Bruegger’s stretch is one of my favorite stretches/exercises. No matter what your age or how poor your posture, you can do this one at work or at home on the couch while eating ice cream. It can make a big difference in not only maintaining correct posture but also improving your current posture.
Correct posture is something we need to be more aware of because of the stress bad posture puts on our spines. If you want to get out of pain, you’ve got to start implementing some of these posture exercises into your daily routine. Check out our last week’s stretch of the week for poor posture as well: Wall Angles.
STEP 1: The great thing about Bruegger’s stretch is that it can be done seated. Start with your arms straight out in front of you and your elbows tucked into your sides as best as you can. Sit up tall as well.
STEP 2: Start by moving your arms outward while trying to pinch your shoulder blades together. The best way to do Bruegger’s stretch correctly is to pretend you have a pencil between your shoulder blades and you don’t want it to fall to the ground.
STEP 3: You want to hold this “pinch” for about 5-10 seconds and then let it relax. You can do this for about 4-5 sets. When you maintain this pinch, it might feel a little uncomfortable but be careful not to overdo it. We are trying to open up your shoulders while also strengthening the weak muscles in your upper back. By doing this, we are helping make proper posture natural for you.
We recommend you do this throughout your work day especially if you’re sitting at a desk all day. The idea is to get the right muscles trained so that poor posture is uncomfortable to you and correct posture is comfortable to you. Keep in mind that this is something that doesn’t happen overnight. Just like your current posture didn’t get there overnight, you need to keep with these exercises on a daily basis before you really start to notice any improvement.
Research shows that for every inch your head moves forward, it puts about twice as much stress on your spine. So looking down at your phone all day puts constant stress on your spine and neck. This causes neck pain and headaches in the short term and can lead to degeneration and severe neck pain in the future, possibly even surgery.
Fortunately, there are some options for improving years of poor posture and reversing the stress we put our spines through. The same thing that got us into poor posture and neck pain can get us out of it. Of course, we recommend chiropractic care and adjustments, but you can do simple exercises each day to help encourage proper posture. Follow our blog and stay tuned for future advice on correcting poor posture and other health concerns.
*As always, consult with your healthcare provider before beginning any exercise program.