I've been doing a monthly massage for relaxation only to discover that my back is in need of some work that a massage therapist cannot right away. The culprit: my posture.
Most of us who sit at a desk for long periods of time and we end up looking like this:
I never realized the health risks this poses after sitting like this for a long period of time. Now that I know, it freaks me out.
I found a great article from Women's Health. Instead of breaking it down, I've decided to copy and paste so you can see the full article. I really liked this article because they are workouts you can easily do in your office or at home and not have to worry about owning expensive equipment or a gym membership.
IMPROVE YOUR POSTURE
Spring Your Traps
Four moves that target your traps to help improve your posture
Think of your trapezius--the slab of fibers that starts at the base of your skull and extends across your shoulder blades--as the anti-hunchback muscle. When it's strong, it keeps your shoulder blades down, so you look longer and leaner. This routine, from Riley McAlpine, a pro cyclist and personal trainer in Santa Monica, California, will get you there. Add the moves to your strength workout once a week. And don't miss WH's total-body workouts.
Shrug Grab a 5- to 15-pound dumbbell in each hand and stand with your feet about hip-width apart. With your arms at your sides, lift your shoulders toward your ears. Hold for 5 seconds, then lower. Repeat for 1 minute.
Trap Walk Get on a treadmill with a 5- to 10-pound dumbbell in each hand. Bend your elbows 90 degrees and raise them to shoulder height with palms facing forward. Walk at an easy pace and bring your forearms toward each other and back out with the rhythm of your footsteps. Continue for 1 minute. Next, start in the same arm position, but raise them straight up then pull them down in time with your steps, also for 1 minute. Last, combine the moves for a minute: in, out, up, down. That's 1 set. Do 4 sets, resting for 30 to 60 seconds between each.
Overhead Press Grab a 3- to 8-pound dumbbell with both hands and stand with your feet about hip-width apart. Lift your right toe behind you so it's a foot off the floor. Raise the dumbbell overhead. Bend your elbows to lower the weight behind you. Press it back up. Repeat for 30 seconds. Switch legs and repeat. That's 1 set. Do 3 to 5 sets, with 30 seconds of rest in between each.
High-Low Standing with your feet about hip-width apart, hold the end of a 3- to 8-pound dumbbell straight above your head. Bend at your hips and lower the dumbbell toward the floor, keeping your elbows straight. Touch the floor, then reverse the arc until the dumbbell is overhead. That's 1 rep. Do 3 to 5 sets of 12 to 15 reps, resting for 30 to 60 seconds between sets.
Holy Trap When properly trained, your trapezius muscles pull your shoulder blades together and down, to give you a more Klum-esque back.
WH 30-Second Fix: Tight Upper Back From Typing All Day? Sit in a chair with your spine straight and your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart and parallel to each other. Grab the right edge of the seat with your right hand and lean to the left as far as you can, keeping both glutes on the chair and pressing down with your right shoulder. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat to the other side.