Top 3 Exercises To Reverse Bad Posture


The Top 3
Exercises To Reverse Bad Posture

Mitchell Starkman, Physiotherapist, The Movement Centre

8 March 2018

Raise your hand if you think you have tight shoulders? Bad Posture? Sit at a desk? If you’re reading this we’re assuming you, or someone you know does in fact struggle with poor posture. We always recommend people start by correcting their desk and laptop setups to put yourself in the best position for success. So much so that we’ve created The 5 Step Laptop Set-Up Guide to show you exactly how to get yourself set up for seated success.

Now correcting your posture is no easy feat. Heck, it took you “insert the number of years here” to get to where you are now, you aren’t going to roll around on a foam roller, lift a few heavy things and voila – perfect posture. No. Unfortunately, it’s a little more challenging than that. However, it’s definitely doable and you are totally up to the task.

A big part of changing your posture starts with lifestyle. Taking breaks, moving frequently and changing positions are key. We actually wrote up the Ultimate Guide To Your Office Chair for this reason exactly.

But enough about that, let’s get right into the nitty-gritty. If you’re looking for the 3 best exercises to reverse bad posture, then look no further. We’ve compiled them for you here complete with video demonstrations to give you the best shot at success.

#1 Upper Back Foam Roll

This has to be one of the best and most often overlooked exercises to improve your shoulder, neck, and lower back mobility. Not to mention aiding the pain in these areas. In our modern day, our upper backs take a daily beating. Our bodies often stiffen up in this position and our shoulders, neck and lower back are forced to move around this rigid thing you are calling your back!

This is one of the first things we tackle when it comes to issues like Shoulder Impingement or Long Head Biceps Tendonitis. So roll out and enjoy!

Now, this exercise can be a bit uncomfortable at first, but it gets better as you improve your overall mobility. The roller matters here! We recommend the trigger point roller (our affiliate link), but any will do! They come with a variety of densities so you have the find the right one for you. It should be comfortable. After all, we want you to love stretching as much as your body does!  


We’ve created a full write up on this shoulder stretch if you need a full review

#2 The Pec Grinder

It is time to stretch out our chest muscles ladies and gentleman! Now, I commonly see people hanging off the edge of door frames or pressing their noses into the corner of a room.  People will leverage their arms off the wall to attempt to stretch something in the front of the arm. The problem with this is that you are not just stretching your pecs here. You are literally hanging off a whole whack of muscles in the front of the shoulder. This includes the biceps (and we wonder why they get sore) and the actual joint capsule itself. Needless to say, a non-specific stretch is no good at all.

So I propose the Pec Grinder. This is a way you a can perform self-myofascial release on yourself while stretching your shoulder wonderfully. Enjoy.

We’ve created a full write up post on this shoulder stretch if you need a full review.  

 #3 W’s – The Posture Buster

I love this exercise. It’s easy, time efficient, and you can do it anywhere – so no excuses! All you need for this guy is a resistance band and your own two arms. You can complete this exercise sitting at your desk, watching Netflix, or (god forbid) even in the gym!. It focuses on strengthening your rotator cuff, rhomboids and your posterior deltoids (the muscles that hold you shoulders in the right position and support your posture). Gravity hammers away on us all day long, driving our shoulders forward, and wreaking havoc on our posture. This exercise will help you finally sit and stand like your mother always wanted.

We’ve created a full write up on this strengthening exercise if you need a full review.

If you need any resistance band we recommend this bulk set of bands (affiliate link).

What if you’re struggling with pain?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! If you are having issues or trouble with your shoulder, we recommend you check out the PhysioReady Shoulder Impingement Program. It’s an entire online program dedicated to getting your shoulders pain free and feeling awesome.

You can also check out our Ultimate Guide to Shoulder Impingement where we teach all d to know about what the heck is going on with your shoulder and show you how to fix it!  Or if you’re looking to stretch out those shoulders of yours, check out our Top 5 Shoulder Stretches Exercises To Do At Home. We also created a post on the Top 5 Shoulder Strength Exercises To Do At Home if you’re looking to beef up your shoulders.

Authored by:

Mitch Starkman

Mitch Starkman

Physiotherapist and Founder

A Toronto-based Physiotherapist with a passion for sports, orthopedics, and human movement. Mitchell’s goal is to understand how the site of pain is impacted by the entire body – rather than pinpointing a specific disturbance. He is also the founder of - a website geared toward giving people the tools they need to self-manage, treat and prevent their injuries.

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