in, sucking it tight as if you are trying to make your belly button touch your spine. Do this without changing position.
- Keep exhaling and drawing the stomach in, and
- Make sure that your hands are below your shoulders with the elbows soft and your knees directly below your hips.
- As you draw your stomach in and exhale, try not to round your back.
Works the waist and side muscles
- Lie flat on your back with your spine in a neutral position.
- Place your arms by your sides.
- Lift your legs so that your knees are above the hips
at a 90-degree angle.
- Slowly rotate to the left, lowering the knees and hips.
- Brace and pull back to the centre.
- Repeat the exercise, alternating sides.
- Try not to elevate your shoulders or lift your head.
- Breathe in as you lower the legs and exhale as you lift.
Braced doorway stretch
Works the chest and shoulders
- Stand in the middle of an open doorway with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Place your right forearm and hand flat against the side of the doorframe.
- Step forwards slightly with your right foot until you feel a stretch through your chest and the front of your shoulder.
- Hold the stretch for 20 to 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Try not to arch your lower back.
Works the core and pelvic floor
- Lie face down on the floor.
- Bring your elbows underneath your shoulders and depress the shoulder girdle.
- As you exhale, suck your stomach in tight and lift your hips from the floor until they are almost the same height as your shoulders.
- Hold this position and keep breathing.
- Go through the process slowly. As you pull your stomach in just before you lift, you should feel your stomach tighten.
- Try not to shrug your shoulders. Keep them drawn back and down to make your stomach muscles work harder.
Lat to cobra stretch
Works the upper back, tummy, hip and chest
- Kneel down on the floor.
- Sit your hips back onto your heels and allow your
torso to tip forwards.
- Keeping your bottom on your heels, reach forward with your hands and allow your forehead to rest on the floor.
- Walk your hands back in beneath your shoulders.
- Slide your hands forward slightly, lift your hips forwards and position them on the floor so that your chest is lifted, and your shoulders are drawn back.
- Alternate between these two positions, holding each position for 20 to 30 seconds.
Supine glute bridge
Works the lower back, bottom and rear thighs
- Lie flat on your back with your arms
by your sides.
- Bend your knees, keeping your feet
flat on the floor.
- Push your hips up into the air so that they act as a midpoint for a straight line between your knees and shoulders.
- Slowly straighten your right leg keeping your knees together.
- Bring your right foot back to its original position on the floor and repeat on the other side.
- Don’t let your hips drop when you take your foot off the floor.
- Remember to breathe.