10 Posture Fixes Everyone Should Do Throughout the Day
This article is a transcribed edited summary of a video Bob and Brad recorded in July of 2020. For the original video go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=it38IDFNFog&t=80s
Bob: Hi Folks, I’m Bob Schrupp, Physical Therapist.
Brad: Brad Heineck, Physical Therapist.
Bob: Today we’re going to go over 10 posture fixes everyone, and I mean everyone, Brad, should do throughout the day. You’re very much mistaken if you think you can do posture exercises once a day and that’s going to improve your posture and you’re going to be ram rod straight and you're going to be good.
Brad: On the other hand, you can do these, and it takes such little time and effort, and you can kind of make up a game out of it, it’s fun.
Bob: Also, I mean, it’s the only way you’re going to stay ahead of it. It’s a constant battle. If you
take your eye off the ball for a second, Brad, you’re going to end up hunched over forward.
Brad: Even Bob and I are guilty.
Bob: Oh yeah, you look back at our old videos. We needed that posture cue when we were watching videos.
Brad: Bob, posture, 10 of them, what are we going to start with?
Bob: First one, Brad, people are going to be so sick of this one, but you have to do it and that’s chin tucks. Chin tucks are so easy to do throughout the day. You can be in your chair, you can be in your car, you can be standing, talking to somebody, just start doing chin tucks at them. They’ll wonder what you’re doing. The thing I want you to do in addition to a chin tuck, I want you to do a chin tuck with over pressure. First you do the chin tuck: you tuck your chin in, you’re bringing your back of your head up and you’re aligning your ears with your shoulders. What this does, not only stretches the upper neck, it also reminds you where your head is supposed to be. It’s not supposed to be forward.
Brad: But what about the over pressure?
Bob: I’m going to do that. So, after you do a few, then go ahead, you can use your fingertip or you can use the crux of your hand to gently push back. This really feels quite good and it gives it even a little more stretch.
Brad: Sometimes if I have time, I’ll even bring my other hand to the back of my head and pull up, and you’ll feel those muscles stretch better.
Bob: Number two, butterfly expansions. Again, easy one to do it in your chair, wherever you’re at. Just put your hand on your neck and have the butterfly open its wings. Basically, you’re stretching and you’re strengthening the muscles that bring the shoulder blades together.
Brad: On this one, make sure you don’t grab your head and pull your head forward. Keep it low.
Bob: And fingertips. Just fingertips onthe back of your neck.
Brad: Make sure you breathe with all these. Take a second to take a deep breath in your nose. Exhale out your mouth, things will relax, it’ll make your day go better.
Bob: Now, which one of these should you be doing? The ones you think are helping. Again, mix it up, do the ones you like, do it throughout the day.
Brad: Don’t do this one when you’re driving.
Bob: Right, that would not be advisable. Okay, cat/camel. Now this is the easy one to do throughout the day. A lot of people do it on the floor in the quadrant position, but it’s easy to do. Go to a countertop and just lean forward like this and stretch this way. Round your back. Then you’re going to round the other way.
Brad: Round the back, then arch the back.
Bob: Really getting a lot of movement. This is what we’re really concentrating on because this is getting yourself into better posture, reversing the round of the upper back that you often see in many people, or the mid-back.
Brad: I think you could actually do it resting your hands on your knees. Oh yes. I’m feeling strong like bull.
Bob: People may talk if you do that. Next, extensions over a ball. Brad, do you want to show that? There’s two of them where you need equipment.
Brad: So, you can just use a pillow or use a ball. Make sure you get a ball that’s kind of soft and squishy.
Bob: Where’d you find this one, Brad?
Brad: I don’t know, I was just at some store and there they were at the end of the isle. They were like $2.99 so I took three of them.
Bob: There you go. They’re fantastic to just have laying around or just steal from your kid.
Brad: Yeah, well the grandkids want them but they’re mine.
Bob: They are good for dodgeball.
Brad: Oh yeah, and you adjust the height of the ball, if you’ve got that dowagers hump, you
know that hunchback right up in there is a nice place for it. Actually, I want a little bit of air out of this, I’m going to get one of those pokey things that you blow them up with. It’s got the hole, and I’m going to let a little out.
Bob: I like it the way it is, to be honest, but it’s a personal preference. Alright, next one is hanging. So, if you have like a pull up bar or you have a branch or what’d you say, you had a friend, Brad?
Brad: Yeah, he’s a carpenter, does work on our house, he’s got one of those covered trailers to keep his equipment and he has a bar in there so he can hang throughout the day.
Bob: Yeah, maybe you haven’t seen our videos on hanging. There’s one specifically for shoulders and how it can help, I mean it’s almost a miracle for some people.
Brad: This is written by orthopedic surgeon who does shoulder surgeries.
Bob: Dr. Kirsch. I used it for posture throughout the day. When I’m working on the computer, I try to do this every half hour, but a lot of times, you know how it is. I end up doing it every hour. All of a sudden, I get focused. Every time I do this, after I’ve been sitting, my back cavitates or cracks just because it’s been compressed for so long. It helps straighten out my posture and reminds me to be where I’m at. It may not look like I’m hanging there but I was taking about 75% of my weight there.
Brad: I’m sure you’re much more productive if you take that break to do the hanging.
Bob: You do, you come back, and you’re refreshed. These are the Bob and Brad hanging handles. You can hang in your own apartment and you can hang in your own house.
Brad: Just hang out.
Bob: Yep. Next one, wall angels. If you have a wall, and I’m assuming you do, this a great measurement of where you’re at because if you’re head can’t get back to the wall, you’ve got some room to work. The other thing is, if you can’t get your arms up past shoulder height without the shoulders starting to coming off the wall, you don’t have good posture.
Brad: Things are tight.
Bob: Yep. So, if you can keep the shoulder and the arms up against the wall until they touch, you’re in pretty good shape.
Brad: I have inherently tight shoulders, so I can't go up as far. If I got over shoulder height it just comes off the wall. I have to work on that, Bob. I like the hanging to help improve that.
Bob: Right. Easy way to do it, get up to a wall and do a few of these and again, as a reminder where you should be, and plus it gives you a little bit of strengthening. Now, we’re going to show you doorway stretches. You can do this in a doorway or in a corner. Since we don’t have a doorway here, I’m going to do it in the corner.
Brad: We are going to get a doorway for our studio sooner or later. That’s been going on for years.
Bob: So, basically, you’d put one arm on one side of the doorway, the other one on the other side of the doorway and you’re just going to lean in.
Brad: Great stretch, so right in here is getting those shoulders back, stretching out the front of the body, those pectoralis major and minor.
Bob: If they are tight, they’re going to pull you forward. You’re going to be walking around like a gorilla.
Brad: Yeah, you cannot breathe, everything falls apart then.
Bob: Okay, why don’t you do the broomstick stretch, Brad. You can use a broom stick, or you had other ideas too.
Brad: Well, right, if you have a job that you’re working with a rake or a shovel, just take that shovel, work that posture because as a matter of fact, last night I was digging a trench to get the water our of this issue in our yard. It’s was like, oh man, it was tearing my back apart. So, you take the shovel, back behind you, and squeeze back, or you can go overhead. Make sure you’re doing a chin tuck with it. All these posture reminder things.
Bob: You can even go back. That’ll really stretches it. What Brad’s really not revealing is he was leaning on the shovel.
Brad: You’re lucky I’m in a good mood today, Bob. I can tell you that.
Bob: You know the old joke about the work crews, you’ll have 10 guys on a shovel.
Brad: Three person watching and one working.
Bob: Sorry about that, guys. It’s like the donut joke with cops, you know. It’s overdone. Alright, number 10, this is just standing back extensions. This is a great one if you don’t have Spondy, spondylolisthesis. I see a lot of pregnant women do this naturally, they just bend back like this. This is a great one if you’re doing a lot of lifting throughout the day, a lot of times I do this preventatively and then I’ll do the lift.
Brad: You can put your hands flat on your back or hands on your hips and thumbs in your back. Sometimes I just like to put my fists in there.
Bob: Sometimes I go up higher too.
Brad: There’s all kinds of tricks.
Bob: Putting one fist on one side, and then the other.
Brad: I like this one. Liz, did you used to do this when you were pregnant? All three kids?
Bob: She says yes.
Brad: You’re right, you didn’t make that up.
Bob: She’s having to do all the lifting around Alex because Alex is a lazy guy.
Brad: Ha-ha, ooooh, he’s coming back, I’m going to tell him you said that.
Bob: Alright, final one. Let’s give a bonus Brad. Those standing quad hip flexor stretch, just throughout the day. These muscles are starting to pull you over.
Brad: Now you do it, the left arm- I do the opposite arm. I’ve always done it the same. That’s a great one for those quads.
Bob: When I go for a walk and if I start to feel a little bit of hip pain, I always do this one, stop and grab onto something.
Brad: It must be real entertainment just to watch you go for a walk all the little things that you do.
Bob: My wife and I talked about that. Thankfully we have each other because we have to do all these things before, we even go for a walk. It’s like a half hour of preparation time just before we go walk and run or whatever we are doing.
Brad: Maybe we should get a video of that someday. The neighbors are out in their lawn chairs watching.
Bob: Thanks everybody.
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