Those rounded shoulders, a slight hunch, the hovering-over-a-desk-all-day slouch -- if this sounds anything like you, it's time for a wake-up call. Not only can poor posture contribute to long-term health issues like back pain, but it can also have a dramatic effect on your emotional well-being and self-esteem.
The good news is that you don't have to take poor posture lying down, figuratively speaking. Though, in a literal sense, that's exactly what personal trainer Brooke Marrone recommends you do if you want to stand taller and feel more confident. Marrone's favorite posture-improving stretch is a lying-down move that can make all of this happen, and all it requires is one simple workout item.
"The best thing you can do for yourself is purchase a foam roller and lay on it for a few minutes every night," Marrone tells the web series #OWNSHOW in the above video.
When she demonstrates the stretch, it's clear that this one is all about minimum effort and maximum impact.
"You're going to lay your body horizontally on the foam roller so your hips are at the bottom of the foam roller, and your head and neck are relaxed on the foam roller as well," Marrone instructs. "You want to make sure your feet are a few inches apart and that your heels are also a few inches away from the foam roller."
"Your back is going to be in a neutral position, meaning that you don't have too much of an arch in your back, and you don't need to push your low back into the foam roller either," she adds.
Next, place your arms several inches from your body and relax into a shoulder stretch.
"Just naturally let those shoulders open up and let the chest start to stretch out," Marrone says.
Then, when you feel ready, take things up a notch.
"You can slowly start to bring your arms up towards your shoulder, increasing the stretch in your chest and that mobility in your shoulders," Marrone says.
"This is the one thing you can do to stand taller and feel more confident," she adds.
Poor posture giving you neck pain? Try this lesser-known neck stretch to ease some of that tension.