The 6 Exercises Kayla Itsines Recommends for Better Posture
Whether you sit at a desk job all day or you're rebuilding strength after giving birth, Itsines says these moves are a great way to relieve tension in the body.
If you work a desk job, you might get panicky when you see headlines that call sitting "the new smoking." No need to give your two weeks in the name of your wellbeing, though. Research suggests that the comparison is an exaggeration and that moving around throughout the day might help fight the negative health effects of prolonged sitting. (Related: Exclusive HIIT Workout from Star Trainer Kayla Itsines)
So, no, sitting isn't putting your body through the equivalent of a cigarette habit. That said, constantly slouching at your desk can definitely take a toll on your posture and eventually cause back pain (not to mention poor breathing capacity and blood circulation). All the more reason to carve out time in your week to do exercises for better posture. (Related: Is Sitting for Too Long Actually Deflating Your Butt?)
"If you're someone who sits at a desk all day, are rebuilding your strength post-pregnancy, or are just starting out, postural routines (like this one) are a great way to relieve any tension, begin building strength in your back and shoulders, and improve your overall posture," she wrote in her caption.
The routine is a series of six moves that take about 10 minutes to complete, so it won't take out a huge chunk of your day. All you'll need is a foam roller (here's how to use one in case you're new to foam-rolling) and a resistance band (Itsines doesn't specify what kind, but this resistance bands guide can help narrow down your options).
Here's a breakdown of the exercises Itsines included:
- Upper back foam rolling: Foam rolling doesn't just feel super satisfying; it can decompress the spine and other joints, improving your posture.
- Resistance band extension: This move engages the pecs, according to Itsines' post. Your pecs play an important role in your posture, supporting the scapula (shoulder blade) and shoulder joint.
- Resistance band shoulder rotation: Shoulder rotations open up your shoulders and chest, which can help offset the effects of slumping.
- Resistance band face pull: Face pulls build upper back) strength, which helps keep your shoulder blades in the correct place (think: back and down). It's also an important part of building a strong posterior chain (aka back of your body), which will improve your posture as a whole.
- Resistance band external rotation: This move activates muscles in your rotator cuff which helps maintain good upper-body posture and optimal position of the shoulder blades, according to the American College of Sports Medicine's (ACSM) Health and Fitness Journal.
- Resistance band bent-over row: Bent-over rows help to maintain the balance of strength between the back and front of your body. In addition to strengthening both the back and biceps, bent-over rows help to pull hunched shoulders back and improve posture over time.
Whether you sit for your 9 to 5 or just like the idea of standing a little straighter, Itsines' routine is a simple way to promote better posture.