Good posture has so many benefits, including increased energy, improved mood and breathing, reduced chance of injury and headaches, and improved confidence and productivity. These five exercises don’t just give your muscles a workout but also help realign your fascia. These moves are an abbreviated version of my online programs and can be done daily to transform your posture and the way you move.
Move 1: Ball Roll-Over
How to: Start behind your stability ball, and squat down with the ball in front of you. Your feet will be turned out about 45 degrees, and your heels will stay off the floor. Wrap your body around the ball, resting your head on the ball and keeping your neck relaxed. Press your lower abs into the ball and roll forward and backward to starting position, repeating several times. By pressing your lower abs into the ball, you will open up your hips and relax your lower back more. From the starting position, you can also do small side-to-side movements, initiating the pelvic floor and lower abs.
Move 2: Ball Twist
How to: Kneel behind the ball, knees together, and sit your glutes on your heels or as close to it as possible (you can place a rolled towel under your glutes or a pad under your knees if needed). Stretch your arms out, and place your hands on the ball slightly wider than shoulder distance apart. Roll the ball to one side, opening up the top armpit toward the ceiling. Your arms should be reaching long, and you will use your body to twist to the other side. As you do this in the middle, your torso will be lifted.
Move 3: Stretch It Out
How to: Lie on the ball with your neck relaxed and feet out wide, facing straight ahead. Hold light weights (1-2 pounds is a great place to start) at your chest and push your feet into the ground, which will straighten your legs. As your legs straighten, you will straighten your arms at the same time. Reverse this and return to the starting position and repeat. Focus on elongating your entire body in the outstretched position.
Move 4: Backstroke
How to: Lying on your back (on the ball), keep your head back and neck relaxed. Feet will be pointing straight ahead and knees will be over your toes. Hold light weights (1-2 pounds for most), and move your arms similar to a swimming backstroke—but instead of bringing your arms from your hips to above your head, you will bring each arm to the opposite hip and rotate your palm up. Then continue with a backstroke motion, and while keeping your arms straight, bring the weight up high and toward the other shoulder, where your bicep ends up near your ear. Swing your arm around and return your arm to the starting position. Repeat on the other side and continue switching sides. To advance, you can alternate arms: When one arm is at your side and starts the movement, the other arm is by your ear finishing.
Move 5: Ball Scorpion
How to: Lie on the stability ball on your stomach, with your hips in the middle of the ball. Place hands a little wider than shoulder-width apart and keep your neck relaxed throughout the exercise. Keeping your body weight on the ball, reach your foot up toward the ceiling, bending your knee so you do not arch your back. Then push your bottom hip through to help you rotate and twist so that your lifted leg drops toward the floor, and roll onto your side. In this position, the knee should be reaching toward the ceiling. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side. Repeat on each side several times.