Exercises for Better Posture Using the Egoscue Method

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "The 4-Hour Body" by Timothy Ferriss. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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Are you looking to improve your posture? What are some exercises for better posture according to The 4-Hour Body?

These exercises for better posture come from The 4-Hour Body. Using the Egoscue method, these stretches for posture can help you straighten up.

Keep reading for the exercises for better posture from the Egoscue Method.

Exercises for Better Posture.

The Egoscue Method is a series of exercises designed to improve posture. To fix bad posture caused by working at a desk, do the following exercises 1-3 times after every 2-3 hours of sitting, and do all six exercises at least once every seven days.

Exercise #1: Static back.

  1. Lie face up.
  2. Put both your legs up on something. Your knees should be bent 90 degrees.
  3. Stretch out your arms, palm up, with your thumbs touching the ground. Your arms should be 45 degrees away from your body. These stretches for posture should feel good.
  4. Relax. Your lower back should be flat on the floor.
  5. Stay in this position for five minutes. That completes the first of the exercises for better posture.

Exercise #2: Static extension.

  1. Get into a crawling position. Your wrists, elbows, and shoulders should be in a line, as should your knees and hips.
  2. Move your hands six inches in front of you.
  3. Put your elbows where your hands were.
  4. Make a thumbs-up shape with your hands and pull your thumbs away from each other.
  5. Pull your hips towards your feet until your lower back arches.
  6. Lower your head.
  7. Stay in this position for 60 seconds. This is one of the stretches for posture.

Exercise #3: Static shoulder bridge.

  1. Lie face up and bend your knees.
  2. Put a pillow between your knees and squeeze it.
  3. Lift your hips and back off the ground, still squeezing the pillow.
  4. Stay in this position for 60 seconds. That completes the third of the exercises for better posture.

Exercise #4: Active shoulder bridge.

  1. Follow the first two bullets of the static shoulder bridge.
  2. Lift your hips and back up and down for 15 reps.
  3. Do three sets in total. That completes the fourth of the exercises for better posture.

Exercise #5: Supine groin progressive. (Shortform note: There are two versions of this exercise. One requires specialized equipment, and one can be done at home. We’ve combined the instructions for a more robust at-home version.)

  1. Create a loop—for example, tie the legs of a pair of sweatpants together—and hang it over a doorknob or chair.
  2. Lie on your back, face up.
  3. Put one foot in the loop with your leg straight. Your back should just be starting to arch. Adjust the loop height if necessary.
  4. Put the other leg up on something. Your knee should be bent at 90 degrees.
  5. Hold this position until your whole lower back is touching the ground (probably around five minutes).
  6. Adjust the loop so your leg is a little lower and your back is arching again.
  7. Hold the position until your back is flat again.
  8. Adjust approximately every five minutes for 25 minutes.
  9. Repeat with the other leg.

Exercise #6: Wall sit.

  1. Stand with your back to a wall.
  2. Spread your knees and feet hip-width apart. Point your feet straight forward.
  3. Slide down the wall and move your feet away from it until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Your ankles should be a little forward of your knees, and every part of your lower back should touch the wall.
  4. Stay in this position for two minutes.
Exercises for Better Posture Using the Egoscue Method

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Rina Shah

An avid reader for as long as she can remember, Rina’s love for books began with The Boxcar Children. Her penchant for always having a book nearby has never faded, though her reading tastes have since evolved. Rina reads around 100 books every year, with a fairly even split between fiction and non-fiction. Her favorite genres are memoirs, public health, and locked room mysteries. As an attorney, Rina can’t help analyzing and deconstructing arguments in any book she reads.

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