Posture is influenced by muscle strength and endurance, flexibility, and body fat distribution. Good posture is generally described the alignment of ears over shoulders, shoulders over hips, hips over knees, knees over ankles.
A forward-leaning posture — the result of tight chest muscles and weak, overstretched back and shoulder muscles is one of the most common postural issues among adults. In this case, strengthening and stabilizing the chest, shoulders, and upper back muscles and increasing flexibility in the chest helps to restore postural balance. Standing chest stretches, shoulder packing, bird-dogs, front planks, push-ups, and seated high-back row are examples of exercises that help correct a forward lean.
Popular notions about posture involve sucking in the abs and sitting or standing up straight — but it involves a lot more than these minor tweaks. Your posture is affected by your overall level of muscle balance and alignment. The best long-term posture-improvement program will include a full-body strength training and flexibility program. With practice, you’ll develop the level of neuromuscular fitness you need to maintain a healthy posture.
The specific posture exercises best for you will vary depending on any existing muscle imbalances and postural deviations. For best results, work with a certified fitness professional or registered physical therapist for a complete postural assessment and an exercise program customized for your needs and goals.