This exercise is our single favorite exercise (and possibly the most important) for promoting proper posture and reversing the effects of a seated desk and computer posture. Check out the video and bulleted points to ensure you’re maximizing benefits and minimizing risks.

  • Start lying prone on the ground, preferably with a towel under your face and toes pointed/relaxed.
  • Keep neck neutral and forehead on the ground, with arms up overhead in a straight line with thumbs pointed up. This is the ‘I’ position.
  • Begin by lifting shoulders off the ground and retracting scapulae back and slightly down towards the ankles, and lifting the arms straight upwards.
  • Bring arms down and relax shoulders, and move arms to ‘Y’ position. Repeat scapular retraction and lift arms straight upwards while pulling shoulders back and down.
  • Bring arms down and relax shoulders, and move arms to ‘T’ position. Repeat scapular retraction and lift arms straight upwards while pulling shoulders back and down.
  • Bring arms down and relax shoulders, and move arms to ‘W’ position. Repeat scapular retraction and lift bent arms upwards while pulling shoulders back and down, and keeping the elbows tight against the sides of the body.
  • Return arms to the floor, along with shoulders. Repeat from the ‘I’ position.

This is an exercise that almost everyone can benefit from and basically everyone should be doing (with appropriate modifications for select populations) daily. It engages a key upper body posterior chain muscles, stabilizes the shoulder, and activates several postural muscles to promote movement and mobility through the involved joints.