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Improve your posture with three key exercises

Improving posture helps create more space for the internal organs, can help improve blood flow, and helps stabilize the upper back to prevent pain.

Improved posture can help psychologically and physically. Psychologically, standing straighter and lifting your chin can help improve confidence, among other feelings. Think about it: When you’re sad or upset or crying, you’re in a slouched position with your back rounded. But when you’re excited and happy, you’re typically sitting up straighter, jumping up for joy, and lifting your head.

Physically, improving posture helps create more space for the internal organs, can help improve blood flow, and helps stabilize the upper back to prevent pain.

Check out these 3 moves that can be done at the office in your chair at work to improve posture in no time!

Shoulder Shrug

Tension in the upper back and neck can cause a traffic jam in terms of mobility in the upper body. For better posture, we want to open up the front of the body and strengthen the back of the body.

So to start, let’s mobilize these areas with some simple shoulder shrugs. Sitting upright, shrug your shoulders up to your ears as high as you can, and then quickly drop them down. You can make this dramatic and almost feel like a massage! Continue this for 10 repetitions.

Surprised Stretch & Squeeze

You know how you act when someone surprises you? You sit up a little higher and lean back with your arms up. That’s what we’re going to do in this exercises which will stretch the front of the chest while strengthening the upper back.

The Surprised Stretch & Squeeze requires squeezing your shoulder blades together and reaching your elbows back while opening up your chest and moving your hands back, away from the front as seen here by health and fitness expert Stephanie Mansour.| Br
The Surprised Stretch & Squeeze requires squeezing your shoulder blades together and reaching your elbows back while opening up your chest and moving your hands back, away from the front, as seen here by health and fitness expert Stephanie Mansour.
Brian Ernst/Sun-Times

Start with your hands up as high as your chest and elbows reaching back. Then squeeze your shoulder blades together and reach your elbows back while opening up your chest and moving your hands back, away from the front. Hold for a smile, and then release. Repeat this 10 times.

Round & Reach

This exercise stretches the upper back while strengthening it, and also opens up the armpits and shoulders.

Reach your arms forward and round your back while tucking your chin down, toward your chest. Then, pull the abs in and reach the arms up as high as you can. Point your chin upward and arch your upper back to stretch your shoulders, armpits, and chest. Repeat this 10 times.

Perform these exercises daily for optimum posture results!

Stephanie Mansour wants you to ‘“step up” your fitness regimen. Mansour coaches private clients in weight loss, provides fitness/health/lifestyles advice on national TV shows, and offers her free 21 Day Challenge online. Check out her fitness tips every Thursday in the Well section of the Chicago Sun-Times. And visit her website at stepitupwithsteph.com.