Good posture means you’ll be more able to hold yourself in an upright position and run more efficiently. These strength exercises will help you to hold good posture – for longer. Try them at home or in the gym with a stability ball.
Warm up by skipping for five minutes or, if you don’t have a skipping rope, jog on the spot. When skipping, jump one to two inches off the floor and make sure that only the balls of your feet touch the floor. Keep your elbows close to your sides and let the movement come from the wrists and forearms, not the shoulders.
About the session
Perform each exercise for 45 seconds, then rest for 15 seconds before moving straight on to the next exercise. One circuit should take you a total of four minutes (including the 15-second rest periods in between each exercise). Do the circuit twice, then spend a few minutes stretching at the end.
Reach and squat
Areas trained: Thighs, bottom, shoulders, back and core
– Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart with your toes turned out to a 45-degree angle.
– Hold a stability ball in both hands in front of your body.
– Bend your knees to perform a squat and hold the position.
– Lift the stability ball with straight arms above your head.
– Squeeze your shoulder blades and keep your core tight.
– Lower the ball and straighten your legs.
Areas trained: Core, stomach, side muscles, back, shoulders
– Kneel in front of a stability ball.
– Place your elbows and forearms on the ball.
– Position your shoulders directly over your elbows.
– Keep your feet hip-width or slightly wider apart.
– Push your elbows forward to roll the ball away from you.
– Don’t let your hips drop.
– Pull your elbows back in underneath your shoulders.
– Don’t let your body rock forwards and backwards. Keep the movement controlled.
Areas trained: Core, back, bottom, rear thighs
– Lie with your head and shoulders supported on a stability ball.
– Place your hands on your ribs and your feet on the floor, hip-width apart.
– Contract your core muscles to aid your balance.
– Lower your bottom towards the floor.
– Lift your hips up until you form a straight line between your shoulders, hips and knees.
– Lie with your chest on a stability ball.
– Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing your feet.
– Lift the weights so that they are level with your shoulders.
– Try to squeeze your shoulder blades together.
– Hold for a second or two at the top of the movement.