How to Improve Your Posture in 3 Weeks

Straighten up for life with this three-week plan.

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Photo: Getty Images

Slouching has become our default posture—but it's a prequel to long-term back, shoulder, and neck issues. Good posture, on the other hand, has the power to help you avoid these painful problems, as well as improve your digestion, reduce stress, and even gain a shot of confidence. Our guide will have you better aligned in no time—just follow along and implement as many moves as you can on a daily basis.

Week 1: Reposition

Good posture may feel awkward at first if you've trained your body to slump, explains Rami Said, a physical therapist at Columbia University Medical Center. Take a few moments every day to learn how the correct posture feels.

Stand Taller

Evenly distribute your weight between both legs, with your feet parallel under hips and shoulder blades pressing down and back. Engage your glutes and core so your pelvis is stable beneath your ribs but not tucked under.

Sit Smarter

Keep your earlobes above shoulders and shoulders above hips; allow a slight curve in the lumbar spine. Your feet should be flat on the floor and your lower back against the chair (add a rolled-up towel if your back doesn't touch).

Sleep Straighter

Try to fall asleep on your side or back to help your spine stay more neutral.

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Week 2: Tweak Your Routine

"Everyday habits make maintaining good posture much trickier," says Jill Miller, founder of Yoga Tune-Up. Do this instead:

Bag it Better

Heavy purse? Change the shoulder you're carrying it on every 10 minutes.

Ditch Text Neck

Keep your shoulders back and head lifted when checking your phone by holding it closer to eye level.

Stay Down-to-Earth

If stilettos put a strain on your lower back, wear them for two-hour periods and take sitting breaks.

Week 3: Build Strength

Do each of these moves daily to improve your muscle memory and overall alignment.

Shoulder Stack

Every 30 minutes, bring your shoulder blades down, then back. Hold for two to three seconds. Repeat five times.

Pillow Pose

Lie facedown on the floor and place a firm pillow under your abdomen. Take slow, deep breaths into the pillow for a few minutes.

Proper Squat

Stand tall, feet slightly wider than hip-width, then lower into a squat. Extend your arms overhead, palms turned slightly backward to engage your upper back. Do as many 30- to 60-second squats as you can. Do not allow your spine to round or bend.

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