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Health and Fitness News

Stand Up Straight!

Improve your posture with these five exercises.

The way you hold your body while sitting and standing has a big impact on your appearance and your physical health. Poor posture doesn’t just make you look shorter, older, and insecure, but it’s also bad for your neck and back. When your body is out of alignment, your spine must compensate and takes a beating. This drains you of your energy, and over time, it may even lead to injury and pain.

Poor muscle tone and tight muscles are common causes of poor posture. When your back, neck, legs, and core muscles are weak or tense, it’s more difficult to hold your body up straight. This is one of the many reasons why strength-training and flexibility exercises are so important.

Want to attack bad posture at its root? Incorporate these exercises into your daily routine and see how your posture improves.

Forward Bend

Relieve tension in your back, glutes, and hamstrings with the forward bend. As you do this stretch, you’ll feel the back of your body stretching. Stand with your feet together and your heels slightly apart. Place your hands on your hips and bend forward at your hips. Reach your hands toward the floor as far as they’ll go. Slightly bend your knees and let your head relax toward the floor. Hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds.

Cat Cow Stretch

Stretch your spine and relieve tension in your neck, shoulders, and core with the cat cow stretch. To start, get on your hands and knees. Inhale and raise your head to look up while lowering your belly toward the floor. Now exhale, arch your back toward the sky, and touch your chin to your chest like a scared cat. Alternate between a cat and cow pose for one minute.

Child’s Pose

Stretch your spine, hamstrings, and glutes with the child’s pose. Sit on your shins, knees together, toes side by side, and heals turned out to the side. Bend at your waist, walking your hands out in front of you. Push your hips into your feet and rest your forehead on the ground. Place your arms next to your body or stretched out above your head. Relax and breathe deeply in this position for several minutes and you’ll feel back and neck tension fade away.


Planks improve your posture by strengthening the muscles in your back, core, and shoulders. To do a high plank, hold your body up on your hands and toes. Your arms should be perpendicular to the floor and your head, back, and legs should be in a straight line. Hold this position for up to a minute.

For a side plank, lie on your side on the floor. Place your left hand on the floor, raise your hips, and support your body on your left hand and the side of your left foot. Your body should be in a straight line, from your head to your feet. Your right arm can be by your side or raised in the air. Hold and switch sides. If this position is too difficult, support your body using your elbow or by dropping your knee toward the floor.

Spine Rotation

Relieve back tension while increasing mobility with the thoracic spine rotation. First, get on your hands and knees on the floor. Place your right hand behind your head with your elbow out to the side. Now twist your head from side to side so your elbow swings toward the floor and toward the sky. Repeat 10 times and then switch sides.

About Training with Mr. America
jasonkozmatransparent-fornewsletter.pngAbout our programs: Mr. America Jason Kozma's Personal Training is a triple threat of body shaping weight workouts, precision fat-loss cardio and holistic nutrition using regular foods. Using his system, you can radically upgrade your fitness, health, appearance and self-confidence. Clients routinely shed 20 pounds of body fat in eight weeks or less, dramatically increase their strength and flexibility, and achieve extreme cardiovascular fitness.

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