Posture BootCamp

If you don’t have time to do all the exercises at once, divide them in half and do half one day, and half the next. 

These exercises are aimed to help improve forward posture (“upper crossed syndrome”):


  1. Doorway pec stretch (hold 10-15 seconds per side; repeat 2-3 times)
  2. Lacrosse ball self soft tissue (into a wall, 30 seconds per side)
  3. Abdominal stretch: cobra yoga pose. (hold for 10-15 seconds; repeat 2-3 times)


  1. Bird dog plank pose (hold 45 seconds per side – you can start with 10-15 seconds per side and work your way up to 45 seconds per side as you get stronger)
  2. Superman extensions: hold 2 seconds, repeat 10x
  3. Wall W: (10 repetitions; repeat 2x) -beginner version with feet and pelvis away from the wall. -advanced version with heels and pelvis touching the wall.


  1. Foam roller in mid-back (use a medium density roller): -10 repetitions of each arm position: arms neutral, deep hug, arms above head
  2. Cat-cow: slow, full range of motion in pelvis, midback, and neck for 30 seconds

Here’s a short video that’s going to go through a handful of exercises starting with stretching and soft tissue, and then moving into strengthening and mobility exercises for upper cross syndrome or the forward position of the head and shoulders. Which is a lot of us these days with office work and working from home. First, we’re going to start with stretching out the pec. Find a doorway, you’re going to do one arm at a time or both arms together. Shift your body weight to come through the doorway to stretch out the pecs, do this for 15 seconds per side and repeat that several times. Another way to stretch out the pecs is to use a lacrosse ball. Put it in the front portion of the pec, then lean into the wall, work the tissue by going into small circles, and spend 30 seconds on both the left and right side. 

Next, we are going to stretch out the abs, the way we can do this is by doing a cobra stretch. You are going to keep your pelvis on the ground and use your arms to push your front half up. This is going to aim to stretch the abs, which can end up tight if we’re sitting forward all day.  

Strengthening wise we want to work on getting extended back since we’re hunching forward so much. For this, we can do bird dog so you can extend your arm and opposite leg and hold. 

Keep your head neutral with the rest of your spine, also ensure you are looking straight down.  When you’re in this position feel your hand and knee in the ground, and then use the arm that’s up and the leg that’s up and actually extend push the arm forward push the heel back.  Hold this for up to 45 to 60 seconds and repeat on the opposite side.

The next exercise is the Superman, the aim is to work on the extensors. Keep the pelvis on the ground, place arms in front of you with elbows bent, then lift up. Notice I’m tucking my chin in,  you don’t want to extend your neck,  you want to keep your neck in line with the rest of your body. I recommend holding this for a couple of seconds, then resting and holding for a coupe more. 

Next, is the Wall W, this is a little bit more technical. It’s a little tricky to do as you’re just getting acquainted with externally rotating at the shoulders. So I would recommend starting with your feet and your bum off the wall a little bit, which will make it easier to rotate your hands. You’re going to form a W, tucking your chin, and pushing your head gently straight back into the wall. Slide that W into a Y, then back down to a W. You’ll notice I’m tucking my chin that whole time activating my deep neck flexors. As you improve over the weeks and months you can slowly shift your heels back until eventually your heels are tight to the wall. That’ll make it quite a bit harder and also try not to cheat at the wrist, don’t let the wrist come off the wall. 

Lastly, we’re going to do some work on mobility,  so grab a foam roller you’ll need to buy one off amazon.  If you don’t have one I recommend a medium density, so you can push your thumb into it and indent it. You do not want one with spikes, that is called a rumble roller, you want a medium density foam roller to roll out the back. You foam roll the back just from the neck to the bottom of the ribs. Do not roll the low back or neck. 

Put your arms in a neutral position,  do this for about 10 seconds back and forth. You might hear some popping noise that’s just joint cavitation in your mid-back. You can also go deep hug for 10 more seconds again keeping your chin tucked, all the while doing this you can go arms above your head. Those are the three arm positions for the foam roller.  

Lastly, for mobility exercises you’re going to move into a cat cow. Start on all fours and go into flexion, including flexion with the pelvis while fully tucking in the chin. Then go the opposite way with full extension in the neck and pelvis. I would recommend going back and forth in this position for about 30 seconds. Together these exercises are going to help with posture deficiencies.